16th August, 2018

The Rise Of TSM: The World's Most Popular eSports Team

It’s no secret that TSM has consistently been the top-rated team across the US – but perhaps what you didn’t know is that the team has spread out beyond League of Legends. In fact, they’re dominating the e-sports scene from every kind of game from Fornite to Smite!
Keep reading, because we’re about to tell you how the team that started off making player guides became a titan of the gaming industry!

The Founding of TSM

tsm reginald ceo

 Andy “Reginald” Dinh founded team SoloMid in 2009, a normal player like you or I, who ran a small, community-based guide website. It wasn’t long before Reginald put together a crack squad of players and they saw the first shimmer of success.

He didn’t do this without prior experience though, as in the past he was part of the team “All or Nothing.” Unfortunately, due to a dispute with his brother over what the team's playstyle should be, they fell apart. Since then, many players have dubbed Reginald “Rageinald” as he’s been caught losing his temper on camera multiple times.

Reginald has come far from his humble beginnings, and at one point or another has had his fingers in every pie there is; manager, player, coach, salesman, public relations representative. You name it and he’s probably done it. These days he takes more of a back seat, but that’s not stopped his team from qualifying for all World Championships – a feat never seen by any other team in League of Legends’ history!

TSM might be one of the most well-known e-sports teams to date, but it’s important to focus on what pushed them from mediocre, to epic; It wasn’t until they took on a new top laner in Season two that their real potential began to come through.

Team SoloMid's Golden Age

TSM dream team

Team SoloMid had performed reasonably well in the 1st World Championships, but the team fell into stagnation. Players weren’t performing as well as they could, tensions were high, and many fans pointed the finger at “The Rain Man.”

He was seen as too passive compared to the rest of the team, believing the best way to win was to focus on not losing. This turned out disastrously for him, as after Dyrus replaced him, he hasn’t been in a serious competitive match since.

Dyrus brought much more to the team than his skill as a top laner – which was considerable. He also brought some soul to the team, his YOLO mindset fit well with that of the fanbase, and he had no issue trash talking the competition. Literally, everybody else but TSM was trash.

He is a League of Legends player though; Flaming is their forte.

In all seriousness, he insulted them with a lighthearted attitude and for most, it was simply playful banter, there were, of course, those who took offense, but it didn’t stop Dyrus, and he quickly became a LoL celebrity.

Granted he wasn’t the best player in the world, but it was his irresistible charm that brought the team together, he was the glue that stopped them from crumbling under pressure. Plus, being the biggest streamer at the time didn’t hurt either.

People couldn’t resist his adorkable antics, and it was thrilling to watch him go 7/0 in one game and then die to wolves the next. No seriously, this happened.

Dyrus may have been an underdog, but the team themselves were not. TSM always found their way back to the top of the ladder, no matter what teams stood in their way, you’ve probably heard the classic TSM chant, which goes a little like this; “TSM, TSM, TSM!”

People began shouting it out all the time, TSM didn’t even need to be playing for fans to cheer loudly, which we suspect demotivated the teams that were actually playing, comparable to your girlfriend calling out someone else's name while you’re with her.

It only got better for TSM from there, WildTurtle soon joined, and although Chaox was a decent ADC, he didn’t mesh as well.

TeamSoloMid were living the dream, but then it happened. They were dethroned.

The Dark Days Of TSM

tsm shock loss

During the Season 3 Summer Split, Cloud9 came along and rolled right over TSM, knocking them off their pedestal. This unfortunate twist caused them to finish in third place and lead to an even worse performance at worlds. They had to fix things or watch the team fall apart forever.

After some soul searching, Reginald decided to finally step down – and while this must have been difficult, finding someone to fill his huge shoes was even harder. When he found Bjergsen, he was playing for Ninjas in Pyjamas, but he had a Champion pool that Faker himself would envy.

Reginald gave him a shot, and everything changed for the better. He was a mechanical mastermind, and the rest of the team quickly set out to come up with winning strategies that focused round him; Sadly, it took a while for them to find their footing once more.

The team fell into a rut. Xspecial ended up benched because of his negative attitude, and then to top it off, TheOddOne retired. It took much effort on everyone’s part to pull themselves back, many late nights sustaining themselves on energy drinks while they wracked their brains for strategies.

Eventually their hard worked paid off, but they would never achieve the heights they once did. And, with more and more players retiring, only Bjergsen remains from the Season 3 roster.

Where's The Team Now?

Although they’re not doing as well in LoL as they once did, the team has since spread into many other games, and not just MOBA’s! You’ll find TeamSoloMid players in everything from Hearthstone to PUBG, plus TSM’s parent company, Swift, has recently received $37 million in Series A funding. 

It’s clear that TSM’s LoL Team will never be as big as it was, but it helped make e-Sports what it is today. Plus, it can’t be doubted that Reginald taking the risk he did has lead to people taking professional video games more seriously.

Naturally, League of Legends and Riot Games deserve most of the credit, but no one can deny the impact TSM have had.

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