On Saturday, January 12, 2019, TSM announced via Twitter that Matt ‘Akaadian’ Higginbotham will replace Johnathan ‘Grig’ Armao as the starting Jungler for 2019 LCS Spring Split.
Grig has been suffering from a wrist injury and will be unable to play to prevent any other health issues.
We've been working with @TSM_Grig to diagnose and resolve wrist issues, taking every precaution to ensure the long term health of his wrist. Meanwhile, please welcome @FanatiiK_Lol who will be helping our academy team during the spring season as @Akaadian works with our LCS team.
— TSM (@TSM) January 12, 2019
The TSM fan base seems to have mixed opinions about this last minute change. Some say that Akaadian adds the necessary experience to this TSM lineup. Others looked forward to watching Grig play due to his clutch smites and shot-calling during intense situations.
Grig’s stats in the 2018 Summer Split proves that he is a top tier Jungler. On the contrary, he also has the most minutes played than any other Jungler in the region. TSM struggled to close out games when they had the lead and didn’t know how to extend their lead.
Akaadian’s stats are not as high, but he has the same kill participation as Grig and also has a lower number of minutes played in the regular season. He was also one of the main contributors to OpTic Gaming’s success in the 2018 Summer Split.
Akaadian has the potential to bring TSM back to their top form. He has also been queueing up with TSM’s Top lane, Sergen ‘BrokenBlade’ Çelik, to create the synergy between the two.
Grig or TSM haven’t made any more statements on when he will be able to return.
The last-minute roster change may come as a surprise to many. This Spring Split will still be exciting to watch.
Featured Image courtesy of LoL Esports.