Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen has been at the heart of every conversation and every Cloud9 victory during the NA LCS Summer Split. Whilst the Danish mid laner can be relied on for an exciting narrative, his team evidently cannot rely on his abilities to carry them to victory on every occasion.
Falling just one team fight short of capturing the 2017 North American League Championship Series Spring Split Championship left its mark on Jensen; the mid lane prodigy has worked tirelessly to redeem himself in the summer.
Jensen’s hard carry performances for Cloud9 have left many fans convinced of his superiority over mid lane rival, Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg.
But ironically, just as Bjergsen experienced with previous iterations of the Team SoloMid roster, for all his talent, Jensen cannot be expected to single-handedly lead his team to victory in every NA LCS fixture.
Cloud9 has become Jensen-centric in their approach to winning games; understandable given the prowess displayed by the Danish mid laner in the Summer Split so far, but a bad habit nonetheless.
The obvious flaws were exposed in Week 6 as Cloud9 fell to both Immortals and Team EnVyUs in a damaging weekend for the title hopefuls.
In both series, Cloud9 pooled their resources into Jensen in the hope that he would be able to carry the squad to victory during late game team fights.
Cloud9 alarm bells should have been ringing after Game 1 of NV series however, as Jensen – despite accumulating a strong CS score and typically notching high damage statistics – ended the game with a 0/0/0 scoreline.
— lolesports (@lolesports) July 15, 2017
With their star mid laner unable to impact the game in Cloud9’s favour, coupled with the underperformance of Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi, C9 lacked an alternative plan. A Team EnVyUs victory would see them leapfrog C9 into 4th place.
Statistically, Jensen is having a historically strong season where he has excelled across the board. On pace to have a record creep score differential at 15 minutes, Jensen also currently leads the league is CS per minute, KDA, and leads in total kills by almost twenty (despite having played three fewer games than second and third).
The fact that Jensen leads in both kills and CS per min is especially astounding, considering that players are typically forced to sacrifice lane creeps for kill opportunities, or vice versa.
Cloud9 have seemingly fallen into the trap that currently ensnares Echo Fox and previous blighted Team SoloMid. Though Jensen continues to play exceptionally well and posts statistics unrivalled within the NA LCS, one man alone will never be able to carry his team to the top of the standings.
Bjergsen was previously given all of the team’s resources during TSM’s 2015 campaign, producing similarly absurd damage numbers in the regular split and able to carry his team deep into playoffs, yet it was never a strategy with longevity as the NA LCS became more competitive.
The slump of Sneaky in the AD carry role, combined with the continued lack of consistency in the top lane due to the continual swaps between Jeon “Ray” Ji-won and Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong, has resulted in a Cloud9 roster with all their eggs in one basket.
Cloud9’s current playstyle places a strain on their star mid laner. Jensen will need more support from his teammates during C9’s remaining fixtures if he is to find redemption at the Summer Split finals.