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Stats compiled by: Caymus

Graphics by Ling Gu

All statistics were gathered independently or pulled from oracleselixir.com

 

The offseason roster shuffle continues as TSM has revealed their lineup for the upcoming IEM San Jose. Announced Via Twitter, the newest rendition of the LoL squad plays host to a mix of NA and EU LCS Stars. With a fresh mindset and winning the only goal, the teams premiere on the IEM stage will serve as a trial period for the newest members of TSM. Announcement video and tweet:

 

 

 

Team SoloMid Roster IEM San Jose

 

TSM Roster

 

 

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After several weeks of declining performances, Andy “Reginald” Dinh will take the reigns as head coach of Team SoloMid.

With the Airing of TSM: Legends Episode 21 on July 17th, we were given a behind the scenes look at and the teams coaching structure. That same day, Reginald took to twitter to express his thoughts on the current state of the team.

Bjergsen

Right now Loco is having a difficult time keeping the conversations productive,””Multiple players have expressed that they’re not confident with giving Loco complete authority.

Starting Monday I will be stepping in as head coach and I’ll be leading discussions within the team in a productive manner. (I won’t be on stage.)

 

In a second post, Reginald addressed the initial reaction from the community, confirming that locodoco will remain with the team.

“Even though Loco has made some mistakes with coaching TSM, he’s actively trying to fix his issues and become a better coach.

“Everyone on the team is working towards one goal, improving. I believe Loco will learn from this experience and he’ll be a better coach for it in the future.”

Sitting at 9-6 currently, Team SoloMid plays against Team Dignitas on Sunday, July 19th to round out their week 8 in a tiebreaker match for 6th place.

Heading into MSI what was your preparation like heading into the event? What were your expectations beforehand and did you feel confident that you could perform on an international stage?

We prepared like we did for playoffs in the NA LCS, but keeping in mind the meta in the other regions and what they’re likely to play. I don’t think we ended up having the best grasp on the Meta though, and we didn’t have enough time to adapt after playing all the international teams in scrims. I had pretty low expectations since I try to avoid having high hopes and disappointing myself, but I did have confidence that we could potentially do well.

After playing in scrims I felt pretty confident in my own individual play compared to the other mids in the tournament, I don’t think it was lacking. Our mid pool was very safe and independent of help, so it might not have looked like I had a lot of pressure/control in the matches.

 

Looking back, would you have done anything differently at MSI? What are your thoughts on your own performance?

For me personally I would have put a lot more practice into Leblanc and Azir as those were power picks that patch but we didn’t pick up on them in time. Azir is a champion that requires a ton of practice, and we thought we would be able to efficiently counter LeBlanc, but it’s very difficult considering her power level on that match. I think my individual performance was fine, I played pretty consistent in all laning phases but I also didn’t play champions with high kill pressure. Unfortunately I didn’t get to show much later in the game since we fell apart early in every match.

 

What are your thoughts on the MSI Finals? Did you expect EDG to win? 

I thought the final could go either way but SKT would take it in the end, was pleasantly surprised seeing EDG counter Fakers Leblanc and win the final game, definitely deserved!

 

What did you learn most from the event? 

Mostly to respect other regions and their meta/picks. Other teams had heavy focus on top lane and there were a couple of meta picks we didn’t pick up on before the tournament. It’s important to stay on top of the meta and play what is strongest if you want to compete internationally.

 

It always gets asked, but I have to: What was it like laning against Faker?

Laning against Faker on stage was a cool experience. I was nervous in the early game but he made a couple mistakes that let me get pressure and blow his summoners. I feel like they may have underestimated us and therefore he was going for aggressive trades that he normally wouldn’t have, which ended up getting punished.

 

How has your play changed since joining TSM? What do you believe you have improved on most?

When I joined TSM I played mostly assassins and some Orianna, but my Orianna was not near the level of the rest of my assassin champion pool. Since joining TSM I can play more playstyles and a bigger variety of champions. I also learned how to translate my own lead in lane to snowballing other lanes and winning the game, instead of trying to get more kills or a bigger cs lead.

 

How much impact does the mid laner have on the game and what should their primary focus or role be? 

Mid lane has a lot of impact on the game, since if you lose control of mid, their mid can move first to every skirmish or fight around the map. Also when you lose mid tower you lose a lot of control, and they can freely move into your jungle without being spotted by the first mid turret. The primary role or focus changes depending on what champions you play. You can go play assassin/split pushers, poke champions, team fight or supportive champions, the mid lane is very versatile in terms of its role.

 

How are you enjoying the current Meta? What changes, if any, would you make to the game right now?

I don’t mind the current meta, though it saddens me a little to see assassins falling out. Mid lane is mostly about fulfilling a poke or team fighting role depending on your team’s needs.

 

Who do you see occupying the top 3 spots before playoffs? Do you believe NA is a contender for the World Championship title, more specifically TSM?

I think the top 3 in NA by the end of the split will be us, Gravity and Team Liquid in any order. Gravity has really shown up this split and shown they can be strong, and Liquid is extremely solid. NA is looking slightly weak as a region but hopefully the top teams can pick it up with a bootcamp before worlds. With the right mindset I believe any of us can catch up with a month or two of boot camping.

 

Are there any champions outside of the Meta you would like to see in competitive play? Who is your  favorite champion in Solo queue right now?

Even though he can be situationally viable I love playing yasuo and wish he would be a more competitive pick. He has such a high skillcap and outplay ability and is a champion you never stop improving on. Also the likes of Riven mid, miss those times.

 

Shoutouts?

Shoutout to all the fans for supporting us, especially after the fiasco at MSI, we’ll do better in the future! Also thanks for all our sponsors and TSM for giving me the opportunity to be here. I’m living the dream.

 


Tim Kimbirk is a Journalist and content creator for TSM. You can find him in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about eSports.

Bjergsen

 

How was travelling between so many countries? Where was your favorite? Was it difficult adjusting to jet lag?

Bjergsen: Travelling between so many countries was something I really enjoyed, it was awesome to see so many different cultures and try a lot of different foods. My favorite was probably Korea, since it was the one we got to experience the most outside of practice times. I think fighting jetlag should only take a couple days as long as  you try to keep a healthy schedule and don’t stay up for too long. You just need to make sure you resist taking naps, it can be difficult!

 

What was boot camp like? Of all of the teams you scrimmed, who do you feel was the strongest? What did you learn most from scrims?

Bjergsen:  Boot camping was a different experience. I’ve only really had one boot camp in my life with NiP before. I think in boot camps, you figure out a lot of team problems that need to be fixed because you’re constantly practicing in a high pressure environment where all emotions come out. We definitely had some things come up, but I think we got a good hold of them which made us a better team after the boot camp was over. Of all the teams we played Samsung White was definitely the hardest, the first time we played against them we got completely stomped, but slowly worked our way up to actually contest and take games from them in scrims. The thing I learned the most is to give back to my teammates, and use my advantage to help build their advantage. If I start winning my lane I know a lot more about the options I can do to help snowball the overall team and winning the game.

 

Who was the strongest mid laner you faced during scrims?

Bjergsen: I think Faker and Pawn both played exceptionally well and had very little mistakes when I played them. They both know their limits very well and push them as far as they can, that’s what makes a great player.

 

Who was the toughest opponent you played during group stages? Did any team at the tournament surprise you?

Bjergsen:  The toughest opponent was definitely Royal Club which also shows since they made it into the final. Royal has a very distinct play style and we played right into their strengths the first game which made us basically unable to win since they play that style so well. I think if anything the biggest surprise was how handedly OMG beat Najin White Shield, I was not expecting them to get a clean sweep, nor do I think anyone did.

 

What was your mindset headed into the quarterfinals? There was a lot of talk about the importance of believing you can defeat your opponent and how it can affect you mentally if you don’t think you are capable. Did you believe you could win? What went wrong?

Bjergsen:  It’s a difficult thing to say, I do believe we had a good shot at making it all the way to the finals this year with the way the brackets worked out. But obviously we failed to deliver and I can’t blame that on anyone else than us.

Reginald and Locodoco kept making sure that we all believed we had a chance at winning, no matter how small it was. I definitely agree if we didn’t believe we at least had a chance at winning there was no way we were going to win. I think everyone in the team knew they were the better team, but we still had ways to beat them, and we could still show up big on the day. I personally believed we could win, and I think for the most part my teammates believed we had a chance as well.  

 

What is your overall impression of the tournament so far?

Bjergsen: I think the way Riot has handled the tournament and the players has been really good and I very much enjoyed finally being a part of Worlds. I was also very happy that the wildcard teams ended up having such a big impact, even though it was to my good friends in Alliance. It really shows that you can’t just expect a win against these wildcard teams, they can take you on any given day.  

 

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned from playing internationally?

Bjergsen:  The biggest thing I’ve learned is how to be able to work together as a team and how to play for the benefit of the team. One player shouldn’t have to perform extraordinarily to win, everyone just has to have a solid performance and everyone helps each other out to have a solid performance. It’s a team game and Samsung White really shows that; they win together.  

 

Amazing recently stepped down from the starting lineup. What are your thoughts on his departure? Moving forward, what are you most looking for in finding a replacement? What do you think most fits your and the team’s needs?

Bjergsen: Of course I’m really sad Amazing decided to leave the team. I shared rooms in the hotel and housing with him through the entire boot camp and he became a good friend of mine in the team. I do understand all his reasons for leaving and I can’t be upset at him, I hope he finds a place where he’ll be happy and has an escape from League every once in a while.

The main things we are looking for in a jungler would be mechanical skill, communication and work ethic. Obviously it’s really important to have good mechanical skill as a jungler for champions like Lee Sin, etc. Communication as a jungler is very important since you have to be in a dialogue with all 3 lanes at the same time to know where to be and what to do next. Work ethic is a global thing you would want from every member in the team, but it’s very important to me. It’s important the player is motivated and willing to constantly improve through solo queue and replays.

 

Prediction for the Finals?

Bjergsen:  I have to go with White, they’re an amazing team and will likely 3-0 Royal if they do their research.

 

Solomid would like to thank our fans and sponsors for supporting us. Shout out to Alienware, Logitech, and HyperX.


About the author: Tim Kimbirk is an eSports Journalist and writer with Solomid. Stay up to date on the latest interviews and features by following on twitter: @CaymusNoL

 

Interview with Bjergsen Banner

 

This is your second split with TSM. What has been your favorite moment with the team so far?

Bjergsen: I think some of my favorite moments are when we net a really important victory against top teams like C9/CLG. The atmosphere in the team is great, everyone is happy and feel like we achieved a common goal. Always a great time catching dinner with the team after a hard fought game.

 

How do you stay focused in the midst of multiple roster changes and periods of less than optimal performance?

Bjergsen: If anything I feel like everyone gets more motivated once there is a roster change. Everyone feels the pressure and want to show they deserve to be on the team and wanna set a good example for the newcomer. For the hard times, again, I think it’s just a big motivation boost for everyone to improve as fast as possible. We all want to be the best, and we all want to win. If we don’t succeed it means we didn’t do a good enough job, and we all work hard to change that.

 

It seems that when you are on fire, so is the rest of the team. Is this just a result of all the gears working together? Do you feel pressure to carry games, or does it come naturally as the team performs as a unit?

Bjergsen: Mid lane champions usually have a lot of control over the game, especially if ahead. I’m also the primary shotcaller so it’s easy for me to communicate what I need to snowball and carry the game. If we are in a period of losing a lot I tend to return to champions where I’m more independant and feel like I can affect the game more as a single player, but that’s not always the best way to play the game. We just all need to trust each and each others abillities to do their job.

 

How has it been playing with Amazing in the jungle?

Bjergsen: I really enjoy playing with Amazing, he’s probably the jungler with the most raw skill I have been in a team with. Raw skill mainly being great mechanics and early game desicion making. He loves making aggressive plays and playing strong champions that can impact the game from the get-go. I really admire that style since it’s one I like myself, so we mesh very well.

 

You lost to LMQ and Cloud 9 in week 11, both teams you will potentially need to beat in the playoffs. What do you feel was most lacking? What do you think has been the biggest issue in facing these teams throughout the split? Do you think you will be ready for them when playoffs roll around?

Bjergsen: I think our biggest issue was working on a lot of problems we had going into the week and then forgetting our basics and just what we were already good at. We lost games the way I haven’t seen TSM lose games in a while, we got outplayed from the early game and laning phase and lost the games from there. It’s hard to say what were our problems vs them during the split. I don’t think they had some kind of great counter to our gameplan, we had issues as a team and LMQ played extremely solid every time we faced them.

Curse. They seem to be doing incredibly well lately, and they are 8-1 in their last 9 matches against top teams. What do you think it is about Curse that causes them to do so well against top teams and suffer a bit against lower ranked teams? How big of a threat are they in playoffs?

Curse is a wildcard team, they have good pick and bans and a lot of pocket picks, you never know what they will play. I think they are a really interesting team that people may have been underestimating some games during the season. I always thought it was just a matter of time before Curse started performing since they had been doing well in scrims since the beginning of the split, they are gonna be a force at playoffs. Their games are definitely gonna be exciting to watch!

 

Going into playoffs, what do you hope to improve the most individually? As a team?

Bjergsen: Individually I just wanna further improve my shotcalling and plays in high pressure situations such as important teamfights/gamebreaking picks. Both things also come with comfortabillity in champions since it’s a lot easier to focus on everything else if you have 100% control over your champion and you need to put in little thought to actually play your champion. We have a lot of things to work on as a team, I just think we need to be more conscious about every desicion we make in scrims so we can replicate it better in the LCS. We lost very little scrims and felt confident going into superweek, but were unable to replicate the same plays we made in scrims. So personally I would like to work on making every decision conscious and make sure very little things happen out of the blue.

 

You had a rough time with Dignitas during the regular season and pulled off a close win against them in week 11.  Do you expect it to be a close matchup in the quarterfinals?

Bjergsen: Dignitas is an interesting team to play against. We have two games during the season where we either had a bad pick/ban or a bad approach to how to play our teamcomp. I think we are at least better at those things now, and overall better as a team than we were in the middle of the season. It’s definitely gonna be close games vs Dignitas, but if we can get productive practice going into playoffs I’ll feel confident going into the match.

 

TSM included, do you think an NA team can improve to the point of being title contenders at worlds? Is NA still playing catch up with other regions?

Bjergsen: I think there is a chance an NA team can win worlds, but to be frank it’s very slim. The Korean teams are looking stronger than ever, but I do believe all a team needs is a patch that fits them and good practice going in and even a western team can win worlds. I wouldn’t say NA is behind all the others regions, I think NA/EU are very close right now, and I can’t wait to watch the top teams from each region play each other at worlds. I think the SEA and Chinese teams are wildcards, since they have their own kinda meta and have different priorities.

 

What are your thoughts on CLG going to Korea to bootcamp? Do you think it will have a noticeable impact on their game? How strong do you expect them to be when they return?

Bjergsen: I think under the circumstances CLG’s choice was smart and probably the best thing they could do. I really don’t know how much it will impact their gameplay. They could come back as the best team in NA, or they could come back still trying to adjust to the way the Korean plays, and not finding their place yet.

 

You are known for your assassin play, though we haven’t gotten to see much of it lately. Do you expect to see assassins making a comeback with the most recent changes?

Bjergsen: Assassins are definitely a lot better now than they were earlier in the season, and you might see me playing some. I can’t tell you too much but I guess time will tell!

 

Orianna is a champion who seems to thrive regardless of whatever the meta may be. We have seen you play her a bit, how important is it to have her in your arsenal?

Bjergsen: Orianna is just a great solid pick, it’s a champ you can pick in pretty much every situation and she’ll do great in your team comp. Just a solid pick that’s very versatile which is why she’s so popular. Also a great blind pick champions since she has little to no counters.

 

Without giving anything away, do you think we’ll see any surprise or pocket picks looking into playoffs and potentially worlds? 

Bjergsen: Haha, we might. I see a lot of pros picking up different kinds of champions in soloQ. Could be a lot of surprises with the new patches!

 

Who would you play if you were allowed to pick anyone for one match?

Bjergsen: If the situation is just right, I think the fans would love to see the return of Zed. Every time I stream I’m constantly getting asked to play him. There’s nothing I love more than making my fans happy, so I would probably go with Zed!

 


About the author: Tim Kimbirk is an eSports Journalist and writer with Solomid. Stay up to date on the latest interviews and features by following on twitter: @CaymusNoL