Cloud9 mid laner Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen has been playing with a chip on his shoulder since his calamitous mistake in the Spring Split Playoff Final. Desperate to redeem himself, Jensen took another step towards achieving his goal by imposing his dominance over Team SoloMid’s Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg.
The debate surrounding mid lane superiority in the NA LCS has rumbled on for over a year, with the general consensus often swinging towards Team SoloMid’s poster boy on account of his unrivalled number of regional titles.
Though Jensen’s trophy cabinet has remained empty since he joined the Cloud9 roster, his play has improved dramatically year on year. The mid laner has been imperative in Cloud9’s resurgence heading into Rift Rivals.
Jensen’s play so far this split has placed him as an early favourite for the NA LCS MVP award, but has more importantly, kept Cloud9 in contention after dropping a few series in the first couple weeks.
From control mages to assassins, Jensen has demonstrated the ability to carry with a wide champion pool in the Summer Split, unwavering his ability to dominant his mid lane opposition.
The same fate awaited Bjergsen and Team SoloMid as the two sides met for the final time in the NA LCS this year.
Team SoloMid started the series strongly, capitalising upon Cloud9’s weak macro play to secure objectives without reply. Bjergsen would go on to post an impressive scoreline of 5/0/7 after a fairly innocuous laning phase, making good use of Orianna’s utility as TSM grabbed consecutive barons to close out the game.
The Orianna changed hands in Game 2 as Cloud9 looked to stage a comeback. Keen to set the tempo of the game, Jensen played aggressively from the offset against Bjergsen’s Corki, pressuring his Danish counterpart for every CS in the lane.
The pressure continued to mount until Bjergsen’s frustrations resulted in a costly mistake, Jensen wasted no time flashing in to tally his first kill of the game:
Cloud9’s ‘attack on all fronts’ approach would result pave the way for the reverse sweep, combining the team fight power of Jensen’s Orianna and Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi’s Tristana to overpower Team SoloMid.
Silencing the vocal Bjergsen fans who had emerged to criticise the Cloud9 mid laner after Game 1 of the series, Jensen would turn the tables with yet another solo kill in the series finale.
Drafting a potent ‘double AD carry’ composition, Cloud9 would lock in Lucian to the mid lane in answer to Bjergsen’s repeated Orianna selection.
The Team SoloMid man was caught napping, panic flashing in a straight line as Jensen leapt into action with a quick spell and auto attack rotation, leading into a fatal culling.
Aided by Juan Arturo “Contractz” Garcia’s Nunu, Jensen used the lead he had acquired in lane to carve through TSM’s backline.
For now, the bragging rights belong to Jensen, Cloud9 and the team’s fanbase, despite both players slightly underperforming in the heavyweight matchup.
I made too many mistakes, happy with the win though! Ggs ?
— Nicolaj Jensen (@C9Jensen) July 1, 2017
Jensen will be hoping to atone for his crucial error in the Spring Split finals, eager to rebuild C9’s international ambitions after falling short of representing North America at the Mid-Season Invitational.
Solo kills over his closest rival will not count for anything at the end of the split, but the Cloud9 mid laner’s highlight plays will certainly have sent a message to his NA LCS competitors.