Thursday, September 29, 2022

Spica released by TSM, announces League free agency

Star jungler Mingyi “Spica” Lu has been released by TSM after the roster’s loss to Evil Geniuses in the 2022 LCS Championship. The former North American champion and 2021 Spring Split MVP is now an unrestricted free agent—and a valuable one at that—heading into the next League of Legends transfer window.

Spica played 166 games for TSM in the LCS between 2019 and its release.

The jungler, who is still just 21, announced the news in a tweet on Sept. 6, confirming he is now able to talk to other league orgs ahead of the 2023 season.

“TSM has terminated my contract, so I am a free agent, effective today,” he wrote in the update. “Thanks to all the fans for the four years of overwhelming support. I’m excited for what’s coming next.”

The Chinese-born jungler has yet to announce if he has found a new team.

This roster move from TSM brings a four-year relationship between Spica and the heavyweight league org to a close. The 21-year-old joined the team’s Academy roster in April 2019 before joining the main lineup for brief stints in that spring’s regular season and a do-or-die playoff series in the summer postseason.

Spica returned to TSM’s development roster for the 2020 spring season, where his Academy squad come in third-fourth in the playoffs. He was moved into the main squad full-time from the start of the summer.

The move paid off nearly instantly for TSM and Spica alike: the league team—which also included Bjergsen, Doublelift, and Biofrost—came in fourth in the regular season before an incredible lower bracket run to win the 2020 LCS Summer Split playoffs with a 3-2 grand final victory over FlyQuest.

The team then suffered a memorable 0-6 humiliation in Worlds groups and veterans Bjergsen and Doublelift retired from competitive league.

Photo via Getty Images for Riot Games

Spica and the squad returned in 2021 with fresh faces like Huni, PowerOfEvil, and big money signing SwordArt. The team had strong results, including third in the Mid-Season Showdown and a top-spot finish in the summer regular season, the latter of which netted Spica his first All-Pro nomination and the LCS MVP crown.

The team missed the playoffs in the 2022 Spring Split and came in fifth-sixth in the Championship.

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