America's Biggest League Of Legends Team Just Imploded

America's Biggest League Of Legends Team Just Imploded

After a disappointing run at the 2015 League of Legends World Championships that ended with their elimination on Sunday night, the Team SoloMid (TSM) is quite literally falling apart. The team just revealed three of its top players are stepping down, just days after their last loss at Worlds.

In a statement posted on the TSM website (which is currently down due to the crazy traffic it was getting), the team announced that Lucas 'Santorin' Larsen, Jang-sik 'Lustboy' Ham, and Marcus 'Dyrus' Hill were all leaving. From the statement:

As Season 5 comes to a close, we announce with a heavy heart the departures of Lucas 'Santorin' Larsen, Jang-sik 'Lustboy' Ham, and Marcus 'Dyrus' Hill from our League of Legends line-up. Santorin will be stepping down from the TSM roster, while Lustboy and Dyrus will remain as streamers under TSM.

Lucas 'Santorin' Larsen and our brand are mutually parting ways. Both him and the team remain on amicable terms, and we appreciate all his hard work in the past year. TSM wishes him farewell and best of luck in his future endeavours.

We already knew about Dyrus's departure: he gave his fans a moving farewell on Saturday night following TSM's final loss in Worlds. Santorin and Lustboy's departures were totally unexpected, however. Dyrus has been with TSM from the very beginning of League's eSports scene in 2011, but the only two only joined the team very recently. Lustboy came on in the summer of 2014, and Santorin has only played for the team in the 2015 season.

The departure come almost immediately after TSM suffered a hard series of losses at the 2015 World Championship. Of the six games they played in Worlds' preliminary group stage, TSM only managed to pull off one win — against the Chinese LGD:

But even that victory wasn't particularly noteworthy. LGD turned out to be a much weaker team than most people expected it to be.

Huge upheavals in team structures are nothing new in League of Legends. The top European team Fnatic went through a similar cleansing process last year when it lost four of its five team members, forcing the team to rebuild itself almost from scratch. The transformation ended up working out pretty well for Fnatic — they dominated the European season this year and remain as a strong contender in Worlds. Two of the key players who left Fnatic also went on to create the newly-minted European team Origen, which is another solid team that's held its own at Worlds so far this year. Dramatic shake-ups can actually help a team work itself out of a rut.

TSM has certainly been in a rut as of late. While the team managed to win second place in the North American League of Legends Championship Series this year, nobody really had high expectations for them going into Worlds. Dyrus, who'd been the heart and soul of the team since 2011, had already acknowledged that he was feeling burnt out and that this was going to be his last season.

The departures leaves TSM in an ambiguous position. Three of their starting line-up for a five-man team have dropped out. They still have Bjergsen and WildTurtle, two of their star players, but the team now needs to fill three vital positions before the 2016 season officially gets underway at the beginning of next year. TSM's announcement said they're going to hold tryouts for the three vacant positions.

Whatever TSM ends up doing to reassemble itself after today's departures, the team will have to do it fast. They're already slated to play at an Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) eSports tournament in San Jose next month.

Here's TSM's full statement, which was helpfully copied by Reddit's Anionan before the team's website went down this afternoon:

As Season 5 comes to a close, we announce with a heavy heart the departures of Lucas 'Santorin' Larsen, Jang-sik 'Lustboy' Ham, and Marcus 'Dyrus' Hill from our League of Legends line-up. Santorin will be stepping down from the TSM roster, while Lustboy and Dyrus will remain as streamers under TSM.

Lucas 'Santorin' Larsen and our brand are mutually parting ways. Both him and the team remain on amicable terms, and we appreciate all his hard work in the past year. TSM wishes him farewell and best of luck in his future endeavours.

"I have enjoyed my time with TSM but we have now decided to part ways. Everyone has been nice to me and Andy has always done his best to help me out with everything. I will most likely not be playing competitive League Of Legends anymore but I will try to make full time streaming work while studying on the side." -Lucas 'Santorin' Larsen

"Santorin was a pleasure to work with. It's a real shame that things didn't work out. I wish him the best of luck for the future" -Andy 'Reginald' Dinh

Jang-sik 'Lustboy' Ham is departing from TSM as a result of his decision to retire from professional play. His retirement marks the end of a very storied career, having been a part of the dominant Azubu Blaze, and spending the last year of his career as a part of the TSM family. Lustboy has left behind very large shoes to fill, and he will be remembered fondly with his hard earned victories on TSM. Lustboy will move to an analyst position, while also helping TSM construct their 2016 roster.

"Due to shoulder injuries and being tired of playing, I decided to step down as a player but I'll still be involved with TSM helping in anyway possible. I will never forget how much fans and everyone treated me kindly, and I appreciate the opportunity given to me by TSM to prove my skills even though I was a foreigner." - Jang-sik 'Lustboy' Ham

"Lustboy joined TSM at a critical time, when we were left without a support due to unforeseen circumstances. He was rushed to join the team and was a crucial part of our 1st place finish in summer split 2014. He's been a pleasure to work with in and out of game and I hope he can continue his success for the rest of his future endeavours" - Yoonsup 'Locodoco' Choi

Last, but not least, the departure of Marcus 'Dyrus' Hill. In the last four years, Dyrus has built a legacy. This is a legacy of dominance over the North American League of Legends professional scene for the previous four seasons. Four seasons where Dyrus maintained a berth on the top of North American standings throughout his career, and became one of only two players to have attended every World Championship to date. Dyrus' achievements during his tenure within Team SoloMid have made him a legend, and his retirement marks the end of an era. Dyrus will be moving into the "TSM Retirement Home" with ex-teammate Brian 'TheOddOne' Wyllie to become a full time streamer.

"After 5 seasons of playing competitive I think it's time to give someone else the chance to play with such amazing teammates. I am burnt out and it would be unfair to keep going without the same level of motivation. I will still be under TSM and I will support them from behind the scenes. Thank you all for everything I look forward to seeing the new roster soon!" -Marcus 'Dyrus' Hill

"Thanks so much for being an awesome friend, teammate, and employee for the last 5 years. I look forward to continue working with Dyrus in supporting his transition from a player to streamer." -Andy 'Reginald' Dinh

We wish to express our gratitude to these players, all of whom have dedicated an extreme amount of time and their lives to Team SoloMid. Their contributions will have a lasting influence within the organisation, and again we wish them all fair fortunes and the best of luck.

As a result of these changes, Team SoloMid is currently holding tryouts for starters in our top, jungle, and support positions. Any candidate must have the following requirements:

Fluency in English Challenger ranking in NA, EU, KR, CN, or TW Willing to relocate to the TSM Gaming House in California, USA A positive mind set, which includes but is not limited to the following: Willingness to learn from others Competitive spirit The ability to accept criticism and be self-critical Cooperative and willing to adapt to and work within a team environment

Please send applications to [email protected] with the following format:

Name: Age: Position: Screenshot of current solo queue rank in client: Experience in competitive League of Legends: Motivation for joining:


Comments

    Poor TSM.. they are still my favorite pro team.
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    LOL, drama....I wonder will there be a reality show based on this?? (or has there already been?)

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