TSM FTX have finalized their roster for the 2022 competitive LoL season and, well, it’s not what people had expected. We’re talking about a very different line-up than the ones we’ve seen from TSM in the past. Whether that’s a good or bad thing still remains to be seen, but it’s definitely a breath of fresh air. It’s also a pretty big gamble and things could, by all means, go awry in a wide variety of different ways.
The folks in charge are confident, but it’s hard to discern whether that’s just standard PR or, conversely, genuine excitement for what’s to come. We know for a fact that TSM has money to spare, so they could’ve gone for basically any free agent on the market. The ones they’ve ended up with weren’t anyone’s first choice (to put it mildly), but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as these signings show intent.
These are the players that, to TSM, stood out the most and are worthy of the starting spot on the LoL roster for the 2022 season. They might not be household names but have nonetheless shown great promise and could, potentially, make a name for themselves on the biggest stage in North America.
We have our doubts (most of which are well-founded) but are nonetheless intrigued to see how this whole experiment will pan out. It’s still hard to envision a world in which these five players trade blows with the likes of Team Liquid, 100 Thieves, and Evil Geniuses, but they could very well surprise us further down the line. After all, it’s hard to talk about their potential as we’ve yet to see them play.
TSM FTX | Starting 2022 Roster
The following five players will all compete under the TSM FTX banner for the 2022 competitive season:
Top Lane: Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon
Jungle: Mingyi “Spica” Lu
Mid Lane: Zhu “Keaiduo” Xiong [formerly of TT Young]
AD Carry: Edward “Tactical” Ra [formerly of Team Liquid]
Support: Wei “Shenyi” Zi-Jie [former FunPlus Phoenix substitute]
Head coach Wong “Chawy” Xing Lei obviously had a lot of input when it came to assembling this peculiar roster and even though we believe in Chawy’s judgment — he’s Chawy, after all — it’s nonetheless hard to shake off this lingering doubt and fully board the hype train.
Shenyi has shown a fair bit of promise during his stint with FunPlus but he’s by no means a known quantity and a player who’s guaranteed to deliver — something that TSM will need if they want to stand a chance at ascending the LCS throne. As for Keaiduo, he’s a complete unknown. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but fans rightfully expected a more seasoned player to fill in the mid-lane void.
Who exactly is going to lead this team to victory? Who’s going to shotcall, make the game-winning play, keep them together once the going gets rough? There’s a seemingly endless number of obstacles that this peculiar TSM FTX LoL roster will have to face come 2022 and, frankly, we’re not fully convinced they’ll be able to “weather the storm.” They have a shot, but it’s not a particularly impressive one.
“Communication will be the first issue we’ll tackle. We made sure that the communication between the mid, jungle, and support will be smooth. Spica also speaks both Mandarin and English fluently, so he’ll be able to communicate with the whole team,” said Chawy in an official video. That’s a solid start, but by no means is it a guarantee that things will pan out. There’s still a language barrier and putting too big of a burden on Spica might affect his play.
On the one hand, we’re very happy that TSM have opted to take the road less traveled as this is an experiment that could potentially yield great things further down the line. On the other hand, one could argue that the risk far outweighs the reward.
No one knows what to expect from this particular line-up, so we’ll do the mature thing and reserve judgment until we see these players in action. That’s a common courtesy, and unfortunately, a scarce occurrence in our community. Jumping to conclusions is the easiest thing to do and should be avoided at all costs.
What we can say with confidence is that having Huni, Spica, and Tactical means they’ll be more than capable enough to trade blows with the who’s who of the LCS. Whether they’ll “live to tell the tale” is up for debate. Be that as it may, TSM will at least have a solid three-man core in their 2022 LoL roster, and if Keaiduo and Shenyi can get on the same page with the rest of the team and deliver, the boys in black and white might stand a chance against the LCS pantheon.
In the meantime, it’s impossible to consider them as anything more than a solid mid-tier contender who’s going to challenge for a spot in the playoffs and not much else. TSM have embarked on a marathon, and failing to leave a mark in the short-term is neither their goal nor a priority — and fans should be aware of that as well.