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Jensen makes his mark on Team Liquid

When the confetti fell in Detroit, Team Liquid had captured an unprecedented fourth League of Legends Championship Series title in a row. Standing at the center of it all, their mid-laner and one of the newest members of the team, Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen.
Jensen makes his mark on Team Liquid

Unlike the Spring Split Finals, Jensen was at the center of attention from the beginning heading into the Summer Split Finals in Detroit. Matched against his former team and his surprisingly effective replacement, Yasin "Nisqy" Dinçer, Jensen set out to prove that not only was he still an elite mid laner but that he was the better player of the two. With hype videos full of trash talk and confident barbs, Jensen and Nisqy ensured the spotlight would shine brightly on the two of them at the event.

After Team Liquid took an early lead in the series, Cloud 9 would strike back with the next two games to come tantalizingly close to their first LCS title in five years. Nisqy had produced two stellar performances that raised many eyebrows and started to validate those who had claimed Cloud 9 had actually upgraded with Jensen's departure. Yet, as Cloud 9 moved within one game of raising the trophy in Detroit, Team Liquid and Jensen settled in for what would be their second consecutive Finals comeback.

With Team Liquid pushed to the brink, Jensen landed on what has been a signature champion for him over his career, Leblanc. While top laner Jeong "Impact" Eon-yeong struggled early in his match-up, Jensen was dominant in his laning phase against Nisqy's Qiyana pick, acquiring a massive lead of almost forty CS at fifteen minutes.

Credit: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

In tandem with the large farm lead, Jensen would steadily pick up kills throughout the game and would be a key force in a back and forth game that resulted in Team Liquid evening the series and sending the Finals into a decisive game five. 

There, Jensen would deliver his masterstroke in the series after Cloud 9 foolishly dared Team Liquid to pick the Akali for Jensen with their first pick. Despite Cloud 9 having the ability to counter pick the lane, Jensen showed early why the Akali had been banned in the first four games, picking up a 2v1 solo kill early that catalyzed a convincing Team Liquid victory.

For the previous titles, it had been bot laner Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng who had been the bright star for Team Liquid that had carried them to victory. Even in the Spring Split where Jensen had earned his first LCS title, the narrative revolved around Doublelift and Team Liquid’s bot centric playstyle had fed into the focus staying on him.

This time around, it was Jensen who captured the spotlight on his way to earning Summer Finals MVP. In a series that will forever leave his mark on Team Liquid history, Jensen proved that not only was he one of the best players in the LCS, but he also fulfilled the promise and potential that had caused Team Liquid to pursue him so heavily in the first place.

Credit: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

Jensen's Akali performance in the decisive game five is a moment in LCS history he can hold onto, a resounding answer to any questions fans and analysts may have had entering the series about Jensen's strength or ability to be a carry for Team Liquid. While the Nisqy and Jensen's battle over mid lane supremacy had gone back and forth early in the series, it was Jensen who shut the door on his critics when it mattered the most.

Moving forward, Jensen has the opportunity to carry his newfound domestic success with Team Liquid onto the international stage, a place where he has already proven himself as one of NA's most decorated and consistent players. With Team Liquid's performance at the Mid-Season Invitational earning them a Group A draw at the World Championships, Team Liquid should have their best chance yet to make a deep run and prove this super team that was built for international success can deliver upon their potential as the best team the LCS has ever fielded.