League of Legends fans all over the world know the names of Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen. The two are staples of the North American LCS and among the best mid laners in the world. They have fought on the Rift many times and find themselves in yet another battle for the LCS Championship title.
The showdown between Team Liquid (“TL”) and Team SoloMid (“TSM”) is the next installment in this rivalry. Both are eager to outperform the other and lead their teams to victory. Though Jensen and TL are the favorites to win it all, Bjergsen and TSM’s legacy are a difficult obstacle to overcome. This matchup holds great significance to these players and will be a deciding factor in this weekend’s games. That cannot be understated. These two players have dominated the LCS for years and their clash is sure to be epic.
Jensen and Bjergsen both moved to NA from Europe early in their careers. Bjergsen was the first to do so. He joined TSM in 2014 after playing on Ninjas in Pyjamas and immediately achieved success. Jensen came to NA a year later, in 2015. Back then he went under the tag “Incarnati0n” and was actually banned from playing for about a year and a half. Mere days after his ban was lifted he joined Cloud9, where he struggled at first.
In 2015 there was a large discrepancy between Jensen and Bjergsen. In their first game against each other, Bjergsen had over a 100 CS lead by the end of the game. Jensen did win that game, but became infamous for falling far behind to all of his opponents. He was also criticized for his limited champion pool and inability to play many of the meta champions. Fortunately Jensen soon overcame these problems and vastly improved his play. Bjergsen didn’t have those problems and was a rock for his team.
Bjergsen lost to C9 in the 2014 Spring Split Finals but that was before Jensen was on the roster. After Jensen did join C9 the two did meet in a host of playoff games and split finals, but TSM always came out on top. Despite C9 holding three split titles, none of them have come with Jensen on the team. On the other hand Bjergsen has won five split titles. Three of them are back-to-back, an LCS record, with him holding multiple MVP titles too. Despite this clear distinction, Jensen has proved he is one of the best players in NA through his play. He has lived in Bjergsen’s shadow for years now, but now it may finally be his chance to prove himself.
Both teams struggled in the 2018 Spring Split. Neither of them advanced past quarterfinals and disappointed many fans. In the Summer Split things changed. C9 began the split at the bottom of the standings but with the help of roster swaps, ended in second place. TSM showed remarkable improvement as well and both teams made it to playoffs.
The trend of TSM dominance over C9 was shaken here. Jensen and C9 defeated TSM in the semifinals and moved on to face Team Liquid in the Finals. They lost to TL, but had enough championship points to qualify for the regional qualifiers and so did TSM. The two met again in the Regional Qualifier Finals, and C9 emerged victorious, stamping their ticket to the World Championship and ruining TSM’s hopes of attending.
After C9’s historic run at Worlds with C9, Jensen joined Team Liquid for the 2019 Season. The addition of Jensen made the already dominant TL roster a true force to be reckoned with. This split fans have seen the rivalry continue between these two players in an interesting fashion. TL finished first in the standings, with TSM coming in third. However, two of the four losses TL suffered during the split were at the hands of TSM and Bjergsen.
These two mid laners have large champion pools and can play most anything. The main differentiation between the two comes from their roles on the team. Jensen plays almost exclusively mages and is there to assist his team in team fights. Bjergsen, on the other hand, has adopted a larger pool of assassin picks. His Akali is renowned for some impressive performances, but he has also piloted picks like Jayce and LeBlanc to great success. Essentially, Jensen plays for his team and Bjergsen plays to carry more.
Jensen’s and Bjergsen’s playstyles will have a huge impact on the series this weekend. The 2019 Spring Split Finals will be another chapter in this rivalry and decide, at least temporarily, who is on top. Jensen is hungry for revenge after years of Bjergsen winning split titles. Likewise Bjergsen has his eyes on yet another split title and to regain TSM’s former glory. It seems fitting that these two mid lane titans are going toe-to-toe once more in such an important series.
It’s hard to say who will come out on top in St. Louis. TL is the heavy favorites to win it all and smashed FlyQuest in the semifinals. TSM has looked strong coming into playoffs and even pulled off a reverse sweep versus C9, the team that was solidly second best in NA. The one thing that is certain is that this best-of-five series means so much more than it appears. Legacies are on the line, so make sure to tune in this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. PST or 4:00 EST to see this battle unfold live!
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Featured image via EKGaming.