After a mediocre performance in the 2021 League of Legends Championship Series Lock-In and a 0-2 start to the Spring Split, TSM has come online. After nine games of play, TSM currently sits tied for 2nd place with a 6-3 record. TSM misstepped against Dignitas in its most recent match, which ended the impressive six-game winning streak during which the team surged to the top of the standings.
In a brief interview with Inven Global during TSM's winstreak, support Hu "SwordArt" Shuo-Chieh spoke about adjusting to the playstyle of a new region, how Los Angeles played a part in his decision to compete in North America, and his international aspirations as a member of TSM in 2021.
Can you comment on TSM's development since the start of the Spring Split?
In the first week, I don't think we had found the best way for every teammate to contribute to our wins. Everyone has great strengths, but we all have weaknesses, too.
After the first week, we talked together to try and find a better way to play for everyone so that everyone would feel comfortable in our approach to winning. That's why there was such a difference in our play between weeks 1 and 2 of the Spring Split.
Are there unique challenges in joining a team of five new players forming an entirely new roster?
Yeah, I think that when you join a new team you need to take some time to let everyone understand one another. Also, because everyone on our team has really good mechanics, everyone trusts in themselves a lot, so sometimes we talk a lot because everyone wants to be the one who carries the team. This is why we didn't look good as a team in the beginning of the season, but I think it's okay. We just needed some time to improve and make improvements as a macro-focused team.
TSM has improved a lot since the start of the first round robin. What are things the team still needs to improve on going forward?
I said before that we need more time to come together, but we also need more time because I'm new to the region. Every region has such a different playstyle from the others. When I came to North America, I felt like teams don't really like to teamfight and really don't like to play aggressively. It's not a bad playstyle, but I need to understand the playstyle of this region while our team gets better at understanding one another.
Also, every time I play a team in the LCS, I understand their players' strengths and weaknesses so when I play against them the next time, I can play much better.
In your previous region of China, the League of Legends Pro League is known for frequent aggressive play, so it's understandable you'd have to adjust to a different pace. Outside of the game though, have you been able to enjoy Los Angeles at all despite the pandemic?
One of the really big reasons I really wanted to play here is that every time I've been to Los Angeles, I've felt that it's a really good place. The weather is really nice, the people are really nice, so I hope to go around Los Angeles after COVID-19.
I hope you get a chance to do that soon, SwordArt. Thank you so much for the interview, is there anything you want to say to the TSM fans?
My goal is to go to the World Championship finals again with my new team. That's what I want, so I will try to work even harder and do my best. Not many North American teams have previously qualified for Worlds semifinals, so I don't just want to get there with my teammates for us. *Laughs* I want to be the hero of NA.