Worlds finalist Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh, has officially left TSM after one year of playing for the North American organization. SwordArt’s signing made headlines in 2020 when he signed a staggering six million dollar deal for two years of play in the LCS. His departure follows that of Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg from the organization, ushering in a new age for the North American titan.
SwordArt made his name in League of Legends on the LCK-slaying team Flash Wolves from Taipai’s LMS, first striking the world stage in 2013 on Gamania Bears, it was in 2015 onwards that SwordArt would begin to make himself a staple of the LMS. SwordArt remained as one of the premiere supports in the LMS until late 2018, when he would make the jump to China as a part of Suning Gaming. Suning 2019 was unremarkable, but 2020 was the year that would cement SwordArt’s legacy. Placing third in the summer split before making a finals run to defeat LGD in the regional finals, Suning rocketed all the way to the World Championship’s finals. Unfortunately, Suning would meet defeat 1:3 at the hands of DAMWON Gaming.
This performance put SwordArt front and center in the eyes of the international League of Legends scene, and it was TSM that snapped up the opportunity to sign the star support. The price of acquiring SwordArt alone was enough to make fans’ eyes water, with the contract coming in at a reported six million dollars for two years, previously unheard of in the LCS. With SwordArt and Bjergsen both leaving, and reports of more players departing before 2022 play begins, the landscape of TSM is the most uncertain it has been in a long time. The LCS is getting its biggest shakeup in years, and SwordArt’s departure seems to just be the first step.