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Published: March 22, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • TSM’s League of Legends team has been struggling financially this season
  • The LoL roster has not received a lot of cash compared to other TSM-branded teams
  • This could be due to the series of scandals the LoL team went through last year

TSM’s LCS coach Wong “Chawy” Xing Lei has blamed the LoL team’s bad performance on the fact it has had the lowest budget of any LCS squad this season.

TSM Team Has a Low Budget

North American esports organization TSM has been a staple of the professional gaming world for well over a decade, fielding teams in various games like League of Legends, Dota 2, Apex Legends, VALORANT, and many more. Considering this, it’s hard to understand why TSM’s LoL team supposedly had the lowest budget when building its LCS team for the 2023 season, at least according to coach Wong “Chawy” Xing Lei.

In a recent interview for Esports Illustrated, the 31-year-old LoL coach claimed TSM had the lowest budget among all LCS participants ahead of the 2023 season. “We didn’t have a big budget. I think we had the lowest budget,” Chawy said. He explained that despite the low budget for training and other needs, the team tried their best with what they had to at least achieve a top-six. 

“Of course, the first one [goal] is [to] try to get top six, but obviously, other teams spend much more, and then we just have to make do with what we have,” he said. “So, for us, it’s always just taking one step at a time.”

How Has It Come to This State?

Considering TSM has been one of the most popular and successful teams in competitive League of Legends over the years, it’s baffling that the organization would not invest more into its LoL squad. But after looking at TSM’s League team’s recent history, one might start to see why the organization put its LoL roster low in its priorities. 

TSM has been involved in a few scandals in 2022, including an investigation by Riot of TSM CEO Andy Dihn. Dinh was accused by several players of verbal abuse, prompting Riot and the LCS to look into the matter. The investigating parties found there was “a pattern and practice of disparaging and bullying behavior exhibited by Andy Dinh towards TSM players and staff members.” This prompted the LCS to fine TSM $75 000 and obligated Dihn to undergo executive training.

Unfortunately, these were not the only scandals TSM’s League branch was involved in last year. Less than a month after Dihn’s whole drama, Riot permanently banned coach Peter Zhang from participating in any organization in a Riot-sanctioned competition. This was because the former coach was found to be guilty of diverting player payments for personal gain.

The impact of TSM’s low budget has been felt hard by the LoL team, as the players will be missing the 2023 LCS Spring Split playoffs. The team was not able to make many changes before the start of this season, keeping Solo, Maple, and Chime for the 2023 LCS Spring Split, while bringing in Bugi and Neo. The latter was replaced midway through the season with team legend WildTurtle.

It remains to be seen how TSM’s League of Legends roster would perform in the upcoming 2023 LCS Summer Split, a date for which has not been revealed yet.

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