TSM announced Thursday that mid laner Zhu “Keaiduo” Xiong and support Wei “Shenyi” Zi-Jie will join the roster for the 2022 League of Legends Championship Series season.
TSM also announced their coaching staff, which will include head coach Wong “Chawy” Xing Le, returning head of player development Peter “Peter Zhang” Yi and strategic coach and head scout Jack “Kayys” Kayser.
Introducing our League coaching staff for 2022.@ChawyWong – LCS Head Coach@peterzhanglol – Head of Player Development@kayyslol – LCS Strategic Coach + Head Scout@tbHaitham – Head of Data Science and Analytics@gunasolol – Academy Coach
— TSM FTX (@TSM) December 9, 2021
The LCS season begins in January with the Lock-In Tournament. TSM previously confirmed the topside would remain the same, with top laner Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon and jungler Mingyi “Spica” Lu staying on the team. The org also confirmed the signing of AD carry Edward “Tactical” Ra, the former Team Liquid bot laner, who previously played for TSM Academy.
The two latest signings line up with TSM founder Andy “Reginald” Dinh’s message that TSM would try to retool in the 2022 season following the announcement that longtime mid laner and 2021 coach Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg would not return to TSM. Bjergsen is now on Team Liquid.
“We intend to focus on up-and-coming players and to build our team culture around these rising stars,” Dinh said at the time.
Both Keaiduo and Shenyi seem to fit that description. That said, TSM will likely hope the changes to their roster can also help them make a dark horse run to Worlds 2022, which will take place in North and Central America.
Shenyi gets his first starting role for a Tier 1 team
Shenyi has only played for one team, but has almost exclusively played in the academy league in China, the LoL Development League. The 19-year-old played for FunPlus Phoenix’s academy team, FunPlus Phoenix Blaze. He was also the substitute for their main roster this past summer, however, playing five games with FPX and securing a 4-1 record during his run.
Welcome Shenyi to TSM as our starting LCS support for 2022! #TSM@TSM_Shenyi was our first choice at support from the moment he entered our scouting combine. He showed us unparalleled proactivity, map control, and team coms, making him a key component of our team. Bring on '22. pic.twitter.com/2dKTVFN7DR
— TSM (@TSM) December 9, 2021
He and the Blaze roster earned second in both the regular season and playoffs in the spring of 2021, before he was promoted to sub for Liu “Crisp” Qing-Song. Shenyi replaces Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh on TSM’s roster after a high-profile, $6 million deal to bring SwordArt to TSM failed to produce results.
Combine warrior Keaiduo steps into a legend’s shoes
Keaiduo has the unenviable task of replacing former TSM mid laner Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage on the 2022 roster, but his performance during TSM’s scouting efforts in South Korea, the team said, helped make the decision simple.
“Keaiduo dominated our month-long scouting combine in Korea,” TSM said in their announcement. “He stood out as the top-performing mid-laner, bringing an aggressive look and crisp teamfighting. We can’t wait for you to see him crush the LCS.”
Welcome Keaiduo to TSM as our starting LCS mid-laner for 2022! #TSM@TSM_Keaiduo dominated our month-long scouting combine in Korea. He stood out as the top-performing mid-laner, bringing an aggressive look and crisp teamfighting. We can’t wait for you to see him crush the LCS. pic.twitter.com/CFubFu4SAE
— TSM FTX (@TSM) December 9, 2021
It’s more than replacing PowerOfEvil, who is now with Immortals, though. The 20-year-old Keaiduo will anchor the second TSM roster without LCS legend Bjergsen. Keaiduo, a native of China, had previously played for ThunderTalk Gaming Young, the sister team of ThunderTalk Gaming, in China’s LoL Development League. The squad finished eighth in their group during the LDL summer season, with now-teammate Shenyi’s FPX Blaze roster finishing fourth.