The third episode of our North American World Championship previews chronicles the journey of Team SoloMid.
They take the First seed from North America for the second time in three years. With the most recognizable name in League of Legends eSports, it should come as no surprise that Andy “Reginald” Dinh will stop at nothing to keep his team at the top of North American League of Legends.
Team SoloMid has been around since the birth of competitive League of Legends. The team dominated their time in North America all the way up until Cloud 9 entered the scene.
During Season 2, the strongest contenders to TSM for the best team in North America both decided they were too good for that, and got on a plane to Korea. Counter Logic Gaming and Team Dignitas both competed in OGN Champions Summer 2012. They left TSM to wreak havoc over North America all by themselves.
TSM has undergone many roster changes in their time, each of which always seems to be a step in the right direction. With almost an entirely new roster from their Season 2 dominance, TSM has made a timely and triumphant return to the top of North American League of Legends.
How Did They Qualify?
Dignitas, LMQ and Cloud 9 all fell to TSM on their warpath to the top. After some backdoor shenanigans in Game One of
their series against Dignitas, TSM proceeded to take the next three games in succession to punch their ticket to PAX and a chance at the 2014 World Championship.
The next hurdle was LMQ, a team who many considered to be the favorite — Particularly after witnessing TSM’s struggles against top teams during the regular season. Despite the series lasting a full five games, TSM looked very dominant in the games they won. Bjergsen was the star of the series as he finished with only 7 deaths in 5 games and a smoking KDA of 9.7!
Team SoloMid had made it back to the Finals against Cloud 9 for the third Split in a row, only this time, the result would be different. As their previous Series did, this one too went to five games and ended on the back of a Wildturtle Quadra Kill.
TSM clinched the top spot in North America and knocked Cloud 9 back down a rung on the ladder.
Top Lane – Marcus “Dyrus” Hill
Dyrus is longest standing member of TSM, having joined the team back in early 2012. He found a great deal of success on Renekton early in the Summer Split with a 5-0 record.
Many now cite Dyrus as the next member of TSM on the chopping block. However, if he continues to play as he has for the majority of Playoffs, I see no reason for him having to go. Look for Maokai, Lulu, and Dr. Mundo to be safe picks for Dyrus during the World Championship.
Jungle – Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider
Amazing was one of the only junglers to catch flak for playing only Elise and Lee Sin, despite the majority of LCS junglers adhering to those picks like gospel all Split as well. Granted, he only registered a single win whilst not playing those champions during the whole Split. His combined KDA for the pair this Summer is 9.8.
He has since added the likes of Nunu and Kha’Zix to his champion pool, and now would prove much harder to ban out at Worlds, a strategy many opponents used during the regular Season.
Mid Lane – Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg
Since joining Team SoloMid at the start of the Season, Bjergsen has seen a rapid growth in popularity. He was also given a good environment to nurture his talent. With a total Summer split KDA of 5.3, teams should be very scared of The Bjerger King.
Bjergsen made himself famous playing Syndra, and has kept up that prowess over the past two years. He also plays an exceptional Zed — Thanks to buffs in Patch 4.14, he will likely see heavy favor for either picks or bans.
AD Carry – Jason “Wildturtle” Tran
Not to be outdone by Bjergsen, however, Wildturtle showcased a Pentakill of his own in his debut appearance with TSM. After replacing Chaox, he immediately helped to turn around the team atmosphere.
In more recent news, he has played a total of seven different AD Carries throughout the summer split and has acquired at least a single win on each. The current trifecta of carries seems to feature Lucian, Corki, and Kog’Maw, with some occasional Tristana thrown into the mix.
The following picture should put anyone at ease over the depth of Wildturtle’s champion pool. This is only one of many accounts owned by Wildturtle in high Diamond/Challenger:
Support – Ham “Lustboy” Jang-sik (함장식)
The newest member of the Team SoloMid roster, Lustboy joined the team with only two weeks left of the regular Season. His presence was noticed quickly, and his exceptional Nami play helped secure TSM the Third Seed headed into Playoffs.
Despite what appeared to be some hiccups in communication, potentially due to the language barrier, TSM has become much cleaner with in-game decisions, likely thanks to the addition of Lustboy.
He will play Nami, Zilean, and Thresh almost exclusively – in that order – when given the opportunity.
TSM couldn’t have asked for an easier Groups drawing.
With the recent turmoil coming from the Starhorn locker room, SoloMid should have an even easier time slipping out of the group stage.
With their success against Cloud 9 and the continuously improving roster after the addition of Lustboy, Team SoloMid will look to make their first Quarterfinal appearance since 2012, in which they had an automatic bye.
TheCasualGamer’s Group B Prediction:
1) Team SoloMid
2) SK Gaming
3) Starhorn Royal Club
4) Taipei Assassins
Without a Korean team in the Group Stage, TSM has everything to prove
Individual player images courtesy of eSportspedia