In light of TSM undergoing a roster rebuild of their League of Legends roster, reports suggest that the franchise’s top laner, Colin “Solo” Earnest, will be re-signing. Having played a crucial role in turning around the franchise’s 2022 season, the American professional player might be rewarded with a new contract.
With the franchise’s poor outing and inconsistencies in the previous season, TSM will be looking to maintain some level of stability in their top lane position for the 2023 season. Solo’s retention with the franchise will mark the first time in his five-year LCS career that he re-signs with the team he was with prior to the Summer for the Spring Split.
Over the years, Solo has built a reputation for himself that sees him as an LCS mercenary. With teams in disarray and in need of a high-profile veteran player leading their top lane to get them stabilized, they have often ended up with the option of procuring Solo’s services and gone on to achieve good success.
An example is FlyQuest’s change in their top lane position mid-Spring Split, which saw them dismiss Syrian player Omran “V1per” Shoura and replace him with Solo. FlyQuest, the most underrated roster in LCS history, achieved success with Solo.
In the 2020 Spring Playoffs, the franchise finished as runners-up, losing to Cloud9 in the grand finals. The franchise replicated their performance in the Summer Split and were close to reverse-sweeping TSM in the Summer Playoffs finals. Their outing in the 2020 season has been the best the franchise had experienced since their inception in 2017.
An unfortunate selection saw them placed in the same group as DRX and Top Esports in the 2020 Worlds. However, the franchise were the only team to snag a game off the hands of TES and ended the group with a 3-3 record.
The same could be said to have occurred with the Golden Guardians in 2021. The franchise ended their run with rookie top laner Aiden “Niles” Tidwell and sought the services of Solo. With Solo on the roster, the franchise saw their outcome improve from a 3-15 record in the Spring Split to a 9-16 record in the Summer.
Prior to joining the distabilized TSM Academy in July 2022, Solo was a coach with the amateur team of Counter Logic Gaming, CLG Faith. He was brought into TSM Academy in the middle of the Summer Split to replace another rookie top laner, Alex “Soul” Luo, who took over the position after Huni’s unexpected retirement from the esports title.
The franchise had posted a record of 3-8 prior to Solo joining; thereafter, with him on the roster, they went 3-4 on a stretch. This saw them upset FlyQuest in the lower bracket of the playoffs and were a game away from decapitating the top-seeded Evil Geniuses. Solo has made it a habit of improving any team he joins mid-split.
TSM currently have a three-man roster, which includes mid laner Huang “Maple” Yi-tang, support Johnathan “Chime” Pomponio, and Solo. The franchise are said to have found a replacement for their former MVP jungler, Spica, but the franchise remains incomplete and could be finalized in the coming weeks.