Entering the pro scene
Kevin Yarnell, most well known as Hauntzer in the competitive League of Legends scene started his career early at just seventeen years of age. While his first recorded team was with the Gentleman’s Guild, he only spent two months with the team failing to attain any significant achievement. In late 2013, Hauntzer was picked up by Team LoLPro where he got his first taste of success in the NA CS scene. Equipped with a second place title in the 2014 NACS Summer Series 1 and really good individual performance, Hauntzer signed with Curse Academy. While the deal may not look ‘big’, this allowed Hauntzer to gain further recognition and the attention of many teams in the NA LCS, as his new home was the sister team of the major force, Team Curse, now known as Team Liquid.
Establishing a name for himself
After spending four months with Curse Academy, Hauntzer decided to leave the team and join a newly formed NA LCS line up, Gravity. While Gravity didn’t find too much success in the NA LCS stage, placing around the middle to lower ends of the spectrum, Hauntzer proved himself as an emerging talent.
Hauntzer was able to show a great understanding of his top lane, overall macro play and coordination with his team. Gravity may not have done well, but Hauntzer was never the primary reason for the teams’ loss, instead, he was the focus of multiple teams to shut down.
Joining Team SoloMid
As Gravity decided to disband following the sale of their NA LCS spot to Echo Fox, Hauntzer immediately transferred to Team SoloMid. Hauntzer was exactly the person Team SoloMid was looking for following the departure and retirement of Dyrus. Not only was Hauntzer a young talent that could be trained up and formed according to what TSM needed, Hauntzer had already adopted a suitable play style similar to Dyrus. Hauntzer is a safe player that doesn’t play overly aggressive in the lane which opens up the game into the later stage, allowing Bjergsen to carry the rest of the team.
Team SoloMid is regarded as a fast paced team, not minding to switch out players the moment they think someone is weighing them down. For Hauntzer to stay on Team SoloMid’s starting roster as their top laner for five splits is a testament to his amazing performance.
Performance with TSM
Since joining Team SoloMid, Hauntzer has played alongside and against the best teams in not only North America, but in the world. To date, alongside Team SoloMid, Hauntzer has taken the win in the 2016 & 2017 Summer Split and Playoffs, directly qualifying TSM for Worlds. While TSM hasn’t gotten very far at worlds, Hauntzer remains a strong force that can compete with the best players in the world.
Hauntzer Domestic Career
Hauntzer began his League of Legends career on The Gentleman’s Guild. Together with his teammates, he attended the League of Legends VII Premier Playoffs, but unfortunately, The Gentleman’s Guild fell prey to COGnitive Gaming. Afterward, Hauntzer signed with Team LoLPro.
His time on Team LoLPro began with an attempt to qualify for the 2014 NA CS Spring Series #1. Their run turned out to be very brief, though, as LoLPro were knocked out of the tournament by Skyline. Even so, Hautzer and his teammates didn’t let that get to them, and they managed to make it into the 2014 NA CS Spring Series #2. But as luck would have it, they were eliminated after a 2-1 quarterfinals loss to vVv Gaming.
LoLPro returned for the 2014 NA CS Summer Series #1. This time, they enjoyed more success, going all the way to the finals before losing 2-0 to Team Cost. In the 2014 NA CS Summer Series #2, they managed to reach the semifinals only to lose 2-0 to Curse Academy. Afterward, they suffered a 2-1 defeat in a third-place match against Team 8.
In spite of this result, their spring showing earned them enough points to qualify for the 2014 NA CS Summer playoffs. They kicked off their run with a 2-1 win over Denial eSports, but history repeated itself, as LoLPro suffered a 2-0 semifinals defeat at the hand of Curse Academy. A 3-1 loss to Team Coast in the third-place match was the final nail in the coffin, and Hauntzer missed out on the 2015 Promotion tournament.
The off-season had Hauntzer signing with the same team that bested him in the Challenger Series, Curse Academy. Together with his new teammates, Hauntzer took on the 2015 Spring Expansion tournament. Curse Academy showed up at the event, scoring back-to-back 3-1 victories against Team Coast and Team Fusion to qualify for the 2015 NA LCS Spring Split. Since Team Curse already had another NA LCS lineup, they sold their Academy roster to Gravity.
Under the Gravity banner, Hauntzer had a respectable showing in spring. His team produced a 10-8 regular season record, which was enough to qualify for the playoffs. This was the end of the line for them, though, as Gravity lost 3-1 in the quarterfinals against Team Impulse. Gravity had a slightly better showing in the 2015 NA LCS Summer Split, and their 12-6 run brought them to another knockout stage.
Unfortunately, their quarterfinals match against TSM ended with a disappointing 3-1 loss. And while Gravity had another chance in the Gauntlet, they couldn’t overcome Cloud9’s momentum, and ended the season in 5-6th place.
In the off-season, Hauntzer parted ways with Gravity to join TSM. TSM took on the 2016 NA LCS Spring Split with the roster of Hauntzer, Svenskeren, Bjergsen, Doublelift, and YellowStar. The potential of this lineup was immense, but the synergy issues between Doublelift and YellowStar led to a mediocre 9-9 record in the regular season.
With that, TSM barely qualified for the playoffs. However, they managed to turn their ship around by scoring a 3-1 quarterfinals victory against Cloud9. They capitalized on this momentum by crushing Immortals 3-0 in the semifinals. But the finals told a very different narrative, and TSM suffered a narrow 3-2 loss at the hand of Counter Logic Gaming.
In summer, TSM brought in Biofrost to replace YellowStar. Unexpectedly, the move worked, and TSM acquired one of the strongest bot lanes in the region. They took over the regular season, producing a spectacular 17-1 record. The knockout stage had them dismantling Counter Logic Gaming with a 3-0 score before scoring a convincing 3-1 win over Cloud9. With that, Hauntzer claimed his first NA LCS trophy and qualified for the 2016 World Championship.
It seemed like TSM were about to take the 2017 NA LCS Spring Split by storm. Unfortunately, their roster took a hit when Doublelift decided to take a step back from competitive play. The team signed WildTurtle as his replacement, but TSM’s bot lane still looked weaker as a result. Even so, Hauntzer stepped up to the plate as a capable secondary carry, which was one of the reasons behind TSM’ impressive 15-3 record. Their playoffs run started with a dominant 3-0 win over FlyQuest. Afterward, they took on Cloud9, scoring a narrow 3-2 finals victory to secure an MSI ticket and another NA LCS trophy.
Doublelift rejoined TSM for the 2017 NA LCS Summer Split. His presence didn’t change much for the regular season, and TSM came up with a 14-4 record to qualify for the playoffs. There, they picked up the pace to score a confident 3-1 over Team Dignitas. In the finals, TSM found another 3-1 victory against Immortals to qualify for the 2017 World Championship.
2018 saw TSM parting ways with Svenskeren, Doublelift, and Biofrost. They recruited MikeYeung, Zven, and Mithy in an effort to turn the team into a Worlds contender. But much like with YellowStar, TSM were brought down by a multitude of communication issues. And while their 11-7 record was good enough to advance to the knockout stage, a 3-1 quarterfinals loss to Clutch Gaming put an end to their international ambitions.
Hauntzer International Tournaments
Hauntzer’s attended his first international tournament—IEM Season 10 San Jose—together with Team SoloMid. TSM scored a clean 2-0 victory in the quarterfinals against LGD, but the tables were turned when Origen crushed them 2-0 in the semifinals. With that, TSM had to leave the tournament empty-handed.
TSM were viewed as the strongest NA LCS team in the 2016 World Championship. Unfortunately, they were seeded into the “group of death” alongside Samsung Galaxy, Royal Never Give Up, and Splyce. And while Splyce couldn’t put a dent into them, TSM struggled to overcome Samsung Galaxy and Royal Never Give Up. In the end, their 3-3 record wasn’t enough to qualify for the playoffs.
The 2017 Mid-Season Invitational was tough for TSM. They were weakened by Doublelift’s departure, so they had to play around solo laners. Unfortunately, the international competition proved too stiff for Hauntzer, and his team failed to exit the group stage with a 4-6 record.
Still, Doublelift returned for 2017 Worlds, so TSM were in a perfect spot to make their comeback. Moreover, they were seeded into the same group with Team WE, Misfits, and Flash Wolves, which was regarded as one of the weakest World Championship groups. But surprisingly enough, TSM struggled to perform in the group stage. Their 3-3 record led to a tiebreaker where TSM suffered a crushing defeat at the hand of Misfits. With that, they were eliminated from the tournament.