Dyrus' Farewell and TSM's Big Question
It's no secret, by now, that Marcus “Dyrus” Hill (23) has decided to retire from competitive League Of Legends. This eSports powerhouse has one of the most impressive records in the competitive League of Legends scene with 5 world championship appearances and 6 NA LCS finals under his belt. He has been a pillar that Team SoloMid could lean on ever since he replaced TheRainMan back in 2012. From his season 3 Renekton, with an unbelievable 87.5% win rate over 8 games, to his incredible season 4 Shyvana, Dyrus was a consistent performer for a very consistent team.
Due to everything that Dyrus brought to eSports, it was heartbreaking to see him tear up while apologizing to his fans for letting them down after being eliminated from the 2015 World Championship.
Dyrus is, in my opinion, an incredible player, and while yes, the team has been under performing in the last few months, it doesn’t detract from his legacy. The team as a whole is clearly having some internal problems which were beyond his control.This was clear to everyone as the once mighty team finished the NA LCS summer split in 5th place with a 5-2 standing, TSM's worst regular season finish in the history of the organization.
Their AD carry, WildTurlte, was terribly out of form, and being replaced by KEITHMCBRIEF for a while didn't seem to help. Moreover, the team kept putting Dyrus on tank top laners, even though many carry top laners were in the meta: Riven, Hecarim, Rumble and more. However, despite all of my doubts, TSM managed to pull out two consecutive wins over Gravity Gaming and Team Liquid to secure their place at the 2015 World Championship before crashing into the brick wall of CLG's ZionSpartan and DoubleLift, who made TSM look more like "FREESM", losing 0-3 to their rivals.
Dyrus was one of the first professional eSports players. He inspired an entire generation of players, analysts and writers, including myself, to work in eSports and help improve and develop our community. I think I speak for every one of his fans when I say, “Thank you. Thank you for everything and we all wish you the best in your next chapter, whatever it may be.”
However, Dyrus' retirement does pose a huge question for TSM. Who will replace him in the top lane? Will it be Flame? ZionSpartan? Or will TSM find new blood to reinforce the extremely talented lineup? While in his recent AMA on Reddit, Dyrus did reveal a list of top laners that he would love to see replace him (ZionSpartan, Hauntzer, Flame, Cabochard, Trace, Marin, Ssumday, Huni, Impact, Soaz and Ziv), most of these players are pretty unrealistic replacements, but there are three that definitely stand out as potential candidates for the role.
Flame is the first of these three players, and also the most likely player in my opinion, to potentially join TSM in place of Dyrus. He has seen great success in teams like Azubu Blaze and Cj Entus Blaze and is currently playing for LGD Gaming. Even though LGD has done pretty well over in China, finishing 1st in the LPL with their victories over Edward Gaming and Qiao Gu, they had a very underwhelming World Championship performance. Due to that and also the fact that he is only being utilised as a substitute, I think Flame does have a reason to leave his current team. Furthermore, it is also well known that the player keeps in close contact with Locodoco, who is currently in the position of a coach at TSM. I would honestly not be surprised to see this talented Korean player be imported to help the team out. In addition to being able to take the weight off Bjergsen's shoulders in terms of having to carry games, he would also provide an adequate replacement for a legendary player like Dyrus.
Darshan "ZionSpartan" Upadhyaha has, this summer split, very much emulated what Dyrus has done for TSM in the past seasons, with some very impressive mechanics and outplays in the top lane. He is a very carry-oriented top laner, which I think is much needed on TSM. With CLG having a pretty bad run at the World Championship this year and ZionSpartan being the one outstanding performer for the team, he might be looking for a fresh start with a different organisation and this TSM roster rehaul might be just the right opportunity for him to do that.
Last but definitely not least, Cabochard. This is arguably one of the best top laners to come out of EUW in a long time. He has had some amazing games on unconventional champions like Yasuo and Jax and has repeatedly been able to secure his team victories even when they fell behind. I would honestly go as far as saying he is in a league of his own when compared to the rest of his team, Gambit Gaming. He heavily favours champions like Fizz to help him carry games, which would once again be perfect for TSM. Gambit Gaming haven't looked very good for a long time now. With two years of finishing in the 4th spot or worse in the EU LCS, it might be a time for a roster change for this famed team and an opportunity for this player to move over to the North American scene.