Team SoloMid has begun building its Academy roster for 2021 and has started out by adding two interesting players.
The young mid laner Rico “Swordd” Chen will be promoted to the Academy roster, after playing on TSM’s talent program. Swordd has been known as a very big individual talent and will now get to play on a bigger stage in the new 2021 Academy format.
We’re incredibly excited to announce 2 new additions to our 2021 Academy roster.
— TSM (@TSM) November 29, 2020
Babip will be joining after a great showing at Worlds, where he was arguably the best performing player on Legacy Esports. While the team didn’t qualify for the main event, Legacy surprised everyone by qualifying for the deciding best-of-five series where they lost to LGD Gaming.
Babip will now be able to join a North American team without being counted as an import after the OPL shut down earlier this year. The OCE region is now without a regional league, which means that players can now travel to North America without being affected by import rules. This has resulted in a lot of Australian players getting a chance in either the LCS or Academy in 2021.
Babip will bring some experience to the TSM Academy team, while a player like Swordd enters as a rookie with a lot of potential to learn. The young mid laner has proven himself as a big solo queue talent, and a lot of fans are hyped to finally see him on Summoner’s Rift.
Swordd will replace Jackson “Evolved” Dohan, who was a big part of TSM Academy’s success in 2020. The team placed amongst the best in both the spring and summer split and now most of the players seem to be going elsewhere.
The rest of the TSM Academy roster for 2021 is still unknown. It will likely be without bot laner Lawrence “Lost” Hui, who is currently a big contender to be the new bot laner for TSM’s LCS squad after Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng recently announced his retirement.
Babip is a talented 22-year-old jungler from Australia. He has played at the top of the OPL for several years with teams such as MAMMOTH and Legacy Esports. Babip has participated at the World Championship twice, the latest being in 2020 where he and Legacy Esports played above expectations in the play-in stage.
Babip will be going to North America for the 2021 season for the first time in his career, trying to play his way through the Academy league to earn a spot in the LCS. As of 2021, players from the OCE region won’t count as an import in North America.
TSM Academy is the secondary League of Legends team of the organization Team SoloMid. The North American organization has a spot in the best North American league LCS, while also competing in the Academy league where all the young talent is fighting to get a starting spot in the LCS. TSM Academy is historically known as one of the best, after winning the 2019 summer split and placed second in the 2020 summer split.
Swordd, formerly known as Sword, is an 18-year-old mid laner who joined TSM in January 2019 for its talent program. Swordd started out as a high-ranked player in solo queue and was quickly discovered as one of the potential upcoming stars in North America. Swordd will be debuting in the Academy league in 2021.