Today marked the start of the League of Legends Championship Series Academy league’s 2022 season. Before this evening’s games kicked off, Team Liquid dropped an announcement that would make any longtime LCS fan do a double-take: Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg would be taking up an Academy spot.
Academy Update: Due to unfortunate COVID complications in Australia, Haeri, our Academy mid laner, has not arrived in Los Angeles in time to compete this week.— Team Liquid LoL (@TeamLiquidLoL) January 19, 2022
For now, Bjergsen will be filling in on our Academy roster, in addition to our LCS Lock In matches.
Due to complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Team Liquid Academy starting mid laner Harry “Haeri” Kang was unable to arrive in Los Angeles and get situated with his team before the beginning of the season. His substitute for the week? Six-time LCS champion, five-time 1st All-Pro mid laner, three-time MVP and current Team Liquid starting mid laner, Bjergsen.
For at least Team Liquid’s first week matches against Evil Geniuses Academy and CLG, Bjergsen will start in both Academy and LCS matches. While surely the wealth of talented mid laners in Academy are more than ready for the challenge, the internet couldn’t help but laugh at the idea of one of the greatest LCS players of all time popping off in a development league.
A strange ‘debut’
As if seeing the former TSM golden boy kitted out in Team Liquid’s colors hasn’t been enough of an adjustment for fans, it certainly was a weird sight to see Bjergsen do Bjergsen things against the region’s rising stars. Especially since he’s never even been subbed out of a game a single time throughout his career as a player. Of course Academy mid laners are talented, but the League community didn’t miss its chance to joke about the absurdity of it all.
It's the start of the NA academy season. You got promoted from amateur as a mid after smurfing on the competition with your crazy mechanics. Nice. Load in on Summoners Rift against Team Liquid Academy in your debut, not bad. Click tab and see TL Bjergsen in the enemy team— Erik Wessén (@Treatz) January 19, 2022
I can't wait to watch our American Rookie in action🤓@Bjergsen We believe in youuuuu👏— Lucas Larsen (@Santorin) January 19, 2022
imagine queueing up for academy then having to lane vs Bjergsen pic.twitter.com/RF7eZ8KVzn— Jackson Pavone (@Pabu22) January 19, 2022
Plenty of people took advantage of this rare opportunity to crack jokes, but Team Liquid Head Analyst Evandro “Yaltz” de Cerqueira made a point to express his appreciation for Bjergsen stepping up and taking on more practice time to help his team in a bind.
“I had experiences in the past where some star players couldn’t even be remotely considered to be used in Academy for emergencies,” said Yaltz. “Seeing what Bjergsen is doing for the team speaks volumes of who he is as a player and his work ethic.”
Despite all the hype, Team Liquid Academy lost their first game of two in the series against Evil Geniuses Academy off the back of some great coordination around EGA mid Max “Soligo” Soong’s Twisted Fate and a hard carry performance by EGA bot laner Muhammed Hasan “Kaori” Şentürk’s Jhin. Bjergsen’s 5/3/4 Sylas gave viewers some exciting moments (like near the end of this clip), but it wasn’t enough to stop EGA’s advance.
Team Liquid turned things around in game two with a different look in draft. TLA bot laner Sean “Yeon” Sung and newly role-swapped TLA top laner Bradley “Bradley” Benneyworth popped off on Aphelios and Lucia, and Bjergsen got a chance to show off his signature Zilean pick, too.
If you can’t wait until Friday to watch Bjergsen in action again with the LCS squad, you can watch him with Team Liquid Academy again in their match tomorrow against CLG Academy.