After one of the worst years in the history of TSM, head coach Kim “SSONG” Sang-soo is leaving the organization.
Farewell and good luck to Ssong! Read more: https://t.co/gnikRBJuWn
— TSM FTX (@TSM) October 12, 2018
TSM would release a statement, saying that even though SSONG gave his best, the past year “has resulted in both parties agreeing that TSM was not the correct fit for him”. They will now either bring in former head coach Parth “Parthenaan” Naidu. It was a pretty disappointing season for one of the most storied franchises in the NA LCS.
TSM’s 2018 Woes
These last two seasons might have been some of the worst, performance-wise for TSM. In the Spring Split, TSM would field a team of Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell, Mike “MikeYeung” Yeung and Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg. They would also add the All-Star European duo, Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodríguez. The hype for another TSM superteam was electric. Adding what people believed to be “The Best Bottom Lane in the West” to an already stacked lineup should bring results!
Unfortunately, the only results Team Solo Mid would find was mediocrity, as the team would not find any synergy together. They would place third in the regular season, only to bounce out early via Clutch Gaming. It was a surprising and disappointing result for what was supposed to be another triumphant season. The following season, the team would replace MikeYeung with NA LCS rookie, Jonathan “Grig” Armao. Again, they would end the season on a horrible note, in fifth place for the regular season. They would take third place in the playoffs with a series win over 100 Thieves but would lose to Cloud9 in the regional gauntlet.
The First Domino: Coach SSONG
It was the first time that Team Solo Mid would miss out on Worlds in its illustrious history. It was clear that the style of play TSM was running just could not compete in the new meta. As a result, the team must make some changes before the start of the next split. SSONG would give his hopes for TSM in their statement, saying:
It was a great and meaningful year working with TSM. Everyone on TSM is dedicated and unbelievably hard-working, which motivated me everyday to be a better coach as well. I will never forget my time with the players and staff. Although our results were not as satisfactory as I wished to be, I am sure all the players and staff members got stronger and closer to each other throughout our time together, so I have no doubt that they will succeed.
I am sad that I cannot work with them anymore and I cannot be part of their future success but I truly appreciate the opportunity I’ve been given. And I will, myself, cheer for them. I also want to thank Andy and Parth for giving me this unforgettable experience. It was great to work with Lustboy and all other staff members. I am always proud of the players who are absolutely talented, intelligent, and motivated and I would like to see their continuous growth and success. Lastly, I want to thank all the TSM fans out there who always have made TSM chants cheerful.
However, SSONG may not be the only change TSM makes to the team. Many fans and analysts predict that some roster changes could be in-store for 2019. One place they could improve on is their jungle position, which has been in flux the whole year. It is not clear whether or not TSM will commit to using Grig again, or if they will acquire a more experienced jungler.
What do you think of Coach SSONG parting ways with Team Solo Mid? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! If you want more NA LCS coverage, check us out here!