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Credit: TSM

TSM – The Titan(ic) of NA, when does the ship sink?


It looks like TSM have taken the Counter Logic Gaming road. Once a legendary organization, now full of bad decisions and declining: that’s TSM since Bjergsen left.

Before the start of 2022, TSM acquired two players ( Zhu "Keaiduo" Xiong and Wei "Shenyi" Zi-Jie) from the LDL (LoL development league in China) as well as Tactical from Team Liquid.

Those transfers were pointing in the direction of a long-term rebuilding, but TSM showed impatience while expecting fast results.

Why is it always the LCS?

Let’s be honest here: a 0-4 start to the split is not what TSM expected, but why start changing so fast? Apparently, practice was not going well, and they needed to shake things up.

In a recent stream, TSM’s new support, Shenyi, listed a couple of reasons for his tough adaptation to the LCS. The player said that NA has too little practice compared to LPL, and that support is not really a role in the NA solo queue.

As to the problems within the team, Shenyi mentioned how messy their comms can be, and that when the team is winning, everyone is talking; but when they are losing, no one talks.

Additionally, he said that he never went on a four-game losing streak and that he would like to call the shots next weekend as it is one of his strengths. Unfortunately, this won't happen as the player was demoted to the LCS Academy with the reason being “Shenyi requires more time to adjust to NA.”

TSM has money, so why rebuild?

The thing that strikes me the most was the decision of TSM to start a rebuild, and I have to ask: why? TSM has a lot of money from sponsorships and can build a winning roster. What is the point of rebuilding when we know that they won't stick to players long-term, something that we can see after just two weeks of play?

Maybe, there is something within the organization and their inability to attract top players. There was a lot of drama during the offseason: TSM’s owner, Reginald, was accused of “verbally abusing and bullying players and employees,” an allegation Riot Games are still investigating.

In the end, money is not everything, and if you are being provided with a “toxic” environment, there is no point in going there. Maybe TSM were not aiming to rebuild: rather, they were forced.

Falling apart: More changes.....

According to Travis Gafford, TSM released a member of the coaching staff this week, and the team was not scrimming as of the morning and early afternoon of the report.

Without preparation and with so many issues, this situation screams 0-6 for next week. I mean, 0-6 is TSM’s comfort zone (Worlds 2020), and maybe it isn’t a bad thing.

Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if TSM ends up changing their whole roster before the end of the split. If you start a development project and keep on making so many changes when we are not even at the middle of the split, what's the point?

Even comms seem to be an issue. The new Chinese players are not fluent in English and in an interview with Upcomer, Huni mentioned that Spica is translating and speaking Mandarin to communicate more.

I know rebuilds take time and willingness to go through tough periods, but I just don’t see a direction here. I hope I am proven wrong, but it looks doomed for now.

Astralis>TSM

Unlike TSM, Astralis provides a good environment for their players. Despite being 0-9, the team decided not to make any changes, shifting their focus for Summer Split. Even Promisq, who is receiving a lot of hate from the community, has Astralis’s backing, and you have to respect the organization for that.

Do we see any backing in TSM? Not really. You can be dropped at any moment, and it just feels like the players don’t have the organization’s trust. With so many issues and changes in such a short amount of time, how can you even trust your own organization? I wouldn't be surprised if the rotations continue going forward. Even after next week.