TSM finally enters Dota 2 – How good is the “new” roster?

Team SoloMid (TSM) finally joins the Dota 2 Esports scene after many years of contemplating about it and perhaps peer pressure from fans. They signed the North American power-forward, Team Undying. This is great news for the unsponsored team, and many other similar teams in the region. The Americas may finally become a Dota 2 esports investment hub.

Meanwhile, what does all this fresh money mean for team Undying, and where do we expect TSM placing in the NA scene.

TSM Dota 2

David “MoonMeander” Tan

TSM signs Team Undying for their Dota 2 entry

While TSM is a prominent powerhouse in various esports, namely League of Legends, CS:GO and Valorant, their namesake is uncanny to most Dota 2 fans. The decision to pick up Undying for their Dota 2 debut is plausibly a perfect investment for the org. Undying is certainly not a new name, having debuted in their first International last year, and remained consistently strong. The team’s independence in playing without a sponsor for two consecutive seasons will be an inspiring success story for fans hopping onto the TSM bandwagon.

What does this mean TSM and the NA region?

Team Undying was relatively self-sustaining even before securing this deal, being backed by a large esports organization is always a relief. They will certainly be able to cover themselves financially and pursue their esports career full-time. Additionally, Undying players, notably David “MoonMeander” Tan Boon Yang will finally enjoy perks that boost well-being and morale.

Hiring a coach,  psychologist and lessening the non-play burden on players is a massive boon. These are often aspects that are disregarded in a team where monetary concerns loom on whether you play well.

We have much to thank Valve and their brainchild, the DPC system for this move as well. The DPC system has changed over the years, but Valve’s recent design provides sustainable grounds for nurturing new teams. The Division 2 bracket is a great example of an amateur league done right. It favors consistency over one-time flukes, which the points distribution and rankings format showcases effectively. Teams that are top-six consistently in Majors still stand a high chance of qualifying for the Internationals without champions’ title.

In TSMs case, they will likely have an entire season to try and create the winning NA team. With guaranteed participation in Tour 2 Division 1, and at least Division 2 in Tour 3, there is an entire year in which the organization can work on strengthening the foundation of their Dota 2 adventure.

Let’s hope the added staff and resources helps them achieve that.

What’s next for TSM?

Although the DPC2021-22 Division 1 has concluded with Team Undying in second-place, the action isn’t over yet. In fact, it’s only three weeks before TSM’s debut in the Regional Finals for North America. MoonMeander and his reliable stack will be continuing the season-long rivalry against EG, with a new namesake.

To answer our article title: The roster is seasoned by Dota standards, and we have faith they are instantly considered a top 3 team in North America. They placed much higher than EG in Division 1, but note that EG defeated them in their previous encounter nonetheless. EG’s early sloppy days are over, and even Quincy Crew, the Division 1 winner didn’t win against them.

Hence, TSM may be in big trouble from the get go. Losing on your debut is not fun at all. However, it’s not impossible, given TSM’s strong foundation in drafting. With weeks of spare time, TSM might just be able to pull off their greatest heist with a game-winning strategy.

TSM’s bold venture into not just the Dota 2 scene but the NA region itself, may also be a catalyst for more esports investors to invest in the scene. It has been more than two years since we last had a powerhouse in NA besides Evil Geniuses, and there are still decent teams without an org or sponsor yet. For instance, Quincy Crew that won first place in the Division 1 bracket of DPC2021-22 Tour 1 remains unsponsored after three years. Even 4 Zoomers with a commendable fourth-place finish could use a sponsor to fund their pro career.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that TSM lasts longer than a single Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season, unlike many NA predecessors. Previous, Optic Gaming and Cloud9 gave Dota 2 a shot, but quickly exited the scene.