TSM’s 2023 Academy roster will feature 3 iconic NA veterans and former LCS champions

The NACL has some heavy hitters joining its ranks.

The boys are back.

It’s been five years since we’ve seen Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen, Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell, and Jason “WildTurtle” Tran play on the same League of Legends team. But next year, the trio will be reuniting as members of TSM’s Academy roster, the org announced today.

This triple threat will be joined by mid laner Stephen “Triple” Li and support Dragon “Dragku” Guo, who both hail from Australia as former LCO players looking to make a name for themselves in North America. This roster will compete in the newly-formed NA Challengers League, which will be replacing both the Academy and Proving Grounds tournaments in 2023.

Related: Potential rising: Riot replaces LCS Academy and Proving Grounds with new NA Challengers League for 2023

Svenskeren, Hauntzer, and WildTurtle played together for TSM during the team’s dominant hold on the league between 2016 and 2017. From the 2016 Summer Split to the 2017 Summer Split, TSM won three LCS championships in a row, etching themselves into the history books as one of the few teams to record consecutive trophy runs.

Since that final year with TSM, however, the three veterans led very different paths in their careers. Svenskeren, for example, went on to play for Cloud9 and Evil Geniuses from 2018 to 2021 before taking a full year away from competitive play last year. His greatest achievement throughout this period happened in 2018 when he and the boys in blue broke into the semifinals at the World Championship in one of the best runs NA has had at the tournament.

Hauntzer, on the other hand, stuck with TSM through a relatively disappointing 2018 season. After missing out on Worlds that year, he eventually played for a struggling Golden Guardians roster and with TSM Academy from 2019 to 2021. Like Svenskeren, Hauntzer was not able to find a team in 2022 and was forced to step away from competitive play.

The team’s AD carry WildTurtle has become a journeyman in the LCS over the last few years, playing on teams like FlyQuest, CLG, and Immortals. Since 2021, the 27-year-old veteran has spent a lot of time at the bottom of the regular season standings but is looking to revitalize his career by joining some familiar faces.

For anyone looking to scratch a nostalgic itch, the Challenger League might have exactly what you need when TSM’s Academy roster takes the stage next year.

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