Finding a replacement for their World Class AD Carry, Yiliang Peter Doublelift Peng, must have not been an easy task for Team SoloMid. With such big names on the free agent market, like ROX Tigers’ former ADC Kim PraY Jong-in, fans expected TSM to pick up an import. However, they just recently announced that Jason WildTurtle Tran, their own ex-ADC, would be a part of the official line up going into the 2017 NA LCS Spring Split.
By no means is WildTurtle a stranger to the TSM organization or their players. Originally joining Team SoloMid in early 2013, WildTurtle helped TSM win the NA LCS multiple times, and made a name for himself as a hyper aggressive AD Carry. In the spring of 2016, he left TSM to join NA LCS team Immortals. After a year of disappointing results from the Immortals squad, not even being able to qualify to the World Championship, WildTurtle opted to not renew his contract. At that point, his future as a player was unclear.
Come Intel Extreme Masters Oakland, a tournament organized by the ESL, and WildTurtle was ready to play once more under the TSM name. At first, Team SoloMid had declined the invitation to IEM Oakland because they had still not found a replacement for Doublelift. In spite of that, a few days before the start of the event, TSM announced that they would indeed be participating with WildTurtle as their ADC. However, he would just be playing with them for the tournament. Their finalized roster was still to be decided.
Today, we know that WildTurtle will be part of the 2017 roster. In the official statement from TSM, Andy “Reginald” Dinh, the team’s owner, explained why WildTurtle was the best choice. “Not only does he fit in with our team well inside the game but he also fits in well outside the game.” he said.
Many fans however, see WildTurtle as a placeholder for Doublelift and, after his poor performance at IEM Oakland, as a downgrade from TSM’s former AD Carry. This harsh criticism is somewhat unfair, due to the circumstances present at the time of IEM Oakland. The new roster didn’t have enough time to prepare properly and was only together for a few days. Giving WildTurtle the benefit of the doubt until we can see him perform in the next LCS seems to be the way to go. Whether he plans to stick with TSM for the whole year or only play during the spring split, WildTurtle has to earn his spot as a top ADC in North America.