In League of Legends and beyond, TSM has had a rough past year. However, in 2023, the staple organization hopes to establish itself firmly in the fast lane. After helping TSM salvage the 2022 season, Colin “Solo” Earnest allegedly re-signs with the organization. This news comes courtesy of Brieuc Seeger of the League. It would be the first time in Solo’s five-plus year LCS career that he rejoins the same team he played for during the previous Summer Split during the Spring Split.
Over the years, Solo had developed a reputation as somewhat of an LCS mercenary. Teams have consistently looked to Solo when they were struggling and needed one of the great cliches of esports—a experienced presence in the top lane—to stabilize their seasons.
Midway through the Spring Split in 2020, FlyQuest made a disastrous switch in the top lane, trading V1per for Solo, who had just come off an incredibly dismal 2019 with Echo Fox. What followed was, as they say, history for the most underestimated roster in LCS annals.
In 2020, FlyQuest finished in second place in the spring playoffs, won the following split’s upper bracket, and came within one game of sweeping TSM in the summer playoffs. Despite being placed in a tough group at Worlds with DRX and Top Esports (TES), the North American representatives managed to steal a win from TES and complete the tournament with a solid 3-3 record.
By swapping out Niles for Solo, the 2021 Golden Guardians went from a 3-15 Spring record to a 9-16 Summer record, a significant improvement. In the spring of 2022, he coached CLG Faith, Counter Logic Gaming’s amateur squad, before being called up from TSM Academy to replace S0ul, another rookie top laner who had been thrown into the fire following Huni’s unexpected retirement. Before the release of Solo, TSM’s Summer record was 3-8. They finished the season 3-4, eliminated FlyQuest in the lower bracket, and were a game away from shocking Evil Geniuses in the playoffs. Once again, Solo’s mid-split insertion into a squad enhanced their performance dramatically.
While it seems like TSM has found a replacement for jungler Spica, the rest of the team’s lineup is still in flux.