After having spent one season in North America, Chinese mid laner Zhu “Keaiduo” Xiong will be parting ways with TSM’s League of Legends team. He will, however, be staying with the team due to the recent rise of COVID-19 cases in China. Until it is safe, he will continue his training while also receiving pay and housing, TSM announced.
The prospect leaves TSM following one of the most tumultuous splits in the organization’s history. After a disappointing 2021, TSM opted to go in a new direction with its LCS lineup, signing two unproven, rookie players from China’s developmental league. Both players hadn’t played in the LPL or any other major league before and were extremely raw talents that would need plenty of nurturing to succeed.
Unfortunately for TSM fans, the team ran into multiple issues throughout the spring. They were getting outplayed by almost every opponent and were struggling with communication issues on and off Summoner’s Rift. Shenyi, for example, was benched after the second week of the 2022 LCS Spring Split due to an incident where he displayed “negative and disrespectful” actions toward his coaches after he locked in a champion without talking to his teammates.
A few weeks later, the staff swapped the two players, sending Keaiduo to the Academy team to give him “more time to train in a less stressful environment.” After experimenting with a handful of different roster variants, the squad was left fumbling for consistency and success on-stage. The split was officially a lost cause and TSM ended in last place for the first time since the org debuted in the LCS back in 2013.
Looking ahead, TSM might field a veteran in the mid lane once again by reportedly signing former Flash Wolves and PSG Talon mid laner Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang. Sources have also linked the org to former Estral Esports support Choi “Mia” Sang-in, who would replace Shenyi in the starting roster.