For the first time since 2013, TSM will be looking for a new mid laner. This comes after Bjergsen announced his retirement and that he would be stepping into the Head Coaching role for the team. With this move, TSM will have some big shoes to fill and they will likely have their pick of the litter. There are plenty of options, but which one is the right one?
Here is a look at the potential options to replace Bjergsen for TSM, their likelihood of joining TSM and the top choice from each category. This first list will look specifically at NA and EU while the next one will look at China and Korea.
Each option will get a rating of 1-10. The higher the rating, the more likely it is that TSM considers them.
Should TSM look towards filling the role from NA, that would give them some flexibility for their international slots. It would likely play a role in whether they keep Doublelift or not as well. That said, here are the options for NA and what the chances are that TSM signs them.
Evolved– 8 Top Choice
In his first year in Academy, Evolved proved that he is far from a one-trick. He found success with a variety of different champions with different win objectives. He just turned 19 and has already been learning under Bjergsen. If they don’t find a more established star player, then Evolved would be the best candidate.
He was already in the organization for over two years and has also shown that he has the skill to get to the next level. His buyout from Golden Guardians wouldn’t be too hard as they seem committed to Damonte. Ablazeolive will be 22 once the season starts so this would be the time to see if he has what it takes to fill in Bjergs shoes.
Palafox has proven that he has the skills to be at the next level. His contract with C9 is until 2022 and if they are considering dropping Nisqy it seems likely that they would bring him up. That said, if TSM are willing to pay Jack for him, they could make Palafox their new star and give him his first taste of the spotlight.
This one seems unlikely. Mostly because 100 Thieves wouldn’t want to give him up until they are sure of what they have in Ryoma. He will already be 23 by the time the season starts as well which means he’s already in his prime, according to League of Legends standards, instead of ramping up to it.
Haven’t heard of him? It’s okay, most people haven’t. APA will be at NA Scouting Grounds 2020 and is one to watch. He has been at least Diamond since he was 14 and he hit Challenger at 16. This kid could be the next big NA mid laner and while TSM might draft him to have on Academy, it is pretty unlikely that they would give someone this unproven the keys to the castle.
There is no doubt that he has plenty of experience and would be a solid stop-gap for Evolved or another young mid laner. That said, TSM are probably wanting someone who will become their mid-laner for years to come. Goldenglue is not that.
TSM found their original superstar from the ranks of Europe, why couldn’t they do it again? This would cost them an import slot but they have at least one, potentially two to work with. Similarly to the NA options, these will be ranked by the chance that TSM signs them.
Perkz– 7 Top Choice
As with many other teams, Perkz would clearly be TSM’s top pick. The problem is, would he want to leave G2, let alone the LEC? It seems like Perkz does not want to play ADC next year and G2 are unlikely to move on from Caps after his performance last year. Perkz apparently is open to NA according to his own tweet, although this could just be Perkz joking. TSM would love to have Perkz as the one to fill in Bjerg’s shoes but they would have to shell out to get him. While this seems unlikely due to TSM’s history, these are unprecedented circumstances and the decision for their next mid will affect the entire org for years to come.
Poland has produced some great players. Jankos, Selfmade and Vander are some of the biggest names in League of Legends from this country and Czekolad might be next. The 20-year-old is a part of the AGO Rogue team that won EU Masters this summer where he looked outstanding. With Larssen blocking Czekolad with Rogue, TSM could buy him out and look to build around this young but capable mid.
Similar to a few of the options on this list, Vetheo made a name for himself at EU Masters this season. Winning in the Spring with LDLC and making it to the semifinals in Summer, this 18-year-old definitely has the talent to make it big. He has played with former TSM member YellOwStaR and if TSM wanted a full breakdown, they could just ask him. Vetheo unlike the other three young EU mid options on this list is not directly attached to an LEC team and thus could be signed much easier.
In his first full year as a mid laner, Ronaldo put up solid numbers, enough for teams to consider him finally getting his call up to the main stage. The man has played jungle and support as well as mid thus giving him a wide array of knowledge of the game. With the rumors of Misfits looking to blow things up, it feels like Ronaldo has a chance to make their main team. If not then they could ship him to a team like TSM who are looking for help in the mid lane.
If it feels like he has been around forever then that’s because he has. Magifelix has been playing competitively since he was 16. That said, he is 20 now and would be 21 going into the 2021 season. While Fnatic have never truly given him a chance, it feels like this might be the year if they can’t get one of their other big targets. If TSM really feel like testing the waters, Magifelix could be the answer. That said, this one feels extremely unlikely as he would not trump many of the other options presented.
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