Coming into the Worlds 2016, the TSM League of Legends roster had the hopes and dreams of the Western Hemisphere placed upon it. Following a disappointing performance, which was over in the Group Stage due to a fiasco against Royal Never Give Up, which made it so that TSM would be eliminated even if they and RNG had the scame score, many TSM fans wondered whether the roster of their favorite team would change or not. The problem was made even more apparent when Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, TSM’s star AD Carry, announced his intention to take a hiatus during the 2017 Spring Split.
Following LiftLift’s announcement, fans began discussing who was going to take his spot as the AD Carry. Names like Konstantinos “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou, Aleš "Freeze" Kněžínek, Jason “WildTurtle” Tran, Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin, and several others have been floating around for weeks now. At least for the IEM Oakland, WildTurtle is the one to play as a stand-in for TSM. That leaves the other avenue of discussion – are Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell and Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen going to remain part of TSM, or will the team’s owner, Andy “Reginald” Dinh, going to revamp the roster once again, bring in in more famous players?
Well, we have the answer. Reginald announced on Twitter that the team already renewed their contracts with their Top and Jungler for the 2017 season. In our opinion, this is a very smart and mature decision. Some fans criticized Hauntzer and Svenskeren for not being badass carries like the duo of Seong “Huni” Hoon Heo and Kim “Reignover” Ui-jin, however, that has never been the job of these two specific players. In fact, if they tried to take routinely take over games, Team SoloMid would have probably had a much worse season than they actually did.
Hauntzer did a very good job playing a low econ game most of the time, getting less resources than the stars of his team, Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and Doublelift, yet still doing his job sufficiently well. When the situation called for it or he was in a position to do so, Hauntzer had no problem in getting on his big boy pants and carrying TSM to victory. It wasn’t asked often, however. Svenskeren, while not as flashy as Reignover or Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett, also did his job well and did not screw up, occasionally even making some great plays.
With Doublelift taking a break, the name of the game now is stability. The team was good enough to absolutely dominate the NA LCS Summer Split 2016. Yes, Doublelift is gone for now, however, he will come back. If TSM gets a Superstar AD Carry, there will be a hard decision ahead when DLift wants to come back. However, if TSM gets a decent, middle of the pack AD to get them through the Split, the transition might be quite easy. TSM can afford to not win the Spring Split, as long as they are in their best shape in Summer. With Hauntzer and Svenskeren, Reginald probably hopes to take what works instead of trying new players without knowing how they will work in the existing team, essentially buying a cat in a bag.