TSM could return to CSGO, but with which players?

This week was quite the busy one for CSGO. In the space of a few days, we had many stickers released, a player banned, and the host of the next CSGO Major announced, with fans rightly excited about the prospect of a Starladder event in Berlin or the latest smooya drama. With all of that going on, one story got a mite less attention than might otherwise have been the case, but is worth looking into, namely the report from Dekay over at Dextero that TSM are exploring a pathway back into top level CSGO.

For long a mover in the CS scene, TSM abruptly left the game in 2017, after controversy over the proposed Professional Esports Association broke, which isn’t a great sign for their long-term commitment. On the other hand, their previous run in the game saw them employ the likes of karrigan, dupreeh, dev1ce and xyp9x, as well as NA talent like Twistzz, sick and autimatic. The org also has the spending power to pick up some talented players, and right now their options in free agency are quite varied.

We’ve already seen links between them and Tarik, formerly of Cloud 9, who has apparently turned down the chance to join compLexity since his benching by MIBR. We’d imagine that decision to say no to Jason Lake would have been partly driven by a lack of faith in his potential team mates at coL, so who could TSM get in to convince the Boston Major winner they are worth his time?

Plenty of talent

The free agency pool is pretty decent right now, as we’ve already said, but if you are going for Tarik that means you are limiting yourself to English-speaking players. Recently we’ve seen the likes of ChrisJ, smooya and STYKO all benched by EU teams, and all of them have the ability to play on an NA roster, but the latter two probably lack the name value and pull to convince a player like Tarik to join right now. The Dutchman is an outside option, but with his choices in EU likely to be many and varied, he’s not worth counting on.

The obvious and immediate next move after the Content King himself would be karrigan, a man who has worked with TSM in the past and is currently available. The problem for TSM would be that every other team also wants to work with him right now, except FaZe and Astralis of course, but enough money and kind words can make up for that, provided the players believe they are going to be treated with the same respect as other TSM teams.

That gives you 40% of a team, and a pretty decent 40% at that, but it’s also where the tier one options start to run a bit dry. Players like ScreaM can bring in a good audience, but their effectiveness in game is questionable, while smooya has potential, but is far from the finished product. One move that could be explored when it comes to the AWP is Nifty, currently of Envy, especially if karrigan enjoyed working with him during his loan at the NA org.

At that point, it becomes a question of the direction the org want to take, with the aforementioned STYKO available alongside others such as AmaNEk and FNS, but it might be time to get the cheque book out for positions four and five, so to speak. Luring karrigan and Tarik will need some decent players for them to work with, and 4D chess masters or French players with potential are probably not going to cut it. there is a lot of talent in tiers two and three of NA CSGO though, meaning TSM’s return could be a spectacular one if they can have the same success with scouting they enjoyed in their last trip through CSGO.