No TSM starting lineup has been as uncertain as the 2021 lineup heading into the offseason. With such a myriad of possibilities, it is time to do everyone’s favorite part of the offseason, roster theorycrafting. Each one of the pieces in this series will look to put together the best lineup for TSM with a given direction, who is best available and who is actually realistic to fill each spot. There will be people who love these lineups and those who hate them. Not everyone can be pleased, so keep an open mind and see if this might be a roster TSM should consider.
[Related: Theorycrafting TSM: The Go All Out Lineup]
Lineup Direction: Young Guns
This lineup has the purpose of TSM testing young talent and giving them the chance to improve on stage. It is a bit of trial by fire but all of the best like Bjergsen and Doublelift didn’t have academy to get their feet wet. What this means is that this roster will likely struggle at first but as has been seen with teams like Mad Lions, these teams can succeed when coached well. That puts a lot of pressure on Bjerg and company but he will have to do well to succeed no matter what. The hope is that this young talent will grow up and become a true force on the Worlds stage.
Top: Broken Blade
Sure the rumors are that he is already on his way out, but those are just rumors. If TSM wants to have a young team to build around, he should be one of their pieces. For starters, he will come into the season at only 21-years-old, meaning he still has time to reach his full potential. Combine this with two full years of LCS experience, already being considered one of the best top laners in the LCS, Worlds experience and only two more years until he is considered a resident and he is golden. Even with a young roster, TSM will need to have a player who knows the TSM way and someone with experience, Broken Blade checks all of the boxes.
Similarly to the previous article, TSM seem to really like Spica and, rightfully so, believe that he can grow into one of the premier jungle talents in the west. Weirdly he would be one of the “veterans” of this group and would be someone who already has synergy with some of the players on this team. No matter what team TSM build, he should be the most consistent piece.
The time of Bjergsen is sadly gone, but TSM fans need to be happy about the future. Evolved was the first pick in the 2019 Scouting Grounds Draft for a reason. He also was one of the best mid laners in academy last season, has experience playing with Spica and to top it all off, he is learning under Bjergsen. While he may need some time, Evolved could grow to be one of the best mid laners in the west and may already be near the top of NA born mid laners. TSM fans need to give this kid a chance like they did when Bjergsen filled Regi’s shoes. Look how that turned out?
This would be another hit for TSM, losing Doublelift. That said, Lost may actually be another FBI. When watching his games and looking at his stats, sure Treatz was really good, but Lost actually just popped off regularly. He ranked first in kills, had the least amount of deaths and subsequently was first in KDA. To add onto this, he was top three in CS per game and kill participation. He is still only 21 and has plenty of experience at the academy level as well as some when he was with Echo Fox on the main stage. Not to mention that he is now considered to be a resident with the dissolving of the OPL. It is time to let Lost be found (sorry) and give him a chance at the big time.
Don’t hate on the indecision here. There are some good reasons for both and trying to pick one was too hard. Plus, TSM really could go both ways here.
Treatz: At the highest level in the LCS Treatz showed that the talent was there. He was someone that TSM could use for their future team and even though the team has allowed for him to look elsewhere, it still seems like they could bring him back. If TSM were to go with Lost, having Treatz would be especially helpful as they looked great together. The biggest hit against him is that he is already 24 and would be 25 come the middle of the Spring Split. While he is not the “Youngest Gun” he would still be a solid addition to the team.
Keria: There is no doubt that Keria or truthfully any of the other young Korean supports who are free agents, could add so much value to TSM and the LCS long term. The only issue is going to be convincing them to come to North America. If they can do that and are willing to pay him, Keria could be the final piece that TSM need to make the “Young Guns”. As a reminder, he just turned 18 and already has Worlds experience.
Thoughts on the Lineup as a Whole
This is a new section for this edition of “Theorycrafting TSM”. The reason is that there is actually so much to like about this team. For starters, fan-favorite Broken Blade stays and becomes sort of the elder statement. Also, and most importantly, this team has a chance to grow together. If TSM can get them under long-term contracts they could be a squad that competes at the highest level for the next few years. This is especially true if they can add a young South Korean support like Keria. Even with Treatz, this team would still be solid.
The biggest issue, for some, will be that this roster is young but it barely uses any true NA talent. Broken Blade is from Turkey, Lost from New Zealand, Keria from South Korea and Treatz from Sweden. That said, the only player who would not have residency within the next two years would be Keria.
Even with all of that, this roster could be special. If any team can roll the dice on young talent and still be able to keep its fanbase, it should be TSM. That is to say, TSM fans, if the team decides to go down a route like this, be patient. The benefits could see TSM performing well at Worlds within two to three years and hopefully for many more after that.
“From Our Haus to Yours”