Introduction:

On August 4th, 2014, Copenhagen Wolves decided to use Airwaks rather than Brokenshard for their Spring 2015 relegation games. On Twitter, Brokenshard announced “I’m confident that my next esports adventure will not be as a player. :) I’m not done with league yet!”

If Brokenshard has played his last games, it would be an unhappy ending to a truly unique career.

After getting cut from Team SoloMid, Chaox has failed multiple Challenger team try-outs. After moving to NiP, nukeduck, mithy, and zorozero lost in consecutive LCS qualifications. After leaving NaJin Black Sword, MakNoon did not qualify for OGN and has since retired Editors Note: Maknoon has now unretired. More often than not, the second climb is harder than the first.

This is what makes Brokenshard’s journey through the pro scene especially notable. He is one of only four players to have qualified for both the NA and EU LCS (Krepo, Snoopeh, and yellowpete are the other 3. Other players, such as dexter, have played in both but received automatic berths by joining already qualified teams.) and one of only two players to have played for three LCS franchises (Depends on how you count. Voyboy played for Dig, CLG, and Crs, but only for Crs in the LCS. Bjersen played for CW, NiP, and TSM but his NiP and CW squads featured the same players.)  In spite of this, Brokenshard has never been regarded as one of the top players at his position. How could this overlooked player succeed where so many of his peers have failed? How did he climb back into the LCS not just twice, but three times in rapid succession?

The story of Brokenshard as a mediocre player has never fit. But what exactly is Brokenshard’s story? On the surface, it’s a tragedy about a seemingly cursed player. But it is also a riveting tale about underdog victories and the importance of teamwork. Most importantly, it’s a story that seems like it should have ended countless times already.

DragonBorns:

Brokenshard began his career playing on various amateur teams, but his first step into the public eye was Dragonborn’s, a roster of newcomers led by Season 1 MVP Shushei. Although he was briefly benched in favor of Shook due to personality conflicts, he would return to play for the squad in their Spring Promotions.

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DragonBorn’s lineup for the Spring promotions tournament.

When the tournament first began, players and commentators alike disregarded Dragonborns and believed they had little chance of qualifying for the LCS. Not only was Dragonborns built out of unknowns and the past-his-prime Shushei, but they were seeded into a group of death featuring Team Acer, Team Millennium, and Team LoLPro. All three squads featured superstar talents, particularly at the mid lane. Tabzz, extinkt, and CitizenWayne were considered the heirs to the throne occupied by Alex Ich and Froggen. Brokenshard later admitted that he thought his team would bow out in the group stages with a 0-2 loss.

Shockingly, DragonBorns would leave the group in second place and secure a spot in the knock-out stages. Team LoLPro had recently replaced several players and couldn’t adjust to their new top laner and support. DragonBorns would also triumph over Team Acer, with Brokenshard and Shushei beating out Acer’s talented CitizenWayne-Amazing pairing. Unfortunately, they were immediately knocked into the loser’s bracket after a 1-2 defeat to an aAa lineup headlined by freddy122 and ShLaYa.

In the loser’s bracket, DragonBorns won out 2-0 against a mouseesports lineup reeling from the one-year banning of their star jungler Shook. On the other side of the bracket, heavy favorites Millennium lost 2-0 again after already falling 2-0 to a Bjersen-less Copenhagen Wolves squad. DragonBorns and MeetYourMakers would battle for the final LCS spot.

Although they were once again the underdogs, DragonBorns would respond with a decisive 2-0 victory to claim the final LCS spot, leading to…

Shushei’s famous chest bump, complete with Deman commentary!

Dragonborn’s success had all the makings of a classic sports movie: a former champion brings together a band of talented rookies and recovers his former glory. In every single one of their games, with the possible exception of the mousesports match, DragonBorns were widely expected to lose. Nobody expected DragonBorns to do especially well in the LCS, but a well-played season and requalification would have been a happy ending to the DragonBorns story.

In reality, Brokenshard’s story was just beginning.

Shortly after the team’s qualification, it was announced that Brokenshard would step down and move to a coaching role. He had fallen seriously ill and would be unable to accompany Dragonborns to their gaming house. After working so hard to make the LCS, Brokenshard would never play another game for DragonBorns.

While most players would have quit the team, Brokenshard clearly made the best of a bad scenario and demonstrated the leadership skills and maturity that has set him apart from other players. Not only did he stay positive in the face of disappointment, he gamely moved into a coaching situation when many other players would have left their teammates. As coach, he attempted to innovate with substitute players and upset the status quo. Most Western teams completely ignore their substitutes, but he used substitute slots both to actively push his starting members and deny stars from other teams. A single look at DragonBorn’s substitute list shows his line of thinking. The substitute roster contained mid lane star extinkt, the versatile YamatoCannon, and rising jungle star dexter. It looked like Brokenshard could compensate for the loss of his LCS dreams by becoming a rising coaching star.

compLexity:

Unfortunately, Brokenshard’s coaching career ground to a sudden halt due to poor management from the DragonBorns organization. Not only did the team refuse to take his coaching advice, they also refused to pay him! Brokenshard and dexter have both stated that the DragonBorns organization stole thousands of Euros from them. By the time DragonBorns was relegated by MYM in the Summer promotions tournament, Brokenshard had already moved on the team.

After a brief stint playing for TCM-Gaming, Brokenshard began working as an advisor with American organization To Be Determined. However, he was soon, he was invited to the team’s starting roster in place of heavenTime in order to fix the team’s early game and shotcalling issues. At the time, Brokenshard’s move across the globe was highly unusual, especially considering TBD was merely a Challenger team. However, he was confident that he could get the job done and qualify for the NA LCS.

With the addition of Brokenshard, TBD reclaimed their position near the head of the Challenger rankings and were considered the number one seed heading into Promotions. Sadly, TBD was crushed 0-3 by EG in a series where Brokenshard infamously died to red buff. It looked like his career had hit rock bottom, but the band of friends decided to stick together for one more season.

Although TBD began the season by receiving a sponsorship from compLexity and recruiting the talented pr0lly, they were considered heavy underdogs against the hyped up LMQ and the young talents on C9T and Team8. In fact, they barely qualified for the promotion tournament, needing the full 5 games to defeat a MashMe-led Curse Academy squad.

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coL’s lineup for promotions along with Coach Kubz

Heading into the promotion games, compLexity were considered massive underdogs against the first-seeded Team Coast.

Shockingly, coL was able to snag a 3-1 win after base-race nailbiters in Games 1 and 3. Brokenshard redeemed his poor performance in the last promotions with multiple clutch plays, especially on his beloved Lee Sin. Surprisingly, it was the much maligned Westrice who secured the series win for coL with a very underrated game-winning Lee Sin kick in Game 4.

To many, this would seem like the end of another tale. A close-knit group of friends struggled through adversity and finally achieved their goals. Little did we know that Brokenshard would be searching for a new home in less than a month.

The happy ending we were hoping for

Copenhagen Wolves:

In Week 4 of the LCS, coL shockingly announced the departure of team captain Brokenshard. Visa issues meant that Brokenshard would be unable to return to the LCS until at least Week 9, and the team couldn’t afford to stay in flux for 5 weeks. Once again, Brokenshard was forced to step away from his team for circumstances outside his control. After pouring in the time to qualify for the LCS not just once, but twice, he had played less than 15 games total.

He did leave the scene with this awesome play and an undefeated record against C9 though

It seemed like the veteran jungler’s career was over, but he was offered a spot on top Challenger team SK Prime. The addition of Brokenshard’s strong shotcalling and experience to the team’s strong mechanical play looked like a recipe for success, but personality clashes derailed Brokenshard’s time on the team.

Fortunately, the veteran shotcaller was given a third shot at the LCS. In Week 9, he was offered a substitute position on the Copenhagen Wolves squad. Brokenshard’s addition as the new shotcaller and jungler has breathed new life to the squad and they were able to enjoy several surprising victories.

Brokenshard in his element

But after a loss to Gambit on the last day of the LCS, Brokenshard will once again return to relegations as the last seed.

If history repeats itself, Copehagen Wolves fans should not be worried. Brokenshard’s leadership and clutch play has always made a difference. His winding path through professional play has been more of a curse than a blessing, but it’s definitely one that has prepared him for this moment.

I wrote the above paragraph to conclude this article, which I planned to publish a bit earlier. Needless to say, the CW announcement meant I need to make some revisions. Once again, a seemingly good situation for Brokenshard ended poorly. I’d hoped to end the article on a happy note, but it looks like that won’t be possible. Best of luck to Brokenshard in his future endeavors. If he ever set his mind on it, his history shows he’d have no problem making it back to the LCS.

“”One truly fails the moment he gives up when all hope seems lost. I’m not ready to fail just yet.” – Ram ‘Brokenshard’ Djemal

NOTE: Brokenshard is now the coach for Gamers2 and hopes to qualify in the LCS Expansion Tournament.