Is TSM Selling Their LCS Slot?

According to sources at Dexerto, TSM was thinking of selling their LCS slot due to the org cutting down on esports cost. Will the 2023 LCS season be missing a key team?

TSM Shenyi
What is TSM even doing? | © Riot Games

Things seem to be going from bad to worse for TSM this 2022 League of Legends season. After finishing in ninth place during the Spring Split, a history low for the storied League of Legends esports org. Add in a lack of viewership, some drama with TSM management, and we get the mess the team is currently in.

According to Dexerto's Richard Lewis, sources close to TSM told them that the org was toying with the idea of selling their slot in the LCS. This doesn't mean that the team was thinking of leaving League of Legends esports completely, but rather that they were looking for new endeavors in the esport.

TSM Wanted To Buy Misfit's LEC Slot

According to the sources, TSM was toying with the idea of purchasing the free slot in the LEC which Misfits have opened up. Team Heretics ended up winning the bidding contest though, getting the LEC slot for a reported $45-50 million fee.

If TSM had gotten a chance to play in the LEC, they would have sold their LCS slot and moved to another region. The LEC does have a better record at international events in comparison to the LCS, making it the more popular league for viewers and fans.

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LCS Viewership Dropping

The LCS hasn't been doing too well in terms of viewership either in recent years. Everyone knows that the LEC is the best league in the west with top tier teams like Fnatic and G2 Esports making it to the finals at international tournaments, thus boosting the viewership of the region, as well as the quality of play.

With regional leagues fostering young talent for the LEC, it seems like more and more local players can make it in the LEC, while the LCS is lagging behind in terms of regional talent, teams still opting to import players from Korea, China and even Europe instead.

The 2022 LCS Spring Split only had a peak viewership of 387,000 according to esports charts, while the LEC managed a peak viewership of 723,000. The average viewership is also down for the LCS. Even with the LCS changing their format and their studio, it still seems to be losing viewership. This could be another reason why TSM was thinking of leaving the LCS with the free fall of viewers and popularity.

TSM Changing Esports Strategy

According to the sources at Dexerto, TSM is also looking to change its esports strategy, so even if you aren't a fan of League of Legends, other esports teams from TSM could be impacted in the near future. Does this have anything to do with the recent drama that has followed TSM?

TSM is one of the most well-known esports orgs, and they haven't been afraid of splurging on players, like Maple joining ahead of the LCS Summer Split, so for them to change their esports strategy comes as a shock for some fans. So, for now, TSM isn't selling their LCS slot, but who knows what could happen in the future? In 2024, will we see TSM in the LPL?