After one of the busiest offseasons in LCS history, Team Solo Mid is ready to announce their LCS rosters for 2019. The team would also make a few changes to their TSM Academy team.
Please welcome our Official 2019 LCS Rosters and Staff! Read more: https://t.co/rKL7XPe7aY
— TSM (@TSM) December 15, 2018
The team would show their full rosters today, revealing that the team will be keeping Jonathan “Grig” Armao as their starting jungler. The jungle position was a highly debated position amongst TSM fans since the end of the 2018 season. Many people would speculate that the team would go for star free agent, Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett. Instead, TSM would pick up former OpTic Gaming jungler, Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham, and send him to their Academy team.
Meet the new TSM rosters!
The team had previously introduced two new members to the organization, Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik and Andy “Smoothie” Ta. Beforehand, they would announce the acquisition of veteran head coach, Tony “zikz” Gray. The additions are not too crazy, but it does keep TSM in the championship discussion. Losing Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell is tough, as he had spent almost three years with the Team Solo Mid brand. They would also lose Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodríguez, who would return to Europe in the offseason.
However, a lot of the 2018 TSM roster remains, with star mid laner Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg leading the way alongside Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen. This will be the first year where Zven will have to play without Mithy, who was his bottom lane partner since 2015. Smoothie should be a decent replacement for Mithy, as he has shown both great mechanical skills and leadership skills.
For TSM Academy, the organization is bringing in four new faces as well; Nicholas “Ablazeolive” Antonio Abbott is the only member from the 2018 Academy team. In the top lane, TSMA will be fielding Brandon “Brandini” Chen, who would last play for 100 Thieves and their Academy team. Their bottom lane consists of Edward “Tactical” Ra and Erik “Treatz” Wessén. This will be Tactical’s first foray into professional League, while Treatz is coming from Europe. The big acquisition for TSM is Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham, who was a starting jungler for OpTic Gaming last year.
Expectations and limitations
For the main TSM roster, there are multiple situations to watch out for. For example, we need to watch the development of their 18-year-old rookie top laner. TSM has opted to bring in a rookie player for the first time in a long time. Broken Blade is young, and has a ton of potential that could flourish here in North America. However, they need to make sure that the bright lights of the LCS don’t scare him into submission. This is the first time that Broken Blade will be playing on an LCS stage, so easing him in will be key to his success.
Additionally, we need to watch for Grig’s improvement in the starting jungle position. Last year, Grig would jump into the starting position for TSM, much to the chagrin of their fans. Their reluctance to accept Grig this time around is understandable; he wasn’t the greatest jungler and would actually be a liability for the team. At the same time, giving him another chance could provide him with the confidence boost he needs to succeed. Grig was actually able to earn himself Rank One in the North American Challenger ladder, so TSM fans are hoping for the best.
Finally, the last point of focus for TSM has to be the change in playstyles across the roster. In 2018, TSM would continue to adopt a slow, passive style of play that would punish them all throughout the season. Hopefully, Coach Zikz will be able to help Broken Blade grow into an LCS caliber player, and push TSM into a more aggressive style of play for the upcoming season.
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