After losing another head coach, TSM has found the newest captain to their ship: Tony “zikz” Gray.
— TSM FTX (@TSM) October 21, 2018
Many TSM fans are hoping that zikz is the man who can help save TSM after the team would suffer their worst year to date. With former Immortals coach Kim “SSONG” Sang-soo, Team Solo Mid’s 2018 wouldn’t go according to plan. The team would acquire All-Star bottom lane Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodríguez. On paper, the perennial NA LCS champions were looking like one of the best teams in the league. Now, we know that this was completely the opposite.
Without a change of playstyle, TSM would flop in both the Spring and Summer Split. Led by Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, the squad’s passive style of play would get run over, especially in the Summer. The big changes that Riot Games would introduce to the meta would leave TSM behind. The team would only change its gameplan in the final weeks, and although the team would make it to playoffs, they would eventually be eliminated by Cloud9 in the Regional Gauntlet.
Can zikz right the TSM ship?
Bjergsen and company should have realized that a more proactive style of play is necessary for success in the new age of League. If we look at Worlds, Cloud9 has gotten to the semifinals with aggressive, proactive plays from start to finish. TSM needs a coach to help steer this lineup in the same direction. They have the talent on this roster, they just need to embrace a style that they are not used to yet.
However, Zikz actually comes from a sinking ship of his own in Counter Logic Gaming. He would coach the team from 2014, the only team he would be on for his career. Unfortunately, after several disappointing finishes and losing key members of the team, CLG is going through a hard time of their own. The team would part ways with the longtime staff member this past season. Zikz would state on his Twitter that it was “definitely not the move that any of us, even myself, expected, but it’s the move that makes the most sense for me in my future.”
CLG is now left almost in shambles of what they used to be. Their lineup still consists of some of their longtime members, but without their coach, next season may be rough. However, TSM represents a new page for Zikz, and a huge challenge. Solo Mid will be counting on his knowledge of the game to help shape them into champions once again. Whether or not he will have some new players at his disposal, we will have to find out in the weeks to come.
If there is anyone who can help TSM return to their winning ways, it’s Coach Zikz. He has the knowledge and experience to help them become better both as individuals and as a team. We will have to watch and see if he can affect the team so that they can finally return back to the apex of the NA LCS as they’ve always been the years before!
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