In years past, this would be a chant that would echo throughout the arena when TSM took the stage, domestically and internationally. Where’d it go? What happened? What happened to the dominant force in North America that was TSM?

Well…time hasn’t done their roster good. They always get to the cusp of greatness again, just to falter at the last moment. It’s a brutal cycle for TSM fans these past couple years, with TSM not making Worlds in 2018 or 2019. Since then they’ve had numerous iterations of their roster, some that had the glimmer of greatness and others that…well…just weren’t good. They closed out the 2019 season with the following roster:

  • Top Lane – Broken Blade
  • Jungle – Akaadian
  • Mid Lane – Bjergsen
  • ADC – Zven
  • Support – Smoothie
Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, possible text that says 'TSM LEAGUE OF LEGENES LCS 2019 ROSTER D SD V F BROKENB ADE GRIG AKAADIAN BJERGSEN ZVEN SMOOTHIE TOPLANE TOPLANE JUNGLE JUNGLE MIDLANE ADCARRY DCARRY SUPPORT'

Realistically, that roster wasn’t really bad. The only questionable roles were Akaadian and Smoothie. Broken Blade proved himself to be a consistent and solid top laner, Bjerg is still a god and Zven was a strong ADC. The issues stemmed mostly from the jungle, with some issues in the bot lane relating to Smoothie and Zven.

TSM used their backup jungler, Grig, a good amount during the year in the spring split, and moved him to a more backup role in summer. It didn’t really matter, as they seemed to get outplayed regardless of which jungler was in. That being said, they did make it to the gauntlet to go to Worlds after the spring split, but lost to Clutch Gaming who went on to attend Worlds. This season they are aiming to be better, and return to form.

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They went out and had some notable pickups in the lanes where they had issues:

  • Top Lane – Broken Blade
  • Jungle – Dardoch
  • Mid Lane – Bjergsen
  • ADC – Kobbe
  • Support – Biofrost

With a mostly revamped roster, TSM is looking fresh. Starting with their new jungler, Dardoch.

Dardoch is…a curious topic in LCS. Mechanically, he’s very good, and as a jungler, he’s fairly elite as well. His pathing, jungle sense, and ganking is top notch. So where is the issue? Well, the dude has a temper. He’s gone through NUMEROUS teams purely because his attitude is trash. It’s a shame really, because he’s a talented player. He just needs to not be such a dick to put it nicely. Next, their new ADC.

Kobbe is an import player brought in from the LEC. Kobbe was the ADC for Splyce, who had a very, very solid showing at Worlds 2019. They were knocked out in the quarter finals when they were matched up against the juggernaut SKT T1. Kobbe was a standout ADC last year, consistently outplaying almost every bot lane he faced with a lot of individual talent. Finally, their *new* support.

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Biofrost isn’t exactly new when it comes to TSM. He previously was their support, and was consistently good for them. He just chose to leave and play elsewhere, so I’m sure the reunion with TSM was a good one and worth his time. After the year Kobbe had, I’m not surprised he wanted to come back and play with him. If those two can gel well together, I have a solid feeling TSM will be back at the top of the standings.

I have a hard time believing TSM will ever return to their form of dominance they once had, unfortunately. I just think the other teams have caught up to where TSM once was, and surpassed them. Bjergsen is a highly talented player, but he’s been forced to carry the weight of the team recently, with some support from mainly just Broken Blade. That’s just not a sustainable way to win games anymore. With the skill level of players just constantly going up, you need a team of 5 with equal footing to really compete. This current version of TSM may be able to do just that, but I’m not sure it’ll be enough to propel them to top 3.