Rumours have surfaced that renowned in-game leader Sean “sgares” Gares and ex-Echo Fox teammate Shahzeeb “ShahZaM” Khan will be joining Team SoloMid as replacements of Pujan “FNS” Mehta and Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken. The TSM duo are understood to have received a bleak ultimatum on their futures following the team’s loss to Immortals in the ELEAGUE Americas Minor.
As Echo Fox opted to finally hammer the nail into their own coffin, Team SoloMid are looking to capitalise on the opportunity and revamp their roster. Picking up the AWPing abilities of ShahZaM makes perfect sense at face value. Both Kory “SEMPHIS” Friesen and Skyler “Relyks” Weaver are adept with the AWP, yet ShahZaM is a clear upgrade over both in that department. The real wrench in the gears here is TSM’s perception of seangares.
While both sgares and ShahZaM stand to be upgrades in terms of consistency and experience, Gares is far from the messiah that TSM appear to be framing him as.
Sean Gares played arguably the most important role in Cloud9’s rise to fame in late 2015, his ability to anti-strat is second to none in North America. Rumours within the scene suggest that Team SoloMid allegedly offered to relocate their team house closer to his area of residence as a means of incentive presents a number of problems.
Sean Gares requires a talented network of players around him in order to succeed – Echo Fox’s shortcomings are a testament to this. To clarify, “talented” should be defined to include the ability to think and play at a high level whilst playing as a cohesive member of the team – something that some of his former high-skill teammates have struggled to vouch for.
Putting such pressure on their new found in-game leader only sets TSM up for the same disappointing failure that they have only barely been able to escape from since the departure of their former Danish roster.
Whilst the reunited synergy of ShahZaM, seangares, and SEMPHIS would potentially reduce the amount of time it would take for the dust to settle following this alleged roster change, it is evident that the conditions for history to repeat itself are present.
On the one hand, TSM clearly need to shake things up in order to get to where they once were. On the other, one can only wonder whether the risk in this move is worth the potential short-term rewards.