Team Liquid has jumped out to quite the impressive lead in the LCS so far this split. At 13-1 they stand two games above second place Cloud9 and four games above third place TSM. TL’s success has been surprising to many, but also somewhat expected because of the pure talent on their roster. Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng is a global icon, Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong is a former world champion and Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen has an infamous past. After multiple roster changes in the off-season, this TL squad has rallied together and clicked when necessary. With only four matches left in the split’s regular season, Jensen will be looking to continue his incredible play to keep his team in first place.
The Rebirth of Jensen
Nicolaj Jensen, formerly known as Incarnati0n, has finally found his niche on Team Liquid. Ever since signing with TL this off-season, Jensen has been on his A game on the rift. Through 14 matches, he has totaled the highest K/D/A in North America at 13.8. This also comes with averaging 0.7 deaths per game. Needless to say, he’s been feeling good out there with his new team.
In his first competitive game with Team Liquid, Jensen had to face his former team in Cloud9. They were able to secure the victory, but he seemed to feel more comfortable on TL than he ever did on C9. He stated in the interview above that he’s never had practices go as well as they’ve been going and that playing against C9 motivated him to play better.
This past weekend he had another shot at showing up his former team.This time it was a battle for first place with endless pressure on both sides. Cloud9 sought to make plays in the early game, but Jensen on Orianna was prepared and helped secure first blood. This stacked nicely and kept him in the game against an aggressive Syndra.
As the match went on, C9 kept looking for aggressive and desperate plays. This made it somewhat easier for Team Liquid, as they pretty much just sat back and waited for Cloud9 to mess up. Jensen was the ring leader of the Cloud9 circus, dealing out loads of magic damage and shielding teammates by using Orainna’s ball effectively. His pressure in lane helped his team easily secure objectives and fight properly. If played correctly, Orianna can be a true initiator for any team, and Jensen’s performance only proved it.
Numbers Don’t Lie
Nothing but good things can be said about Jensen’s play this split. His champion pool in particular is much better than most other mid laners in the LCS. Strong performances and stats on Orianna, Syndra and LeBlanc only add to his already great resume. His K/D/A of 30 on Orianna is an LCS high, similar to his other LCS best 26 K/D/A on LeBlanc.
Team Liquid’s only loss of the split happened to be while Jensen was playing Syndra, one of his best champions; but to his defense it was no where near his fault. Jensen kept even against an aggressive Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg on Zoe. He and Doublelift embodied the small sliver of hope for Team Liquid in a seemingly lost game. A few misplays from their teammates ultimately opened the door for TSM in a shocking defeat.
Although the “L” in “TL” happened to come from TSM, Jensen has had very few slip ups this season in the mid lane. He’s made it tough for his opponents by picking heavy scaling champions with high DPS, as well as coordinating proper ganks with Jake “Xmithie” Puchero. Jensen has continuously shown up in big matches for Team Liquid, while also dominating in some of their easier ones. Doublelift is right behind Jensen in the race for split MVP, but if Jensen maintains his skill level and style of play, he’ll be the easy favorite.
Featured Image Courtesy of Team Liquid’s Twitter (@TeamLiquidLoL)
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