The rumors of former Suning support Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh going to Team SoloMid for the 2021 LCS season finally seems to become reality.
According to The Washington Post, the veteran support has signed a two-year contract with TSM worth $6 million. This contract will likely go down as the biggest contract in LCS history and seems like one of the biggest signings in the offseason.
Breaking: Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh has signed with TSM for two years and $6 million, a believed record contract for an esports player in a North American league. https://t.co/bWYVBYhUOX
— Launcher (@LauncherWP) November 26, 2020
SwordArt will join a very new TSM squad, after mid laner Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg has retired from active play and will act as the head coach going into 2021. Bot laner Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng also announced his retirement very recently, which means that it’s still unknown who SwordArt will play with down in the bot lane.
The 23-year-old support comes off a great season with Suning in the Chinese LPL. Suning played among the best teams in the summer split but increased its level even more at the 2020 World Championship. Suning went all the way to the final to everyone’s surprise, where they lost to DAMWON Gaming.
Even though SwordArt only secured a silver medal at this year’s Worlds, he proved that he should be considered one of the best supports in the world, something that TSM founder Andy “Reginald” Dinh quickly realized. Signing SwordArt has also given Reginald very high expectations for the upcoming season.
“I think the extremely large stretch goal is Worlds finals,” Reginald said to The Washington Post. “I think it would be a travesty if we don’t get to quarters.”
With a lot of expectations on his shoulders, SwordArt will be playing with former FlyQuest mid laner Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage and the young jungler Mingyi “Spica” Lu. The top position is rumored to be occupied by Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon, but it’s still unconfirmed and so is the bot lane position.
TSM will likely officially announce the signing of SwordArt very soon.
SwordArt is a 23-year-old player from Taiwan who started his career back in 2013. He got his big breakthrough on Flash Wolves, where he won several trophies and participated at the World Championship four times. In 2018, SwordArt went to the Chinese LPL team Suning.
SwordArt plays the support role, which means that he is responsible for most of the vision control on the map and protecting his carries. Supports are usually either playing utility supports that can heal or shield teammates, or plays support champions with a lot of setup and engage tools.