Team SoloMid signs coach SSONG

TSM have signed the former IMT coach SSONG! What does the move mean for the most popular team in the NA LCS?

by Daniil Volkov

The news that TSM have brought in the former Immortals coach Kim “SSONG” Sang-soo came out in an investigative ESPN article by Jacob Wolf. SSONG will replace Parth Naidu in the head coach position, but the latter will stay on the team, possibly returning to his previous role of an analyst. Wolf’s article also hints at TSM’s upcoming roster changes, although it’s not clear which players will be involved.  

Rebuilding the legacy

Team SoloMid has always been met with conflicting feelings from the NA LCS fan base. On one hand, it’s hard to dispute TSM’s long-standing success in its region, and the team’s yet to miss the NA LCS finals. On the other, this domestic dominance seems to mean very little on the international stage, and TSM have consistently faltered when faced with teams from other leagues. 

Throughout all the iterations of TSM, one persisting issue was coaching. Reigning in star players like Bjergsen and Doublelift already requires a lot of effort and expertise, and it’s even harder to make them work within the framework of a single cohesive gameplan. Even worse, TSM’s weaknesses are rarely—if ever—exposed in their home region, and when they qualify for MSI or Worlds, it’s already far too late to make changes. 

SSONG will be faced with the gargantuan task of persevering where other accomplished coaches failed. But if there’s one thing we’ve seen from his track record, it’s that he’s up to the task. SSONG is a former Najin Black player and an LCK coach with experience working with the powerhouse ROX Tigers team and Longzhu Gaming. Within a single split, he built up the struggling Immortals lineup into the NA LCS finalist and a 2017 World Championship attendee. Not only that, but all IMT players spoke very highly of their coach in an interview with Inven, citing his ability to resolve conflicts and give precise feedback as the main reasons behind their success. 

Combine that with the fact that every Immortals player viewed SSONG as an authority figure, and the Korean coach seems to be exactly what the doctor ordered for TSM. If Parth Naidu goes back to his previous role, the NA LCS champions will have a world-class supporting staff behind their backs. 

Naturally, fans should still be wary of pinning their hopes on Team SoloMid at international tournaments. But there’s no doubt SSONG will introduce us to a much stronger version of TSM in 2018.

What do you think about TSM’s decision to sign SSONG as their head coach? Share your opinion in the comments below!

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Daniil Volkov

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