In 2022, Dexerto asked Bjergsen about whether or not he thought the LCS was dying. Following the controversial off-season changes, we followed up with him to see if he had more faith in the future of the League than before. His feelings were mixed.
It’s hard to think of a player that’s defined the history of the LCS more than Bjergsen. He’s been there since the very beginning. Players like Aphromoo and Doublelift have left their impact over the years, but Bjergsen was at the center of the LCS’ most recognizable org for several years. If there’s any player that’s been through the best and worst of the LCS, it’s him. And there’s been a lot of controversy recently.
Between the broadcast segment about TSM that got panned by the community and TSM employees, game days and times changing, and off-season communication from Riot that “missed” according to John Needham, President of Esports at Riot, community sentiment about the LCS isn’t exactly at an all-time high.
We asked Bjergsen about the state of the LCS previously, and he revealed that he “had conversations with Riot” and that they’re aware of the issue. It’s been almost 6 months since we asked Bjergsen originally, and, with how much has changed, we wanted to see if he thought the broadcast had made any progress. His reply was… mixed.
Bjergsen weighs in on the pros and cons of schedule changes
Bjergsen has a clear investment in the LCS doing well. It’s his job, after all, and a job he’s damn good at. He made it clear he’s “not here to f*** around” in our interview asking him about Team Liquid’s downfall and why things will be different with 100 Thieves. It’s impossible to deny how core Bjergsen’s career as a player is to the overall history of the LCS.
As such, he’s certainly got some opinions when it comes to what it’ll take to get LCS viewership climbing again. And, while he’s optimistic when it comes to some of the changes, he has his fair share of reasons as to why he’s skeptical about new choices for the broadcast.
Bjergsen did have some praise for the new direction of the LCS broadcast, saying that he liked the way pros and guests were integrated into the show.
“Zven was just interviewing Busio and I thought that was very funny. They also brought on QTCinderella, who I think is great. I didn’t watch too much of the broadcast, but I know QT personally and saw a couple of the interviews. I think it’s great that they’re bringing on people who can shake things up and make things more personal.
Sometimes the interviews and questions related to the game in the post-game or on the analyst desk can be kind of boring. I like that they’re bringing in different people to shake things up and make it more fun and see the personalities of the players better.”
The fact that a pro player found some of the post-game analysis boring speaks volumes for why the direction of the broadcast is shifting. Bjergsen’s praise was paired with a willingness to ride it out for a while to see how this new direction for the LCS goes.
“I’m trying to stay patient and give this an opportunity to succeed before I say that it’s bad or whatnot.”
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That said, Bjergsen had a few early impressions that reveal some of the biggest issues with changing game days to Thursday and Friday.
Bjergsen pointed out that, when it comes to more casual LCS fans that enjoyed throwing the games on during the weekends, there would be an adjustment period for fans to find out that the game days have changed.
For those who aren’t involved on Twitter or other social media outlets when it comes to LoL, a change like this is unexpected. There are some in-game promos that give direct links to LCS matches while games are in-progress, but those can only do so much.
“I think with the date change it’s gonna take time for the fans to adjust and just realize that the LCS is at a different time and how that fits into their lives and their schedule. I think viewership is lower, but that’s not really something that I’m focusing on.”
Viewership is indeed lower, but not by much. Whether or not viewership continues to dip or goes up as the season goes on remains to be seen. The alarm bells shouldn’t be sounding just yet, but there’s certainly cause for concern.
However, for Bjergsen, there’s a massive drawback borne from changing LCS game days. One that won’t be easily fixed.
“It’s a little bit sad the amount of people who are able to show up at the studio because of the current time slot. That’s probably my biggest gripe. Obviously it’s harder for people on the West coast to attend in person and even to watch the games because it’s the middle of the day on Thursday and Friday.
So today, you know, good things are happening and I’m used to hearing the crowd cheer. Maybe waiting for it to pick up in the microphone for a second after a great teamfight, but that wasn’t really there today because there weren’t as many fans as usual.
But yeah, I’m hopeful. I hope that the schedule will end up being better, and, if it doesn’t, I hope that Riot is flexible to change and figure out what’s gonna work best for the LCS.”