Team SoloMid PowerOfEvil All But Official
According to Jacob Wolf, Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage will start for Team SoloMid come 2021. That, in short, is quite bombastic news. It seems as though that losing Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg won’t be such a big hit after all. Granted, no one can truly fill the void created by his (unexpected) retirement, but getting PoE aboard is definitely a step in the right direction.
And, frankly, the writing was on the wall. You don’t refuse to re-sign with your current team — a team that reached Top 2 in both splits and even went to Worlds — if you don’t have an offer you simply cannot refuse. Plus, with rumors of Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen leaving for Team Liquid, there’s really no good reason for PoE to stay and compete under the FlyQuest banner.
After such an incredibly successful year, it’s fair to say that his value skyrocketed beyond measure. As a mid laner, he’s creative, aggressive, but also somehow controlled at the same time. He’s not afraid to dive right in and trade blows regardless of the odds (that’s a bit of that Unicorns of Love DNA talking) but he’s not unreasonable or overeager. He’s always teetering on the edge of danger without ever truly putting himself in harm’s way. It’s a very impressive way to play the game, and he’s getting away with it more often than not. Granted, the LCS isn’t exactly the definition of an insanely competitive region, but PoE has been holding his own against the who’s who of North America and is rightfully considered as a Top 3 mid laner.
His stats tell the same tale as well. He’s pretty solid laning-wise but he truly starts to shine once those hectic mid and late game team fights start to break out. That’s when he’s able to get to work and style over his opposition with immaculate positioning and an insane damage output. He’s also pretty meta resilient and can play pretty much anything. Still, unless it’s a fiesta-like affair, he prefers to stick with the age-old mid lane starter pack: Azir, Corki, Orianna, LeBlanc, Syndra, Kassadin, and Cassiopeia, with an odd Viktor thrown in just for good measure. For PoE, control mages are always the way to go.
His champion pool is also a carbon copy of Bjergsen’s, although there’s no Twisted Fate or Zilean. Still, he’s far more aggressive (both in lane and in team fights) and is less risk-averse than the Danish mid lane legend — something TSM fans have long been complaining about.
A Great Start
Finding someone to take over the mantle from Bjergsen was Team SoloMid’s hardest challenge this time around. With PowerOfEvil aboard, it’s fair to say that they’ve found the best possible solution given the circumstances. Still, there are multiple question marks left. If the rumors end up being true, they still need to find a top laner and a support. With Sergen “BrokenBlade” Çelik and Vincent “Biofrost” Wang out of the picture, they could potentially go for Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun (who already has synergy with PoE) as their support, and Jeong “Impact” Eon-yeong or Eric “Licorice” Ritchie for top — neither of whom would take up an import slot which is paramount at this point.
Licorice definitely seems like a better fit than Impact, but it’s highly questionable whether TSM would be willing to buy him out from Cloud9 — he certainly wouldn’t come cheap. Still, if they do end up pulling it off, they’ll have a beastly roster for 2021. Heck, maybe that’s even an understatement.
In any case, seeing PowerOfEvil compete under the Team SoloMid banner is definitely a surprise, but fortunately, it’s an incredibly exciting one. Plus, those who’ve been watching competitive League for longer will probably remember the day when he outclassed the boys in black and white en route to winning IEM San Jose in 2015.
Time sure does fly.
He has some pretty big shoes to fill, but if his recent level of play is any indication, PoE is definitely well-equipped for the monumental task at hand!