League of Legends: SwordArt Leaves Suning and Signs a Record-Breaking Deal with TSM

Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh has departed the LPL team, Suning, to join TSM. His time in Suning started in 2018, and in 2020, the team found themselves in third place in the LPL Summer 2020 Split, all thanks to SwordArt. They beat LGD Gaming and won the Regional Finals. It was a great year for Suning and SwordArt as they made it to the 2020 Worlds Grand Final but lost to DAMWON Gaming.

The Taiwanese star, SwordArt, signed a contract with TSM that will last for two years for $6 million. TSM’s owner, Andy “Reginald” Ding, said that his impressive play at the 2020 League of Legends World Championship is what caught TSM’s eyes and led to the decision to procure his services for the next two years.

TSM made the announcement via its Twitter handle. The post reads, “Six-time regional champion. 2020 Worlds finalist. We have faced him on the rift before, but now it is time for him to lead us to victory. Welcome to TSM, SwordArt (Pending Riot approval).”

The $6 million deal is believed to be the largest contract in the history of the LCS, but Reginald thinks it is a good investment, following the retiring of Bjergsen. He is not bothered as he believes it is a really small sacrifice to make for a team that is ready to create an even greater legacy. Before the signing of SwordArt, the largest contract was Jensen’s $4.2 million three-year extension with Team Liquid.

SwordArt started his career in 2012 and has since then become one of the most prestigious Eastern players to play the League of Legends today. He played in various LMS teams before settling with the Flash Wolves. 2015 was a good year for the team as they managed to earn a spot at the Worlds. In 2018, he and Hung “Karsa” Hao-Hsuan were picked from the LMS and became part of LPL teams. This was when his time at Suning started, improving as one of the World’s best supports. With his skills and help, Suning, which was previously a 7th-8th place ranked team in 2019, finished second at the Worlds 2020.

SwordArt has stated that he will be looking to introduce some of the LPL styles to NA. The transition will not be easy, but we will see how TSM adapts to this style of gameplay. He was signed for his mechanical skill and experience as one of the best. However, Reginald has stated that the extremely large stretch goal is Worlds Finals, with the more realistic goal for 2021 is the quarterfinals. Hopefully, they can get to the Worlds Finals before his contract runs out.

Looking back, this will be the first time since 2014 that TSM has signed a foreign support. Then, they acquired Korean support in the person of Ham “Lustboy” Jang-sik. This goes to show you how confident in his ability, the team is, and how much skill and experience he will be bringing to that position.

The retirement of Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng is a bummer as the bot laner has always expressed his interest in playing with SwordArt. As of right now, TSM is yet to announce who their ADC and Top laner will be to close out their roster for the 2021 season.

A lot of changes have been made to the 2021 roster. Two legendary players have retired from the team, and several new faces have joined them. It is unclear what to expect from one of NA’s most accomplished organization as the team is yet to play a game together. However, this new identity might be enough to spur to the victory at the Worlds in the coming years.