Image credit: LoL Esports
Long-time Team SoloMid mid laner Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg has announced his retirement from playing League of Legends competitively on Oct. 24, 2020 through a video on the team’s YouTube channel. The news comes days after Team SoloMid’s season, after they reached the group stage.
Bjergsen’s retirement, a defining moment in North American League of Legends, marks the end of an era within Team SoloMid. Since rising as Europe’s most promising mid laner in 2013, the Danish mid laner won six titles in the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), most recently in the 2020 summer season.
Bjergsen was the common link between TSM’s LCS rosters, and several noteworthy names teamed up with him:
- Elder statesmen Marcus “Dyrus” Hill, Brian “TheOddOne” Wyllie, who defined TSM in its pre-LCS years
- Korean support Ham "Lustboy" Jang-sik, who subsequently became a coach within TSM
- European junglers Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider, Lucas “Santorin” Larsen, and Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen
- Bot laners Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen - Alfonso “mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez, the pairing that defined G2 Esports’ legacy in 2016 and 2017
- Top laners Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell and Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik
- Up-and-coming junglers, throughout different eras, Michael “MikeYeung” Yeung, Jonathan “Grig” Armao, Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham and Mingyi “Spica” Lu
- Supports Vincent "Biofrost" Wang and Andy "Smoothie" Ta, who have carved successful careers in NA alongside him and on other teams
- Ironman Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, who is the longest tenured player in North American League of Legends
In 2014, the mid laner won against Cloud9, then at the height of their powers in 2014 and 2015. Later on, alongside Doublelift, he fended off Counter Logic Gaming’s post-Doublelift rosters in 2016 and prevailed over Cloud9 and Immortals in 2017. Although TSM failed to reach similar results in 2018 and 2019, they re-emerged in the 2020 summer split, ending the player’s career in North America on a positive note.
The team’s international showings were not on the same level; although TSM scored a strong quarterfinal finish in the 2014 World Championship, the team struggled to qualify past the group stage in 2015, 2016 and 2017. In their most recent attempt in 2020, they even scored a milestone as the first #1 regional seed to lose all their group stage games.
The player’s move towards a head coaching role goes along with his plans, as he contemplated the move in 2019, but postponed it to end his career on a winning note in North America. As a result, the organization will be searching for a mid laner to fill the void he left behind.