Image credit: LoL Esports
League of Legends World Championship finalist Ho "SwordArt" Shuo-Chieh has joined TSM in the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) for two years, days after Jacob Wolf and Esportmaniacos reported on the deal. The player joins on a two-year contract, for $3 million per year, as made official on the Washington Post.
The player's arrival in North America marks the first time a player from the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) or from the now-defunct League of Legends Master Series (LMS) has joined as an import. The player spent the bulk of his career on the Flash Wolves, who reached the Worlds quarterfinals in 2015 and were recurring group stage participants, before reaching the finals in his sole year spent in the LPL on Suning.
SwordArt's career arc is taking a turn for the unpredictable in North America. A known mechanical player throughout his career, the support focused more on in-game leadership, raising his communication abilities to ease the pressure out of the young players surrounding him on Suning. The player could transition that ability into the English language as he did so previously on Flash Wolves when they played with Korean players on the squad.
The move does not mean that the other transactions linked to it will happen. Indeed, Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng's retirement throws a wrench into TSM and Evil Geniuses' transfer plans, requiring a creative workaround should TSM transfer with Lawrence "Lost" Hui to EG as part of a deal that would land them Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon. However, Cody Sun, Matthew "Deftly" Chen and other rookie prospects remain available should they opt to transfer Lost.