Lost: ‘Bjergsen-factor’ can build TSM into LCS juggernauts again in Summer race

Bjergsen and Lost embrace after TSM victory on LCS 2021 Summer stage in Week 1 against Team Liquid.Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games

He may have retired, but TSM legend Soren ‘Bjergsen’ Bjerg is still imposing his famous League of Legends will on the LCS title race ⁠— according to the team’s bot laner, Lawrence ‘Lost’ Hui, his coaching style will be “the difference” as Summer comes down to the wire.

LoL coaches have been a hot topic in NA of late.

The conversation around League coaching, and how vital it can be for a potential championship lineup, was re-sparked recently when Liquid ousted famed shoutcaster Joshua “Jatt” Leesman from the top spot over a falling out with the squad’s illustrious European star, Barney “Alphari” Morris.

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There are also many chalking 100 Thieves’ surge up the standings up to their new LoL mentor, Bok ‘Reapered’ Han-gyu, who previously guided Cloud9 to four Worlds campaigns, and a LCS title in Spring 2020.

They currently sit in undisputed first place.

According to Lost, who spoke about TSM’s ongoing development after their victory over Cloud9 in the league’s “Rivalry Week,” coaches play a big role in any team’s fate. They provide the “bread and butter” for any LoL team to succeed. 

Not only that, he said, but Bjergsen’s coaching ⁠— and his nine years of playing experience ⁠— will be the “key” to TSM winning the brewing LCS title race.

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Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games
Bjergsen has seamlessly slipped into the head TSM coaching role since his retirement.

“Having Soren with that past player experience, it provides a lot of insight. It’s something that I think other head coaches maybe don’t have as much,” Lost explained after his team’s 37-minute win over Cloud9 yesterday.

“It’s a balance, I think. Every team slowly identifies their play style. That comes from the coach… maybe it’s both. But the players need to know their roles in the game, what the ‘bread and butter’ for their team is, to win, and then the coach works in harmony with that to draft champions that fit into that identity.

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The Kiwi star continued: “It’s kind of half and half. Coaches have a big impact on the way that a team plays their style, but the players often figure that out, really.”

Many questioned Bjergsen's swap to the TSM hot seat, but it's worked a charm for the LoL giants.Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games
Many questioned Bjergsen’s swap to the TSM hot seat, but it’s worked a charm for the LoL giants.

That’s the balancing act TSM are going through at the moment. Not only do they have to keep pace with a surging 100 Thieves outfit ⁠— who snapped 757-days of history with their 3–0 weekend just gone ⁠— but they have to look inwards too.

The LoL team’s biggest problem, Lost admits, is closing out games. Top North American rosters have always struggled to really dominate games in the same way that heavyweight Chinese or Korean teams will. That’s a hurdle that the entire Team SoloMid playing roster wants to clear before they hit Summer playoffs.

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“Usually, three or four items up, you just auto-win,” he said.

“That’s something that whenever you’re watching the eastern regions play, the LPL especially, maybe LCK not so much, you see. The game should close out really, really quickly if you get that lead ⁠— way earlier than our games have been ⁠— and that’s doubly true if you have the level and gold leads.

“Anyone can see, watching our games, that we should be way cleaner in our execution. [In the game against Cloud9] they are a hard team to play into, but we should have been able to manage that. They made it hard, yes, but that’s the issue we’re facing.

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“We’ve been trying to be more proactive [to capitalize on leads]. One team that does [in the LCS at the moment] is 100 Thieves; they look really dominant.”

Lost is licking his lips at that potential challenge in TSM’s near future too. “I’m looking forward to playing them. Hopefully when we meet we can prove them wrong… show they’re not the most dominant team in the LCS right now.”

PowerOfEvil TSM LCS Summer 2021Tina Jo for Riot Games
TSM are locked in a four-way battle for LCS first place, and are one win behind 100 Thieves.

Considering TSM’s stacked League of Legends roster, there’s plenty of different styles Bjergsen’s men can eventually pick from ahead of LCS Summer playoffs.

Tristan ‘PowerOfEvil’ Schrage is a natural mid lane win condition, while new multi-million dollar general Hu ‘SwordArt’ Shuo-Chieh has his own special LPL skills to bring to the team. On the top side of the map, Heo ‘Huni’ Seung-hoon can always be the carry ⁠— if he lands on “heads” in the coin flip ⁠— and young jungler Mingyi ‘Spica’ Lu continues to improve with every LCS game he plays.

‘Rivalry Week’ showed TSM a new option too: Lost.

The League of Legends meta has quickly become focused around “strong bot sides,” the Kiwi explains.

While he doesn’t expect to get natural preference over some of the biggest names in the league, he has put his hand up as a viable TSM win-con too.

Lost has truly embedded himself in TSM's star-studded lineup in 2021.Riot Games via ESPAT
Lost has truly embedded himself in TSM’s star-studded lineup in 2021.

“These really strong bot lane, heavy priority champions that we [Lost and SwordArt] have been playing are coming into the meta already,” he said.

“All the regions are already playing it. They naturally have really strong level ones. It means right off the get-go, off the draft, we can invade, and play early. These really strong early game lakers are in the meta now, for sure, and if you don’t play them I think you’re putting yourself at a heavy disadvantage.

Whether TSM shifts focus to bot or not, though, Lost is happy: “Bot is really fun now! I’m really enjoying my League at the moment… I hope everyone is too.”