Bjergsen: The Great Dane of the Mid Lane
This article is part of a series written by the GoldPer10 crew to help introduce the players and prepare you, the reader, for the World Championship.
Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg is an icon of the North American LCS. He is the best player in the region and is the primary carry of Team Solo Mid, the organization with the most successful tournament history in NA. His roots however, are far humbler.
“I was a changed person, and I still am.” Søren Bjerg
In February of 2014 Soren made a lengthy Facebook post explaining his background story and how he reached the LCS stage. He grew up as a fairly mediocre student who was often bullied for his physical stature. He was demeaned by both his peers and his teachers so he found an escape in video games. He played in secrecy lest he give bullies more tools to harass him with as gaming was frowned upon. Eventually, his depression lead him to lose all desire to attend classes and the bullying became physically painful enough that he barely was able to attend school any longer. He dropped out of 8th grade about half a year into it due to the abuse he faced. His skill started to show around this time and he began to make money from online tournaments, eventually ending up on the Copenhagen Wolves.
He then proceeded to describe how Deficio’s mentorship helped him grow from a shy kid who was bullied to an All-star LCS mid laner. He went from the quiet player who denied whatever interviews he could to a confident media presence for TSM and one of the most popular streamers on Twitch. Bjergsen made a name for himself in season three with his flashy plays on champions like Zed and Syndra when he was on Copenhagen Wolves and later Ninjas in Pyjamas. His assassin skills have led to a number of highlight reel montages from both solo queue and competitive play. Then he was signed by TSM in a blockbuster deal that followed Reginald’s retirement from a playing position.
Bjergsen faced enormous expectations from the largest fanbase in the entire west immediately upon his arrival and he did not disappoint. He exceeded every other mid laner in North America in the Spring of 2014 and nearly brought TSM the Spring Split title, falling just short against Cloud9. He then had another incredible split in the summer and this time was able to bring TSM the North American Championship.
At the Season 4 World Championship,Bjergson took TSM to the quarterfinals, the farthest the organization had ever gotten. There, Samsung White, the eventual winners of the tournament, defeated TSM 3-1. Bjergson did all he could, but he could not solo carry against a team as powerful as Samsung White.
Throughout 2015, Bjegsen has retained his skill level even though things around him fell apart in the summer. Lustboy and Santorin began to lose their synergy and Santorin’s early game impact suddenly vanished. WildTurtle became one of the worst AD carries in NA and Dyrus was struggling to adapt to a meta that featured more carry top laners. TSM had their worst finish in the history of the team coming in 5th place in the summer split, largely thanks to Bjergsen’s ability to outplay his opponents and stay in the game even as both of his side lanes lost and his jungler mostly farmed.
The quarter finals match against Gravity showed great growth from TSM’s coaching staff as they considerably out drafted Gravity and were able to pull off a composition centered around Dyrus rather than Bjergsen, who played Lulu and Orianna for 3 out of the 4 games with the exception being an Ahri game where he received minimal investment from Lustboy and Santorin in terms of vision and pressure.
In the semifinals against Team Liquid Bjergsen was allowed to play Azir in the first two games.He was dominant in both games by making game changing plays and drawing pressure away from WildTurtle who was allowed to be very aggressive on jinx. There were still some questionable plays by TSM but they still came away with a 3-1 victory.
At last we come to the finals against Counter Logic Gaming, TSM’s greatest rival.. Counter Logic Gaming dismantled TSM thoroughly. By banning out Azir and Lulu, CLG forced Bjegsen onto less comfortable champions while Pobelter was allowed to have Viktor every game. By focusing on neutralizing Bjergsen TSM’s blatant weaknesses were brought to light. CLG devastated the side lanes and Bjergsen was unable to overpower Pobelter.
Questions for Worlds
So what lies ahead for Søren Bjerg? His ability seemed unable to carry his team out of North America, which is widely considered the weakest of the major 4 regions. Here are the 3 main things that are necessary for Bjergsen to succeed at Worlds.
A Good Draft Phase
Bjergsen had the luxury of counterpicking the opposing mid laner in every game in the CLG series, but their draft strategy seemed unfocused and resulted in him playing yasuo twice, who isn’t known for his early game prowess. He was given Orianna the first game which he did well enough with, but struggled to take over the game like TSM requires him to. The second game he picked Yasuo into Viktor,which is a mediocre lane match up and seemed to be partially a means of denying Yasuo from ZionSpartan, who dominated TSM with it the previous match. The third game Bjergsen again picked Yasuo and really didn’t dominate in lane like he is required to for TSM to win. Bjergsen had a massive champion pool and was capable of playing AP Kog’Maw which does well into Viktor, but TSM decided to pick for the team composition. Bjergsen was left to do what he could with a losing lane matchup. If TSM can pick Bjergsen a champion that he can impact the game against the likes of GODV, Nagne and Xpeke, then TSM has a much better overall chance to win
Early Game Pressure
Throughout the playoffs TSM attempted to operate around Dyrus and WildTurtle more while leaving Bjergsen to fend for himself in the mid lane. While he was able to go even, if TSM wants to pick up games at Worlds they will need to get Bjergsen ahead so he can start snowballing. Through the second half of the summer split the synergy between Lustboy and Santorin seemed to disappear leading to poor early game vision control and a lack of meaningful roams. To remedy this Turtle must also be given a champion that doesn’t require large amount of resources to perform in team fights in case he falls behind like Corki. This will give insurance to TSM for the early parts of the game and possibly even give higher pressure in Wildturtle’s lane so Bjergsen can take riskier trades
Snowball other lanes
Finally, the most difficult piece of the puzzle. Bjergsen must find a way to work with his side lanes to create advantages. He was able to do this well when he got Twisted Fate against LGD. While Dyrus and WildTurtle may not be on the same level as their opponents internationally, if Bjergsen can secure leads for his side lanes in the mid game then Dyrus can still be a great disruptor in teamfights and WildTurtle may be able to put his positioning failures in the past behind him. The problem lies in their ability to stay even until Bjergsen can help. This also means that drafting aggressive early game champions for Bjergsen needs to be a priority.
TSM has a rough group stage ahead of them facing LGD, KT Rolster and Origen. However Bjergsen has already shown with his performance in his first games at Worlds that he is not going to back down from the challenge.