Thus far through the LCS playoffs, TSM has been teetering on a knife’s edge between a troubled squad and a dominant force, as the team’s first two respective efforts against Golden Guardians and Dignitas have showcased a tale of two TSMs. In their first matchup of the Summer Playoffs, TSM faltered in a 3-0 sweep to Golden Guardians, falling short in almost every aspect of the game. Just a few days later, they went out against Dignitas and proved why they were one of the top teams in the LCS this past regular split, sweeping their first test of the lower bracket cleanly and convincingly.
And while there have most definitely been some question marks surrounding not only TSM’s caliber of play, but also the quality of their opponents – and how TSM’s actual worth might be affected – there has still been an incredibly solid piece present throughout that the team has been able to rely on during the course of the tumultuous events of the past week.
Of course, that piece is Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, who, despite TSM’s inconsistency, has remained incredibly consistent throughout not only the team’s first two playoff series, but the entirety of the team’s recent run to its current destination at the back-end of the season.
Thus far in the Summer Playoffs, Bjergsen has helped serve as a foundational cornerstone of the TSM roster, as his performance across 6 games has been commendable to be sure. With 3 wins and 3 losses under his belt, Bjergsen has been able to post a KDA of 6.1 over the past week-plus, with a DPM of 448.6 and an average GD@15 of +243. When TSM has needed him most, Bjergsen has been able to hold his head above water and swim at a breakneck pace, giving his team ample opportunity to capitalize on a solid performance throughout these playoffs thus far.
If we look past the playoffs and head back in time slightly to TSM’s 5-1 run to close out the regular split, Bjergsen was able to stand out as a premium player during that time period, as well. His 10.8 KDA ranked 1st among all qualified LCS mid laners during that span, which was capped off by an impeccable 7/0/6 performance against Golden Guardians.
And although Bjergsen and TSM were swept quite convincingly the last time they went up against today’s opponent in Golden Guardians, the veteran mid laner was able to hold his own in that series – in addition to the 4 wins in 4 tries across both splits. Bjergsen’s final scoreline across those three playoff games, though, amounted to an underwhelming 7/4/9. But, when compared to the rest of his team in that contest, his 4-death performance stands out as it was tied for the lowest death total on TSM during that series.
Of course, three losses will dampen those statlines significantly. This phenomena was notably seen in the damage category, as Tanner “Damonte” Damonte had outperformed Bjergsen in every DPS category in every game of that opening series.
However, this wasn’t to say that TSM didn’t do their best to funnel their resources into Bjergsen during that 3-game sweep. And it’s certainly not to say that Bjergsen didn’t try to succeed with what little resources he had at his fingertips during that first Golden Guardians series. Despite their struggles, the team kept faith in their mid laner, as Bjergsen led the team in DPM throughout the series with a mark of 406, while topping TSM’s DMG% charts in every game save the series finale.
But, let’s keep in mind that resource distribution is at its most effective when the player is put in a position to succeed. Against Dignitas later in the week, TSM placed Bjergsen on Syndra, Sett, and Twisted Fate – three characters he has been consistently solid on (Bjergsen has a 6-2 combined record on those 3 champions this summer).
In that series, he stole the show, posting a final scoreline of 12/4/21. In a must-win, “back-against-the-wall” scenario, Bjergsen took matters into his own hands. His performance was good enough to earn his the Player of the Series title when the contest had wrapped up.
Of course, we can point out the obvious here and say that Dignitas presented a far lower level of competition than Golden Guardians did, but it was still nice to see TSM shake up their strategy – particularly their strategy surrounding Bjergsen against a different opponent.
Coming into Sunday’s rematch with GG, it would be perplexing, to say the least, if TSM went with the same losing approach that they took towards Bjergsen’s abilities the last time around. It would be quite stunning to see them forego the aggressive, damage-heavy approach surrounding Bjergsen in favor of a more control-oriented outlook.
If TSM is going to earn redemption and topple Golden Guardians in their second playoff bout against them, they’ll have to rely on the one player who has consistently served as a reliable source of production in recent times. Bjergsen has done everything in his power to keep TSM from drowning completely, but if the reins are taken off of him against GG later today, just as they were against Dignitas, we could see TSM make a serious breakthrough.
Featured image via Lolesports