Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell made his first League of Legends Champion Series appearance in more than two years when he subbed in for TSM on Thursday in one of their last two matches of the 2023 LCS Spring Split.
Before the second day of the Split’s week three kicked off, TSM announced that Hauntzer would start for the team during their game against Digitas in place of their top laner, Colin “Solo” Earnest. The news comes two weeks after Jason “WildTurtle” Tran was moved to the organization’s LCS roster.
TSM have had one of the worst LCS starts this season and are yet to qualify for the Spring Playoffs bracket. Their strong mid/jungle players Lee “Bugi” Seong-yeop and Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang, in addition to WildTurtle’s performance, have elevated the team’s run in the Split. With only a little time to spare, the squad might snag a place in the Spring Playoffs bracket.
Haunzter joined TSM in late 2015 and has been a part of the lineup for over half his professional career. The player participated in the 2016 Spring Split alongside famous teammates like Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng and Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg. He made an immediate impact after joining the lineup, helping TSM earn a title that summer.
Hauntzer stayed on TSM’s lineup till 2018 and was part of some of the organization’s most accomplished moments. He has also played under Golden Guardians and is currently TSM Academy’s Challengers League top laner.
Solo was a part of TSM’s lineup when they were thoroughly beaten by 100 Thieves on the first day of week two. The team were in firm control at the start of the game; however, things began to spiral as the match progressed.
Solo, Jonathan “Chime” Pomponio, and Bugi ended the match with negative KDAs, while Huang “Maple” Yi-tang and WildTurtle gave impressive performances. Solo had a hard time not getting killed during team fighting and was constantly tackled by Tenacity in-lane, ultimately costing his team the game.
Hauntzer and WildTurtle are recognized as two of the most famous players in LCS history, and TSM’s decision will see the two players compete alongside each other for the first time since April 2017. Since splitting, they have played in both Acadeny circuits and the LCS main stage.
It is not certain if Hauntzer will be a part of TSM’s lineup on the final day of the LCS regular season before the playoffs kick-off.