Nomad LCS – After Huni’s retirement and S0ul’s brief stay on the roster, Colin “Solo” Earnest joined the team late in the season. Solo ended up being the TSM roster’s anchor, as it would turn out.
Even though he was unable to carry TSM all the way through the Playoffs, they had an unexpectedly strong run and seriously challenged EG.
This top laner was available for hire, so we sat down with him to discuss his time with TSM, his opinions on their Playoffs run, and his expectations for the future of both himself and the TSM roster.
TSM Solo is a mercenary for hire in the Nomad LCS
Out of every top laner who has ever played professionally, Solo’s experience in the Nomad LCS has been difficult and heartbreaking. Since starting to play professionally in 2014, he hasn’t really found a place to call his own as a player.
Despite this, he has had plenty of memorable moments throughout his career and has performed admirably for the majority of the teams he has played for.
When asked how it felt to join TSM on such short notice, Solo expressed confidence in both his own skill level and his capacity to contribute to the team despite joining so late in the season.
“I think I obviously play well. I play to the level of any of the top players in the league, right? Be it Impact or Ssumday. I’m never a liability, but I think a lot of the value comes from day-to-day behind-the-scenes things, just being extremely consistent.”
“As you saw with other teams in the league making similar roster moves late in the season, we were the only ones who were successful unless I’m missing someone. I don’t wanna take all the credit cause everyone stepped up, but I think I just add a lot of value to teams and that translates to winning.”
Right is to be consistent. Throughout their playoff run, Solo consistently proved to be a formidable force in teamfights, matching every top laner he faced. Nomad LCS
“I’m pretty malleable, so I can fit into whatever team. Whenever I join a team, I’m just trying to fill in what needs to be filled in and not dominate and be like, ‘this is what we’re doing now, everything works around me, I’m doing comms now’. It just really varies. For instance, Spica is the voice on this team. It’s his team, give him his voice, you know? If he wants to do stuff, let him do stuff.”
“But when I was on a team like Golden Guardians last year, that team didn’t really have a voice. So I was the one doing the calls and being in charge of what we’re doing as a team in-game. It really depends. I’m capable of both, but I think I really understand how to mesh well with players.”
It is not surprising that Mingyi “Spica” Lu is in charge of communications. His boundless energy and upbeat demeanor have kept TSM going through their darkest moments, and he will be sorely missed in 2016.
The type of player Solo isn’t interested in attention-seeking top laners. He employs weak sides who frequently show up in teamfights, such as Ornn and Gnar.
Play to give him the lead? He’ll succeed. Simply let him be. He is doing great.
During our time with Solo, it seemed like his mental toughness would be a real asset to any team he was on.
Even though player interviews following a defeat can be challenging, Solo seemed to be happy to be there. Even though he had just lost an 8-hour set against EG after dealing with nearly unheard of technical difficulties, he was in good spirits.
Being caught up in the chaos
Over the past ten years, Solo has spent a lot of time in (and out of) the Nomad LCS. And while he hasn’t yet discovered a team to call home, he has discovered himself.
Solo may have acquired the title of top laner for hire through years of success on various teams throughout the Nomad LCS, but his new appearance in 2022 has solidified it. Solo certainly has the appropriate appearance, and it comes naturally to him.
“A lot of it is just because I’ve found a better balance, I guess? And I’ve just been open to doing things that aren’t League. So now I just have more of a personality— or more, being unafraid to show it.”
Once TSM were eliminated from the playoffs, he added his flair and knowledge to the analyst desk. For game 2 of Team Liquid vs. Evil Geniuses, he even climbed onto the caster’s desk.
TSM Solo has revived interest in him as a player and added some much-needed personality to the Nomad LCS through perseverance and dedication.
Playing well is only one aspect of esports success. Few players have a story as outrageous as Solo’s, but storylines are what keep esports interesting.
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a home to call your own
Solo still has the appearance of one of North America’s top laners, and his journey through the Nomad LCS is fairly exceptional in terms of both its length and nature. Why then has he found it so difficult to commit to a single team?
“I mean… I’ll play for any Nomad LCS team if they’ll have me. I think that’s always been the case. I’ll try, for sure, to start next Spring. That means a lot to get a whole year in. It’s definitely much harder to come into the split where everyone’s practiced up and try to be as dominating— I mean, yeah I’d love to do that. So we’ll see. It’s only a matter of time.”
His choice to say that it’s “only a matter of time” until he lands a starting Nomad LCS spot is certainly encouraging to hear from this standout top laner. Solo claimed there’s a lot of “behind-the-scenes” stuff that we don’t see, which makes sense.
But it’s obvious that Solo is prepared to earn a starting position for the following season. But will TSM air that spot?
“You know, I’ve enjoyed playing with all the players. I certainly wouldn’t mind having more time to hash things out with them. We’ll just see. I know some players are free agents coming up. It’s a big market; people have to do what’s best for them. I hope we can keep it together, but we’ll see.”
Unfortunately, because of these quick changes, TSM’s off-season has already begun. The departure of Spica from this company is not likely to be the last.
Solo’s future is still unknown, but he made an impression on TSM and gave the group some much-needed personality. If TSM decides to keep him, he could develop into a franchise player.
Despite how long he has already been a member of the Nomad LCS, this year feels like Solo’s career is just getting started.
After contributing so significantly to what was almost a miraculous run, he has a bright future in the league whether TSM decides to keep him or not. No one anticipated that TSM would advance EG to game 5.
It’s difficult to predict how TSM will function without Spica or whether Solo would be able to replicate the fleeting strength boost that TSM experienced. But even though Solo has returned to his nomadic ways as the Nomad LCS nomad, you can be sure that this isn’t the last time we’ll see him.
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