TSM is slowly reverting back to its roots, by bringing players that a while ago were able to achieve greatness in the LCS. Last minute changes to starting lineups in the LCS are filling squads with even more scene veterans that have not seen Tier 1 play in a while.
Barely before the start of the 2nd set of matches of week 8 of the 2023 LCS Spring Split, TSM announced that veteran player, former LCS champion and current TSM Challengers top laner Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell will be promoted to the main roster for the game against Dignitas. While the LCS squad has been struggling throughout the split, they have not managed to grab a Spring Playoffs spot, with only a handful of games available to turn things around.
Hauntzer has been a member of the TSM organization for more than 5 years of his professional career, with brief stints on other teams. He first signed with the squad in late 2015 to start in the 2016 Spring Split, where he looked to improve and have immediate impact beside names such as Bjergsen and Doublelift, the squad was able to win a title under the TSM brand that summer. Since that high point, Hauntzer has played under Golden Guardians and TSM Academy, currently being a member of the Challengers League squad as a top laner.
Hauntzer will be happy to play alongside a familiar face, as this is the first time that Hauntzer and WildTurtle have competed beside one another since April 2017. At the time they were regarded as the best players in their respective roles. Since then, their careers have drastically changed throughout the years, with both going in and out of the LCS main stage and Academy leagues.
The decision for these abrupt changes comes after a demoralizing loss that TSM suffered versus 100 Thieves earlier in the week, especially after being in complete control throughout the early game but ultimately lacking the synergy as a team to close things out. Even though mid laner Maple had an incredible performance on Aurelion Sol, only WildTurtle was truly dealing damage to a beefy 100 Thieves composition, with Solo, Bugi, and Chime all ending with negative kill to death ratios.
It is still unknown if TSM will keep Haunzter as their active LCS top laner for the game versus Dignitas on the final day of the regular season before the playoffs begin. Nevertheless fans are hoping Hauntzer will recapture that magic which allowed TSM to become LCS champions a couple of years ago. Needless to say they will need all the help they can get to push further in the playoff race.
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