WAIT! Please note that the following roster changes were made with the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) in mind. It is not confirmed whether or not this current roster(mainly KaSing) will continue to play into Season 6 of the NA LCS. While IEM San Jose has passed, you can still catch IEM Cologne for a great LoL tournament from December 18th- 20th.
Following TSM's less-than satisfactory performance at the 2015 World Championships, the emotional departure of their top-laner Dyrus was soon accompanied by 4 more separations. In regards to the drastically changed roster, Søren (Bjergsen) Bjerg said "One of the problems with the old roster was we didn't have that closeness or camaraderie." and continued to say that outside of the rift, the team wasn't very intimate.
All together, those whom have officially left/ retired from TSM include:
- Marcus (Dyrus) Hill -- Top Lane
- Lucas (Santorin) Larsen -- Jungle
- Jang-Sik (Lustboy) Ham -- Support
- Choi (Locodoco) Yoon-sub -- Head Coach
- Jason (Wild Turtle) Tran -- ADC [No longer on starting lineup]
Bjergsen will be the only player on TSM's starting lineup to continue from Season 5. For the time being, those replacing (and adding to) these phenomenal professionals will be:
- Kevin (Hauntzer) Yarnell -- Top Lane
- Dennis (Svenskeren) Johnsen -- Jungle
- Raymond (KaSing) Tsang -- Support(Most likely will change)
- Yilian (Doublelift) Peng -- ADC
- KC Woods -- Head Coach
- Josh (Jarge) Smith -- Strategic Coach
So far, here's what we know about them.
KC WOODS -- HEAD COACH
The biggest things that will stick out to fans will be KC's relative lacking in LoL experience. His background is primarily in traditional sports, having played on nationally ranked baseball and basketball teams at Pepperdine University. TSM hopes to prosper from his addition primarily through the new, more structured coaching environment from a tutor and mentor, instead of an LoL expert. He admits to not being very good at the game, but reminds that "My job is not to teach the team to play League of Legends... My job is to come together as a team." which certainly seems to be TSM's goal as of now.
JOSH (Jarge) SMITH -- STRATEGIC COACH
Coming from European powerhouse Fnatic, Jarge actually began working alongside TSM in January of 2015 as a trial. Overshadowed by the then-analyst Parth Naidu, he went largely un-noticed. Now being the main contributor of technical coaching, a lot is expected of Jarge. He coached Fnatic for about a year for the Spring split, Summer split (in which the team went 18-0), the pre-worlds bootcamp, and the the actual World Championships.
KEVIN (Hauntzer) YARNELL -- TOP LANE
Displeased with Gravity after the Summer split, in which they didn't make it through gauntlet, Hauntzer began seeking out other teams. It was Reginald who contacted Hauntzer, saying that he was very flexible, and adapted extremely well to the constant patching that occurs in LoL. With a large pool of AP mages, tanks, and bruisers, Hauntzer hopes to bring a lot to TSM with lane dominance and team fighting expertise.
RAYMOND (KaSing) TSANG -- SUPPORT(UNCONFIRMED)
KaSing says he was very surprised when TSM contacted him for the support position. Drawn to the team for its organization and infrastructure, he accepted the position after displaying good chemistry with Doublelift. KaSing heavily credits Doublelift, saying "I feel like Doublelift as the potential to be the best." admitting he never expected to be playing at his level.
DENNIS (Svenskeren) JOHNSEN -- JUNGLE
Svenskeren tried and failed to get an offer from TSM in the past, winning his fair share of competitions in prior years.For this reason he was very surprised to be contacted for the new roster, especially coming straight from relegation with SK Gaming. He and Bjergsen used to play together on Copenhagen Wolves, promising a familiar chemistry. Svenskeren hopes to prove himself under TSM .
YILIAN (Doublelift) PENG -- ADC
A surprise to many, being kicked fromSummer split victors Counter Logic Gaming, Doublelift is a guaranteed starter for the 2016 season. Doublelift sought TSM hoping to prove himself on the international level that TSM is familiar with, and CLG was not. He remarks, "Winning NA is just not good enough for me anymore." also saying he's excited to play alongside Bjergsen. He expects to continue his success as the best ADC in NA, and says the new roster should be the strongest team seen yet.
There was clearly a lot of thought put into organizing this new roster. TSM owner Andy (Reginald) Dinh says he wanted to focus more on the business side of TSM, saying, "The biggest reason why we decided to go with a completely new coaching staff is because it was really hard for me to trust our existing coaching staff with managing the team." Which explains the need for experienced traditional sports coaches, and successful strategic coaches. Reginald was looking for someone "mature, and really logical" saying KC fit the label perfectly.
With big changes come big risks, but also a huge amount of hype. Making it to the semi-finals at IEM San Jose this past November, TSM's new roster is anything but a flop, but we also haven't seen a phenomenally dominant force. Keep in mind, however, they've only been practicing as a team for not even 3 months. Time will tell if this new roster can prove to actually be the strongest NA has ever seen.