This morning the Team SoloMid League of Legends team left for a bootcamp ahead of this week’s big IEM tournament in San Jose, and the roster they’re doing it with looks a whole lot different than the 2016 edition of the team.
Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg is the only returning member. He’ll be flanked by a roster of English-speaking players in San Jose—and potentially beyond.
Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell will man the top lane and Raymond “KaSing” Tsang will take support, confirming a report by the Daily Dot last week. He joins Peter “Doublelift” Peng, who joined Team SoloMid in one of the highest profile transfers in League of Legends history on Oct. 31. Manning the jungler is Danish import Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen, a former teammate of Bjerg’s in Europe, who joined the team last week after a public spat with H2k Gaming.
The roster is a complete rebuilding of a team that’s at least maintained some consistency over the past couple of years.
KaSing and Svenskeren were both star players in Europe in 2016, though Svenskeren’s year ended abruptly in relegation after a rocky Summer with SK Gaming. KaSing helped lead H2k Gaming to a successful inaugural LCS campaign, reaching the Riot World Championships as Europe’s third seed.
The dark horse pickup, though, is Hauntzer, an American top laner with big shoes to fill after Marcus “Dyrus” Hill’s retirement. The former top laner for Gravity Gaming is the only player on the roster who has not received priase as likely the best talent on their successful teams, but that may be because his squad didn’t use him in a leading role. With Gravity Gaming he was one of the most solid and consistent players on a successful team, something that should be a boon for Team SoloMid at IEM San Jose and beyond.
“The reason we decided to go with Hauntzer is that he’s really flexible and I feel that flexibility is really important,” Andy “Reginald” Dinh, the Team SoloMid owner, said. After a Riot World Championships where we saw the top lane role really shine, fans will expect a lot from Hauntzer in 2016.
The new top laner and support player are on the roster on trial basis at IEM San Jose, though it seems very likely they’ll continue wearing Team SoloMid’s black and white during the League Championship Series in 2016. Whatever the case, watching the new Team SoloMid and seeing how a team full of stars performs together on the Rift will be one of the most exciting things about this week’s tournament.