Olivia R. November 20, 2020
League of Legends veteran Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng is thinking of leaving TSM if the team doesn't successfully acquire support player Hu "SwordArt" Shuo-Jie.
According to a report from ESPN writer Jacob Wolf, Doublelift is contemplating leaving the North American team if it doesn't sign a "top foreign support." This could be SwordArt, Doublelift said, or another quality international support player.
TSM was first reported to be signing SwordArt on November 16. It was rumored to be a $3 million contract.
Will SwordArt join TSM's 2021 roster?
The original report by Esportmaniacos stated that TSM's signing of the Suning player may fall through due to payment and immigration problems. Wolf explained that the absence of a tax treaty between the United States and China could potentially double the tax on SwordArt's salary.
SwordArt played at Flash Wolves from 2013 to 2018. He then played for Suning, becoming quite well known for his impressive run at the 2020 World Championship. It's no wonder SwordArt also seemed to gain the attention of Doublelift.
If SwordArt doesn't end up joining the roster, TSM may also lose Doublelift. Without Doublelift, it's unclear if TSM will also be able to sign Seung-hoon "Huni" Heo as the team's new top laner to replace Sergen "BrokenBlade" Çelik.
"This leaves both teams in an awkward spot. Evil Geniuses still have Huni, plus a verbal agreement with Impact," Wolf explained. "But no AD carry and limited North American and Oceanic options. Meanwhile, TSM may not have top laner, no support, and may have to use Lost as their starting ADC."
If the SwordArt signing fell through and Doublelift chose to leave the team, possibly even retiring, TSM's prospective roster would be in tremendous flux. There may be few options available for the team at that point, as many top free agents have already signed with other teams around the world.
TSM was set for changes after a disasterous 0-6 run at the 2020 World Championship, and it now seems that its offseason is equally in peril.
TSM fans are nervously waiting to see what happens to TSM heading into the 2021 LCS season.