Ahead of Week 5 of the League Championship Series (LCS) 2022 Spring Split, TSM is calling support Wei "Shenyi" Zi-Jie back up to the main team and sending mid laner Zhu "Keaiduo" Xiong to Academy, the North American organization announced Thursday.
The move will simultaneously send support Wang "Yursan" Sheng-Yu back to Academy as Ji "Takeover" Cha Hyeun-min takes over in the mid lane for the LCS team.
TSM Recall Shenyi to LCS, Send Keaiduo to Academy in Week 5 of Spring Split
Speeding towards a bottom-two LCS finish for the first time in the organization’s history, TSM is making another lineup change with their two import rookies.
On Feb. 16, after a 0-4 start to the spring split, TSM announced Shenyi had been subbed out for Yursan in order to allow him to adjust to North America at "a more comfortable pace" in Academy.
Since then, rumors and speculation regarding the reasons for the benching floated around the scene, with many putting blame on TSM and the rest of the LCS roster for seemingly not giving Shenyi the ability to shot call.
Thanks to a report by Upcomer, it appears we now have some clarity on the situation.
TSM Head Coach Wong "Chawy" Xing Lei told Upcomer that in Week 2, Shenyi locked in a champion on stage without communicating with the team or coaches, and that after being approached by TSM coaching staff to further discuss the matter, his attitude was "negative and disrespectful."
"This is the main reason why he was benched, not because of his gameplay," Chawy told Upcomer. "It was more of his attitude and respect toward the team and criticism we give him… I think these two weeks he has really shown a lot of improvement."
As such, the benching was mostly to help Shenyi "improve as a teammate," with a plan in place for him to return to the LCS "within two weeks."
"The team has a lot of issues that we’re facing," Chawy told Upcomer, "but we’re trying to take [things] one step at a time. Since he’s been in Academy, I think Shenyi has made several improvements in addition to communication. We believe he’s ready to come back to the main roster."
According to Upcomer, TSM Assistant General Manager Yang "Glen" Po-Jen added that Shenyi’s return to LCS was requested by their players and that Keaiduo's upcoming stint in Academy is for his development in the region as well.
"This change was made as the team feels that Keaiduo needs more time to train in a less stressful environment," Glen told Upcomer. "We are aware it is not ideal to be making this many roster changes mid-season, but in our current position, it’s critical that Keaiduo be given time to work on several key development areas as we try to end the season on a high note."
Shenyi and TSM will kick off Week 5 action in the LCS against FlyQuest on Saturday, March 5, at 5:30 p.m. ET.