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Biofrost: NA's Next Native Support Star

When the news hit that Biofrost would be joining TSM as the support, TSM fans started buzzing with anticipation. Biofrost had earned a reputation as a Challenger player with mean mechanics that played a strong Thresh and Alistar, and rumours had been swirling about his presence at a Korean boot camp. TSM had looked at the pool of available talent, and even though Yellowstar’s departure opened up an import slot, they chose to bet on a young, hungry, homegrown talent: Vincent “Biofrost” Wang.

Why was Biofrost such a fascinating pickup for TSM? We had a chance to talk to the most talked-about support in the NA LCS about his time on TSM, his predecessors, expectations, and his goals for the split. But before diving into the present day, let's dive into the history around his pickup, and why his pickup makes it such an exciting time to be a TSM fan.

The Setup

Let’s set the scene: It’s the Spring 2016 Playoffs, and Team SoloMid have limped through a rough season to the finish line. The North American titans had gone 9-9 throughout the regular season, and fans wondered if this would be the first time that the boys in black and white didn’t make it to the regional finals.

Just when all looked lost, a new, lean, mean TSM emerged against Cloud9, taking them down to face the Immortals — and toppling the favorites to take the West. TSM had overhauled their team, turning their roster from five individual stars into a well oiled machine that focused on team cohesion. Svenskeren went from looking lost in the jungle to tearing the enemy team apart, Hauntzer would die to set up the perfect engage for his carries, and Bjergsen remained the consistent rock in mid lane that his team needed. Doublelift and Yellowstar both played their hearts out. While the team couldn’t make it past Counter Logic Gaming, fans were pleased and optimistic. Sure, they had lost, but what a comeback! What a turnaround! This cohesive new roster with a focus on teamwork would surely lead them to taking summer and heading to Worlds, right? There was just one change left...

One in a Million

In a move that caught the public by surprise, Yellowstar left TSM to head home to Europe after the season, leaving TSM with an open roster spot and a chance to refresh their lineup. With their new focus on teamwork and cohesion in mind, going for a young and ravenous talent over a proven big name was a smart choice — and one that has paid off so far, judging by TSM’s record of 6-0.

Biofrost joined the team in Korea to try out alongside other potential supports. Biofost had a solid reputation in Challenger, but this was the opportunity of a lifetime. Luckily, he impressed TSM during his trial: “After two weeks and a half before I was notified that, you know, I would be the starting support and when I was told that I was really excited, of course. I was definitely really happy.”

TSM fans were optimistic about the team’s new support and their chances for summer — and immediately, TSM set about proving their fans right. The split began in a repeat of the finals, with TSM against CLG.

Pressure’s On

TSM has had some incredible North American talents in the past - of course, there’s Yellowstar, but Xpecial and Lustboy have also been notable talents who were considered among the best in the role in North America. “I definitely feel pressure to perform,” Biofrost admits. “You know the community is usually really harsh on TSM. If you perform poorly, a lot of people bash on you, but it's similiar to as how if you do well a lot of people praise you. So definitely it’s an ongoing seesaw of sorts and living up to that pressure is kinda just something you need to do if you’re on TSM, and as a pro player in general.”

Luckily, Biofrost isn’t doing it alone. He has a team of veterans by his side - including his lane partner, long-time veteran Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng.

“Playing with Doublelift is definitely really nice. He is a very aggressive AD and he has a lot of knowledge about the game so he is always constantly trying to teach me stuff and I’ve learned something new every day, either about the lane or just about the game in general.” Biofrost says. It’s not all business, though. “Outside the game we get along pretty well as well. We do a lot of team activities so it’s hard to hate anyone and we all get along really well."

TSM fans have taken to social media to try and get their appreciation of Biofrost’s strong early split across, but he’s not letting it get to his head. While he reads the feedback, he’s staying focused. “It’s definitely nice to see so many people supporting me on either Reddit or Twitter but my main concern is what my team thinks,” he says. “If my team thinks I have something to work on and Reddit says otherwise, I’d follow to what to my team says, because everything that happens internally Reddit doesn’t see, and there’s definitely a lot of work I need to do.”

His immediate goals? Keep improving through all of that hard work, and try to take first as a team. It may be his rookie split, but Biofrost isn’t letting that stop him.

Twists and Turns Ahead

If you think support is a boring role, you haven’t been paying attention. Not only are supports some of the most dynamic players in the game that can make or break a key teamfight, but the support meta has been in flux lately. Biofrost shares his thoughts on the top picks:

“Ranged supports are definitely in right now. Like Karma’s really good, she’s very highly contested in both NA and Korea. She’s a flex pick.”

The Rise of the Thorns has made a comeback to the support lane after a long hiatus, thanks to her recent rework. “Zyra’s a good pick, too, she’s really strong in lane. And a lot of people have been playing Nami as well. Braum’s the only really melee support that’s played a lot. Alistar's played some, but he has a very low win rate and he hasn’t been seen a lot of success.”

You might remember that Biofrost was known for his Alistar and especially his Thresh. Despite this, he’s been playing the meta picks very well, including a surprisingly strong Bard. But does he long for a change? “Recently there’s been more Thresh picks, so that’s a pick I’m excited for, because I used to be a Thresh main. I want to be able to play that in LCS.” Biofrost may be playing his heart out, but he's still a part of the team — and for now, that means playing what the team needs. But Biofrost hopes that Thresh is a part of that need sooner rather than later. “I’m hoping that more people start playing Thresh, so that I can convince my team to let me play him.”

In fact, Biofrost has one last message for his fans: “Thanks for being so supportive and hopefully I can play Thresh sometime soon.” Whether he can convince his team to let him pick up the Chain Warden, or if he stays on ranged meta supports, one thing is for certain: he’s gunning for the top along with the rest of TSM, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get there.

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