TSM has signed ex-Suning Gaming support Hu ‘SwordArt’ Shuo-Chieh for their League of Legends roster ahead of the 2021 Spring Split in what appears to be the largest esports deal in the region.
The $6 million contract is going to span over two years and seemingly make the player the highest-paid esports athlete in North America.
“My investment thesis is that teams that win build dollars down the road … teams that create a legacy and a large fan base and consistency of winning,” stated the founder of TSM Andy ‘Reginald’ Dinh to the Washington Post.
SwordArt’s signing comes after a strong individual performance at the 2020 Season World Championship, where he was a key component in Suning’s great run to the finals of the tournament, surpassing everyone’s expectations.
The North American organization has signed Shuo-Chieh to replace Vincent ‘Biofrost’ Wang, whose future remains uncertain.
Six-time regional champion. 2020 Worlds finalist. We’ve faced him on the rift before, but now it’s time for him to lead us to victory.
Welcome to TSM, SwordArt 🤝 (Pending Riot approval) pic.twitter.com/kQn1LcP8Rk
— TSM (@TSM) November 26, 2020
The 23-year old has been a professional player since 2012 and is most known for his time playing for Flash Wolves in the LMS until late 2018 when he signed to Suning Gaming in the Chinese LPL.
Champions of the LCS Summer Split 2020, TSM underperformed in their last appearance at Worlds, joining the tournament as champions of their respective region, they failed to win a single game in the competition.
This is one of the first steps in the rebuilding of TSM, which in recent weeks has been experiencing a rebuild — with franchise player Søren ‘Bjergsen’ Bjerg and legendary ADC Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng recently retiring from professional League of Legends.
TSM’s rebuild comes after a disappointing performance at Worlds.
Tristan ‘PowerOfEvil’ Schrage was recently announced as Bjergsen’s replacement but so far there has not been an official statement regarding the new ADC or Top Laner after Sergen ‘Broken Blade‘ Çelik departed for FC Schalke 04 in the LEC.
There is a lot of excitement for who TSM is going to sign next, especially after their stated aim to reach the finals of Worlds.