League of Legends

New TSM jungler reportedly leaked after Dardoch trade rumors

by Andrew Amos
Riot Games

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Team SoloMid is expected to promote Academy jungler and former starter Mingyi ‘Spica’ Lu to their LCS lineup to replace Joshua ‘Dardoch’ Hartnett after rumors of the veteran’s departure were sparked after a leaked phone call on Doublelift’s stream.

Team SoloMid’s roster for LCS Summer 2020 is expected to shift again. With Kasper ‘Kobbe’ Kobberup returning to Europe after just one split with the veteran organization, newly-recruited jungler Dardoch could be walking the same path.

After speculation about the jungler’s future on the line-up, it seems like TSM are looking at moving forward in 2020 with an old face they brought on to try and salvage their 2019 season.

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A private group chat involving members of TSM management and the four other starters of their LCS lineup was leaked on Biofrost’s stream on May 13. The fifth member in that chat wasn’t Dardoch, but rather Spica, fuelling rumors about the duo’s swap heading into Summer.

Dardoch is only six months into a two-year contract with TSM, with the jungler brought on to ensure long-term success for the team after an almost three-year title drought.

Twitch: Biofrostlol
A screencap from Biofrost's stream indicates Dardoch's out, and Spica's in.

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However, a leaked phone call from TSM President of Esports Leena Xu claimed that “no one wants to pick up Dardoch,” suggesting they wanted to offload him to another LCS team

His supposed replacement Spica started for TSM 11 times during their 2019 LCS campaign. He came on to replace Matt ‘Akaadian’ Higginbotham and Jonathan 'Grig' Armao as the six-time NA champions struggled to find synergy in the jungle.

He wasn’t able to navigate TSM to Worlds in his rookie split, falling at the final hurdle against Clutch Gaming who ran the gauntlet to take North America’s third seed in Europe. However, his performances showed some promise.

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Spica was promoted by TSM to their LCS roster late in their 2019 campaign too.

Yet again he’s being brought up to try and steer TSM’s ship back onto the course, but this time, the change isn’t mid split. With Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng also swapping allegiances, TSM are looking to turn their Spring performance around with these roster shuffles.

TSM are yet to confirm publicly Spica's promotion to the LCS line-up. It’s also unclear what Dardoch’s future holds. He could fill Spica’s spot on Academy, or he could replace another LCS jungle. LCS Summer Split kicks off on June 13.