Although it has not been the start that the team and its fans have hoped for, Team SoloMid closed out its second week of the season with a victory over Dignitas to go 2-2. Seen as one of the most talented starting fives on paper in North American LCS history, TSM's opening losses to Counter Logic Gaming and the undefeated Immortals yesterday have left fans wondering how long it'll take for the potential on paper to turn into results on Summoner's Rift.
"I would like to improve on [our] consistency," TSM support Bora "YellOwStaR" Kim told ESPN following the win over Dignitas. "Coming [into the season], we only had a week of practice, which is a really short period. We were all coming from different backgrounds, and it wasn't easy at all because all the teams we've played on have different styles."
YellOwStaR's background ranks up there with the very best in League of Legends history, having qualified for all five world championships in the game's history. As the in-game leader of his former team Fnatic, he commanded his team to an unprecedented 2015, winning back-to-back European titles and finishing the summer regular season 18-0. Fnatic would go on to make the semifinals of the 2015 worlds, ultimately losing to the KOO Tigers in a sweep before it could reach the Summoner's Cup final.
"Seeing [Reignover and Huni] do well here makes me happy," YellOwStaR said about former Fnatic teammates Kim "Reignover" Yeu-jin and Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon, who also transferred this offseason to the NA LCS. The Fnatic trio faced off against each other on Saturday when Reignover and Huni's Immortals flew by TSM with a superior late-game to take home the win. "I'm pretty sure that if [TSM] keep working this hard, then we'll succeed. And we're aiming for the [championship], so we might hurt them in the long run."
In the past three seasons, YellOwStaR has had to adapt to a new AD carry partner in the bottom. From Pierre "Steeelback" Medjaldi to old teammate Martin "Rekkles" Larsson, the former captain of Fnatic has never had such an anticipated partnership than with his new teammate Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng. The two star players have been highlights of their past teams, but they've never had as much pressure as this season when they came together to join forces on a squad with aspirations of going deep at the next world championships.
"Even though it's only been two weeks, I really like how [Doublelift] plays the bottom lane," YellOwStaR said. "He's actually improving me as an individual player, something that I've been looking for since a long time [ago]. That's the main reason why I decided to join TSM -- because of Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg, Doublelift, and Dennis "Svenskeren" Johnsen. They're all aggressive players with all good individual [talent] level."
Currently at .500, TSM will need to play catch-up if it wants to finish with the top record in the NA LCS for the spring regular season, When asked about which squads he currently thought were in the top of the region, YellOwStaR replied: "I would say Immortals -- then I'm not sure. Immortals, TSM, and then either CLG or Team Liquid. Those would be the top four."
YellOwStaR and TSM will attempt to climb the standings next week as they face off against Cloud9 (2-2) and NRG Esports (3-1).