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  • Why is TSM leaving the LCS?
  • How does TSM's departure from the LCS shift league?
  • What region does TSM plan on moving to in League of Legends?
  • Will TSM still compete in the LCS 2023 Summer Split?

Earlier today, TSM found Andy Dinh announced that the organization would move away from the LCS. Truthfully, this transition out of the LCS has been a move that has been rumored and reported for quite some time. The only difference now is that TSM fans and the League of Legends community finally have confirmation that one of the oldest teams in the game will leave the league it helped create.

With aspirations to “win a World Championship” on their mind, TSM’s decision to step away from the LCS signifies a shift for the North American league moving forward. Following NRG’s acquisition of CLG, TSM was one of the only organizations left in the LCS that had competed in every single split since 2013. Now, as they leave, the biggest question on people’s minds is what region they plan to transition their efforts to.

When analyzing the different regions that TSM can move to, it has to come down to what aligns with TSM’s goals stated in the initial announcement.

“This may feel sudden, but to be honest, we have actively been working towards this for the last three years,” Dinh said. “I believe moving to another region will reignite our hunger to do whatever it takes to win a World championship.”

One of the biggest talking points throughout the video was TSM’s desire to compete in a tier-one region, meaning it can be whittled down to the LCK, LPL, and LEC.

LPL — The Best Bet

Bilibili Gaming MSI 2023 Bracket Stage

Bilibili Gaming at the League of Legends Midseason Invitational 2023

Of the three regions, the LPL poses an enticing opportunity for TSM to develop a larger fanbase away from its predominantly North American audience.

It wouldn’t be the first time a Western organization moved to the LPL. A few years ago, the European esports organization, Ninjas in Pyjamas decided to re-enter League of Legends by acquiring LPL team Victory Five. TSM’s plans to win a World Championship in League of Legends would also fare well in China due to the region's strength and financial backing. Since 2018, the LPL has won three World Championship titles and multiple Midseason Invitational titles in League of Legends. Given the region's dominance at MSI 2023, it's fair to say that China is a strong contender if TSM truly wants to push for international victory.

LEC or LCK — Brand Strength vs Success

TSM Chime LCS 2023 Spring Split Week 6

TSM support Chime during the LCS 2023 Spring Split.

While these two landing spots feel less likely than the LPL, the LEC and LCK are options for TSM moving forward in League of Legends. The argument for the LEC allows TSM to maintain a stronghold on developing its Western fanbase. However, the only counter-argument for a move to the LEC would be that the region has only won the World Championship once — before the game really took off — which would make the goal of winning Worlds quite difficult for TSM.

Meanwhile, the argument for a move to Korea is what would align with TSM’s goal to win a League of Legends World Championship title. No other region in League of Legends history has more World Championship titles than the LCK region. In 12 LoL World Championships, Korea has won seven World Championship titles. That is something neither the LEC nor the LPL can take away from Korea's dominant resume, though developing a solid lineup to compete in the LCK’s deep 10-team system could prove complicated.

Regardless, both are still options along with the LPL for TSM moving forward in League of Legends.

What’s next for TSM in 2023?

For now, TSM is still slated to compete in the LCS 2023 Summer Split in their farewell tour from the LCS. While it will feel weird watching the LCS in the future without one of its most popular and longest-standing organizations, they will still have an opportunity to win one more LCS championship and book their ticket to the League of Legends World Championship.

It will be interesting to see how the remainder of 2023 turns out after TSM's departure from the LCS.