League of Legends returns to NA this weekend with the start of the LCS Spring Split. Here’s a look at the new TSM roster and their chances of finding success in 2020.
Team SoloMid is the most recognized organization in North American League of Legends history and can almost always be found near the top of the LCS standings. However, in the last two years they have failed to break through and win an LCS title, their longest spell without lifting a trophy since the inception of the league.
They also have failed to qualify for the last two World Championships, after making it to every tournament prior to that. Will TSM get back on track in 2020?
TSM had a pretty solid 2019 season. They were one of only three teams to make the playoffs in both the Spring and Summer Split alongside Cloud9 and Team Liquid. The Spring Split was the more successful of the two as they reached the Playoff final, losing 3-2 to Liquid.
During the Summer Playoffs, TSM lost 3-1 to Clutch Gaming in the quarter-finals. This was followed by another loss at the hands of Clutch Gaming in the Regional Qualifier final, meaning TSM would fail to reach the World Championship for the second consecutive year.
In 2019, TSM’s roster was Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik in the top lane, a revolving door of junglers including, Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham, Jonathan “Grig” Armao and Mingyi “Spica” Lu. Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg held down the mid lane, while Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Andy “Smoothie” Ta made up the bot lane duo.
Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett comes over from OpTic Gaming to be the new TSM jungler. Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup is the new ADC joining from the LEC’s third-best team in 2019, Splyce. Then, in a trade with CLG TSM reacquired Vincent “Biofrost” Wang as their “new” support player.
How strong is the new TSM roster?
Broken Blade was a mixed bag in 2019. During the Spring Split he looked impressive and earned a place on the third All-Pro team. Yet during the Summer Split, he regressed a touch and failed to make it on any All-Pro team.
He is rated the sixth-best top laner in the LCS heading into 2020, but I don’t think this is something to worry about for TSM fans.
Bjergsen might have had a relatively poor Summer Split, but he was still given a place on the third LCS All-Pro team. This was a significant drop from his Spring Split performance however as he was originally on the first-team of All-Pros.
That being said, it is clear that the Dane is still a powerhouse in the LCS, despite being in one of the most stacked roles in North American League of Legends. In fact, Bjergsen ranked second among mid laners heading into the LCS in 2020, only behind former world champion Crown, while also being ranked the fifth-best player overall.
Obviously, TSM has an incredible mid laner in Bjergsen and he should be more than capable of holding his own in the Spring Split, hopefully recapturing some of his carry performances from years ago.
Dardoch was undoubtedly the most exciting and most talked-about offseason signing in the LCS. After spending an entire year on the OpTic Gaming Academy roster, Dardoch’s return to the LCS stage is eagerly awaited by numerous NA fans.
The main question is: Will he be able to stop the revolving door of TSM junglers or will his talent be suppressed in the machine?
Dardoch returns to the LCS as the third highest-rated jungler, behind Danish duo Broxah and Svenskeren. However, due to the fact that Broxah and Team Liquid are struggling with Visa issues at the moment, TSM’s latest jungle acquisition could rise in the rankings and threaten Svenskeren for the top spot.
Kobbe is a great signing for TSM this off-season. During the LEC 2019 Spring Split he earned a place on the first All-Pro team and, despite not featuring on any All-Pro team in the Summer Split, earned plenty of votes from casters and analysts while also guiding his team to the World Championship.
Coming into the 2020 season, Kobbe finds himself in the number two spot when it comes to ranking the LCS ADCs, three places above former TSM marksman Zven.
Returning to TSM in 2020 is Biofrost. Two years after his shock move to rivals Counter Logic Gaming, the new TSM support is now rated as the second-best support in the LCS, while also being ranked the seventh-best player in the league by some.
In 2019, Biofrost received the eighth-most points in the Summer Split MVP rankings and also earned a place on the second All-Pro team.
He may not get much recognition from the wider LCS audience, but it might be worth paying attention to the support in 2020 as it’s likely he’ll have a huge part to play in any TSM success and has an outside chance of being crowned Spring Split MVP.
What should we expect out of TSM in 2020?
I would expect TSM to challenge Team Liquid for the LCS title in 2020. They upgraded three out of five positions while retaining one of the best mid laners in North America.
Even their weakest point, which is top lane, is an above-average LCS player, who is only in his second year in the league with plenty of room to improve. Every LCS team would be optimistic heading into the Spring Split with a roster as strong as TSM’s.
In a head-to-head with Team Liquid, TSM would do fairly well due to their new roster being almost equal talent-wise. Each lane consists of highly-rated players and the match-up could go either way.
The time is now TSM. No excuses.
This new TSM roster has a chance to end the dominant Liquid run of four LCS titles in a row. So start the chants, and make them loud. TSM TSM TSM is coming back to the top of the LCS.