PowerOfEvil is taking over for not only one of the longest-tenured LCS players but also a player who played nearly his entire career for one team. In case this was not obvious, Bjergsen played for TSM for seven of his eight seasons and only played for two teams in his LCS career. (Copenhagen Wolves became NIP in the Summer of 2013). As for PoE, he came in around the same time as Bjergsen but has now played for seven different teams in his seven seasons at the LCS level.
[Related: 3 Other Top Lane Options for TSM]
While this is not something that is completely new in terms of the way esports works these days, for TSM and particularly for the mid lane, they have only ever had two players in the position. It has been one of stability and one of the least changed roster spots in esports history.
Now, they bring in a player who has been on a new team every year of his career and it is worth wondering, will TSM finally be the team that breaks PowerOfEvil’s streak? Are they going to have him long term or was he a short term option? It is time to look at the arguments for why he may stay longer, why he may not and which one is most likely.
Reason’s he Breaks the Streak
His Current Contract
The first reason is a very simple one, his contract. According to the Contract Database, it runs through November 15, 2022. That means that this offseason, PowerOfEvil signed a two-year contract similar to SwordArt. While this has not meant much in the past for teams as they will often let players be bought out or they will end the contract with a buyout themselves, it seems as though signs point to PoE staying in black and white for at least two seasons. Which, would break his streak.
Again this is easily the most simple and straightforward answer, but it is one that does not necessarily mean much in this industry.
The Goals of this Team
It is clear that this team is expected to compete not only for an LCS title but also to make a big push at Worlds. In fact, Regi stated that in his piece with The Washington Post about the SwordArt signing.
“I think the extremely large stretch goal is Worlds finals,” he said. “I think it would be a travesty if we don’t get to quarters. The expectations are really clear: our players better work their a — es off.”
By signing PoE they solidified that expectation. TSM have Swordd and possibly Evolved in their organization and both players have shown to have plenty of potential. But, instead of taking a chance and bringing them up to play, TSM invested in PowerOfEvil because they know that he can perform.
He has done so with every team he’s played with and his playstyle has allowed him to fit in with them right off the bat. This was a low risk, high reward type of signing for TSM and one that should allow them to stay near the top of the LCS.
To add to this, PowerOfEvil showed even as recently as 2020 Worlds that he is able to compete with some of the best in the world. He single-handily carried FlyQuest in some of their games and has proven time and time again that he is afraid of no one.
If this team wants to compete for more than just this year then there is no better option than PoE currently and because of this, TSM will likely not want to give him up.
Bjergsen may have been a major factor in getting PoE to TSM. PowerOfEvil stated something similar to this in his “Welcome to TSM” video. He is excited to work with the new TSM head coach and go back and forth on ideas for the mid lane. This may especially be helpful for one of PowerOfEvil’s “weaker areas”.
The reason why that is in quotes is that all-around, PoE is one of the stronger mid laners in the west. That said, he is not as proficient on assassins and Bjergsen has more than a few up his sleeves. Having the chance to learn from someone who is basically just as skilled if not arguably more still in an area where he is weaker than in others, may help keep PowerOfEvil with TSM. Not to mention that he may get to learn the secrets to Bjergsen’s famous Zilean.
This may be even more true should they find success. If Bjergsen ends up being the head coach that many TSM fans hope he can be and if he can help mid laners improve as well, then it may be hard to get PowerOfEvil to want leave this team.
Reasons he May Continue the Streak
TSM Makes the Decision
Esports teams are very impatient when it comes to making roster moves. They are ready to swap players in and out in an instant. One of the main reasons teams do this is simply if they are not winning. For TSM, this is not completely out of the question heading into 2021.
There are a lot of new pieces on this team and they may not gel right away. Not to mention that they are going up against some extremely tough teams such as C9 and TL. Those teams already have synergy and have brought in some top-tier talent to fill to small holes they did have.
Should TSM not make Worlds, meaning a top-three finish in the LCS at the very least, then Regi and Bjersen may want to change things up. This may be even more the case if they start losing to teams that are near the bottom of the standings. PoE could be taken off the team even if he wanted to stay due to performance issues.
PoE Leaves Due to Team Struggling
This is essentially the flip side of the previous section. If the team is bad enough, PowerOfEvil might just want out. It would be understandable especially if they miss Worlds. With a team full of expectations from high up, the players will have similar aspirations.
PowerOfEvil even stated that he expects to compete when coming over to TSM. While all teams try to win championships, players who play for this team expect it. There is a winning culture, at least domestically, and if that dissolves with Bjerg stepping away from the Rift, that could be enough to make PoE want to leave.
This one seems to be the least likely considering who will be on the roster and the coaching staff. That said, it could happen and it has been enough to make players leave many different teams in the past.
For PowerOfEvil and TSM, things would have to be extremely bad for him to leave. PoE has never been known to be a player to cause issues so it would have to come from the other members of the team or organization. TSM have had their share of players with issues getting along with teammates in the past so it could happen. If it did, then it could be enough to drive him out.
Most Likely Option
Looking at all the arguments, even if some may be missed, it feels like PowerOfEvil will finally break his streak with TSM. They are working on winning for at least the next few years. That’s why PoE and SwordArt are signed through 2022. The management is ready to win, Bjerg is ready to win and the players will be too.
Playing for a historic team like TSM and one that has put together what will likely be a solid squad should be enough to keep him on the team. They have a clear plan and vision and it seems like they want PoE to be a part of it. If they break the streak, it could be possible that TSM’s third-ever mid laner, ends up staying until the end of his career.
“From Our Haus to Yours”