Team SoloMid’s mid-laner Soren “Bjergsen”, achieved his 1000th NA LCS regular season kill against Echo Fox in week 7 of the Summer Split. The play came at a critical moment in the game for TSM as they held a tentative lead, and were trying to force Echo Fox away from Baron.
This is a huge milestone for Bjergsen, who is one of the most popular stars in the North American LCS. Joining Team SoloMid in the Spring Split of 2014 after a promising 2013 debut in EU, Bjerg quickly set himself apart from the other North American mid-laners thanks to the consistency of his play, his ability to win lane and the sheer variety of champions he can play at a competitive level.
As many fans celebrate the milestone of one of North America’s favorite players, the coaxing thought of another talented mid-laner from Denmark comes to mind.
Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen is out to prove there’s more than one great European mid-laner in the NA LCS.
After initially struggling when he joined Cloud9 in 2015 to replace departing Hai, he’s done more than just gain his footing: he’s become one of the most dangerous players in the league.
Now I’m not here to argue which player is better; Bjergsen and Jensen both bring great aspects to their respective teams. However, if Jensen would have joined the NA LCS at a similar time to Bjergsen…who would have gotten 1000 kills first?
By my estimates, if Jensen started playing at the same time as Bjergsen, spring of 2014, he would have gotten 1000 regular season kills in 185 games or less – nearly a full split before Bjerg. The 185th game would approximately land Jensen at the 1000 kill mark during week 8 or week 9 of the 2017 NA LCS spring split. Now, how did we get here?
Bjergsen’s kills per game average over the course of 4 years of NA play is approximately 4.855kpg. If we compare Jensen and Bjergsen’s kills-per-game during just 2016 and 2017, Jensen on average gets 11% more kills than Bjergsen. Then, extrapolating this 11% difference over four years, Jensen’s four-year kpg is approximately 5.39.
One-thousand kills divided by 5.39kpg equals 185 games. Bjergsen played 50 games in 2014, 36 in 2015, 59 in 2016, and 47 games in the spring split of 2017. This totals to 192 games played, meaning Jensen would have hit 185 games in the final weeks of Spring 2017.
By comparison, Bjerg’s avg kpg would put him at 898 kills vs Jensen’s 1000 at this time.
Let’s take a step back from this math for a moment. There are many variables at play which are affecting the numbers above. I will attempt to calculate for two of the biggest variables affecting player statistics besides skill; meta changes and team synergy.
Since Jensen started playing in NA during 2015, we only need to look at NA’s 2014 meta picks to determine if Jensen or Bjergsen would be better. The most popular mid-lane picks in NA 2014 were Gragas, Ziggs, Orianna, Kassadin, LeBlanc, and Yasuo. While Bjergsen is well-known for his damage over time mages like Syndra and Orianna, Jensen is known for slightly more aggressive picks (Ekko, Fizz). I think the 2014 mid-lane meta would slightly favor Jensen due to the higher average kills per game and the popularity of champs like Yauso and LeBlanc. In this 2014 meta, I expect that Jensen would get .5 extra kills per game on average in comparison to 2015, 16, and 17 meta picks. Over four years, (+0.5 kpg/4 yrs), Jensen’s kpg would rise from 5.39 to 5.515.
Now, it would take Jensen only 181.5 games to reach 1000 kills rather than 185.
But the meta is but one major factor we can adjust for.If Jensen had joined TSM in 2014, how would that affect his play over four years?
Looking into interviews with TSM players, we know that Bjergsen is not the main shot caller for TSM. Rather, the duty largely falls on Doublelift and other players. Cloud 9 relied on Hai for shot calling during his time, but it has since been delegated as a team effort. Given that Bjerg and Jensen appear to have similar personality traits and communication responsibility on their respective teams, I think Jensen would harmonize well with the TSM roster. TSM and C9 both have an overall win rate of approximately 65%, so switching from one team to another would not significantly change kills-per-game due to an increase/ decrease in total games won. Even if Jensen’s win rate would slightly increase due to playing with higher-caliber teammates, the change to “TSM Jensen”, is too difficult to suggest a positive outcome with any confidence.
In the end it seems that, with the setting Bjergsen found himself in for the beginning of his NA LCS career, Jensen quite possibly would’ve excelled even more in his spot. While the Danes are hard to separate as some of the biggest superstars North America has, (and there’s plenty of room for conjecture along with the variables) it’s safe to assume that when it comes to the game of kills, Jensen reigns supreme.
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