Team SoloMid has struggled out of the gate at the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational, much to the dismay of their NA fanbase who were looking for validation that their region is making strides on the international scene. While there have been multiple issues with the team, included glaring draft mistakes and macro game failures, the underwhelming play of TSM jungler Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen has been placed under the magnifying glass.
With potentially just a few days left in the tournament for Team SoloMid, Svenskeren will need to quickly fix his issues to prove he belongs among the elite group of junglers assembled at MSI 2017. At the 2016 World Championships, Sven looked to be a top tier jungler in the world: making big plays on his signature Lee Sin pick, he created high expectations for himself that carried over into the 2017 NA LCS Spring Split.
These expectations went largely unfulfilled however, as Svenskeren’s play saw a drop off in the split. Entering international competition again, the hope was that Svenskeren would be able to use the opportunity to reassert his former form, but unfortunately that has not been the case so far in the tournament.
In the NA LCS, Svenskeren is highly regarded as a jungler who is able to punish his opponents when he or his lanes are ahead. Working with the strength of his two solo laners, top laner Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell and mid laner Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, Sven is able to use his winning lanes to pressure his opponents jungle and create farm and vision advantages for himself. As such he has thrived on picks that offered a strong invade threat such as Graves and Lee Sin.
So far at the Mid-Season Invitational, this has not been the case. TSM’s solo laners have not been as dominant when faced with a higher level of competition inherent to an international tournament. It is also a direct result of unflattering TSM draft phase, opting for picks such as Lulu for Bjergsen that do not allow for pressure advantages in the lane.
— lolesports (@lolesports) May 11, 2017
The larger issue behind TSM’s lack of lane dominance and pressure has been that Svenskeren unwillingness, or perhaps inability to change his playstyle and adapt. Regardless of the game state, the Danish jungler continues to invade his opponents and go for risky vision plays, a ploy that been punished heavily on multiple occasions.
The best junglers in the world are able to adapt their playstyle to the situation. Instead, Svenskeren has been unable to do so, becoming very predictable.
— lolesports (@lolesports) 11 May 2017
This year’s MSI features possibly the most talented jungler pool we have ever seen. With the likes of SKT’s Han “Peanut” Wang-ho, Flash Wolves Hung “Karsa” Hau-Hsuan, and even Gigabyte Marines Duy Khanh “Levi” Do, Svenskeren is looking like arguably the worst of the bunch. In a meta where the jungle/mid combination has become increasingly dominant and significant, TSM’s has appeared to be nothing more than average so far in the tournament.
If TSM are unable to finish in the top four at MSI and secure a playoff berth, the NA LCS champions will need to seriously re-examine their roster and consider a change in the jungle. While dominating domestically is nice, TSM has consistently reinforced their goal is to “win worlds”.
With the type of performances we have seen so far, especially from Svenskeren, Team SoloMid winning worlds is nothing more than a pipe dream.
Svenskeren Makes Team SoloMid History With Consecutive Regional Titles