Team Liquid Bjergsen explains his draft mindset in LCS, claims EG is “very beatable”

Carver Fisher
Team Liquid Bjergsen LCSRiot Games/Team Liquid Honda | Youtube

After a decisive 3-1 victory against FlyQuest in the very first Playoffs set, we sat down with Søren ‘Bjergsen’ Bjerg to ask him about his unique approach to LoL and his legendary LCS career, as well as his thoughts on Evil Geniuses.

Team Liquid’s Game 1 may have shaken the confidence of many LCS viewers. Having lost to FlyQuest after some clear mistakes, Team Liquid proceeded to decimate FlyQuest in the remaining 3 games of the set.

Additionally, Team Liquid drafted four very different team compositions across the set, with Bjergsen and Bwipo both picking different champs every game of the set.

We asked Bjergsen about Team Liquid’s diverse drafting, his unique approach to playing mid lane, and whether or not Evil Geniuses are as good as everyone makes them out to be.

Meta? What’s that?

One thing’s clear when looking at the way Bjergsen plays: He’s a bit of an abnormal mid laner. In a good way, obviously, considering that Team Liquid have been performing well. But he plays in a way that’s entirely different from other mid laners in more ways than one.

It’s worth mentioning that Bjergsen played four different mid laners in TL’s set against FlyQuest, one of which being Syndra, a champion he hasn’t played yet this year in the LCS.

But Bjergsen’s enclyclopedic knowledge about LoL doesn’t stop at having the best champion for every situation. His extremely diverse build paths are an important part of his identity as a player, and something that’s often overlooked about Bjergsen as a player.

He had a lot of wisdom to share about his thought process, and what makes his build paths stand out from those of other mid laners.

“I definitely take inspiration from what other people are doing, but I tend not to copy because I think that there are always trends with builds. A lot of people will build something because it’s what other people build, and I think that’s never a good reason to build something.”

Bjergsen clearly has strong mechanics, but the way he built this game was just as important. Horizon Focus combined with charm makes targets easier to kill for his team, Stopwatch kept him alive here. This game-winning play had a lot more to it than just raw mechanics.

Bjergsen went into more depth on his thought process when forming his build in-game. “You need to think critically about the item and what it’ll give you rather than, ‘Everyone is buying Shadowflame, I’m just gonna buy Shadowflame.’ Especially earlier this year in the Spring Split.”

After talking about some of the very stagnant default build paths in mid from earlier this year, Bjergsen had this to say about his approach:

I don’t know if my builds are always the best, but there’s always thought behind them.

With how diverse TL’s drafts have been lately, Bjergsen’s builds aren’t the only unique thing about his play.

“I just play whatever is gonna help us win the game the most”

While he hasn’t played it lately, Zilean mid is a part of his expansive champion pool. And, with Hans picking Seraphine in this set and Bjergsen’s aforementioned champion diversity, we wanted to ask him about Team Liquid’s drafting process along with the viability of off-role Enchanters.

“I just play whatever is gonna help us win the game the most. Depending on what the rest of the draft is gonna look like, I just pick the champion that is within my comfort that gives us the highest chance of winning. I think a lot of champions are in my comfort because I’ve been playing this game for so long that I just have a lot of experience playing a lot of champions.”

Bjerg on the desk after TSM’s 2017 Summer Finals 3-1 win over Immortals

Fair enough. Bjergsen’s been participating in League of Legends tournaments since 2012, having played every year except for his short stint as a coach for TSM in 2021. So, it’s no surprise that he’s got one of the most diverse champion pools in pro play when it comes to mid lane.

In the entirety of Team Liquid’s set against FlyQuest, only one Enchanter support was picked (Aphromoo Nami). Tanks were back in support, but we did see Seraphine in Hans hands. What makes Enchanters worth picking in other roles?

“I think they’re just situational, you have to understand what to pair with them and also how to play them individually. Because, somehow, when Hans plays Seraphine he just ends up winning the lane against Lucian/Nami, which I think is pretty illegal. What also helps these champions succeed more is that people aren’t familiar with people playing against them.

I’m pretty sure Seraphine/Nautilus should never be killing Lucian/Nami in lane, but I think we’re kind of breaking the norm. People are not ready for what those champions can do.

Bjergsen also pointed out that TL banned Lulu and Yuumi literally every match of the set in the first ban phase. Team Liquid clearly cares about denying those two Enchanters, but the rest are fair game. Who knows what we’ll see next?

A slow start

In isolation, Team Liquid’s three consecutive wins against FlyQuest looked incredibly one-sided. But the set’s final score was 3-1. What happened in that first game?

We wanted Bjergsen’s perspective on what went wrong, as well as some of the strategies Team Liquid employ to try and come back from a deficit.

“If you’re behind, of course, you want to try to fight on a 2 item power spike where the enemy is at 2.5, like, half of an item. Versus fighting on 1.5 when they’re at 2. So just finding the times where our champions are strong in the fight, and identifying what a winning fight looks like for us especially if we’re behind. I think we struggled to do that a little bit in the first game.”

“We were in a really, really good spot and there were really 2 key moments where we weren’t synced up. They ended up catching us with the heavy engage on Vi/Alistar, and, once we were behind, we kind of struggled with identifying the best way to win that game with the draft, and that’s just something we weren’t able to solve in the game. We’re gonna have to look back at the replay and try to learn from that going into the next series.”

Though Team Liquid is a strong team, they also make mistakes just like anyone else. What may look like a really bad TP from Bjergsen may have been a communication issue that we don’t get to hear. It’s hard to say.

Either way, Team Liquid were able to switch up their draft and find some winning formulas through the rest of the series.

Cool and confident in every matchup

toucouille vs. Bjergsen was a hype matchup considering both players earned their third and second all-pro team spots, respectively, but it didn’t feel like these two players fought each other much. Rather, Bjergsen seemed to have a lot more map control.

While there wasn’t any specific moment where Bjergsen 1v1ed toucouille and put himself on top, Bjergsen clearly had much better map control.

But he did have some thoughts about playing against FlyQuest’s mid laner, and how much their head-to-head match-up really mattered in this set.

“It definitely matters if one can build a significant advantage 1v1 that forces the other mid laner to either give something up, or to move around and affect the other lanes, or just to the point where the other player needs so much help. I didn’t really feel like [toucouille] ever really put me in that position, especially when I was playing champions that— I was usually not playing the champion that was stronger in the matchup at levels 1, 2, and 3 except for the Syndra, so a lot of it was on him to get the advantage early. I didn’t really feel like he was able to.

TL celebrating their 3-1 win over FlyQuest

Bjergsen didn’t seem very stressed by toucouille, but we were curious about his thoughts about a rematch against EG after beating them in the regular season. Would he be as calm in a match against NA’s strongest team?

“I don’t think EG’s untouchable at all. I think they still have a lot of weaknesses, I think— Inspired is obviously playing really amazingly, I also think Vulcan has been very strong, Danny’s a very consistent teamfighter, but… I definitely think they’re a beatable team.”

Bjergsen had more thoughts about EG as a team. “I don’t think a lot of the time that I am extremely impressed, or that they’re really going above and beyond and doing things that I’m like, ‘Wow, we can’t do that, they’re on a whole other level’. They seem very beatable, they were very beatable for us in the second-to-last week of the regular season. I look forward to a rematch, hopefully in the Final.