Crowned as an NA LCS Spring Split champion, it’s curious to consider that Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen has endured a difficult 2017. Chronically underperforming throughout the Spring Split and the Mid-Season Invitational, the Team SoloMid jungler enjoyed a rare series of highlights as he led his team to a clean sweep over Team EnVyUs.
Svenskeren’s Lee Sin is widely regarded as one of the best competing within the NA LCS, but is perhaps more notably one of the few champions upon which the Danish jungler has appeared comfortable in recent months.
A tried and tested pocket pick, Sven was allowed to get his hands on the treasured Lee Sin pick in two games during the important Team EnVyUs series. Combining with Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell’s Gragas and Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg’s Syndra to deliver a montage-worthy kick that would signal the end of the series.
Svenskeren deservedly reaped the plaudits for his match-winning play, a welcome change from the barrage of criticism that has been aimed at the jungler of late.
The Team SoloMid scapegoat looked out of his depth at the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational, a disappointing tournament performance to follow an inconsistent NA LCS Spring Split.
One of Team SoloMids’s primary causes for failure at MSI 2017 was Svenskeren’s unwillingness, or perhaps inability to change his playstyle and adapt. Regardless of the game state, the Danish jungler continued to invade his opponents and go for risky vision plays, a ploy that was punished heavily on multiple occasions.
Sven’s figures at the beginning of the summer suggest that the trend has not yet been entirely eradicated. A 6-1 record on Lee Sin, including his recent victories over NV, is his one of his two positive champion records (1-1 Olaf, 1-1 Elise, 1-0 Gragas, 0-1 Ivern, 0-1 Kha’Zix).
Though TSM enjoyed consistent success throughout the Spring Split – sweeping through the NA LCS with a reliance on their comfort picks – their regional dominance did not translate to MSI 2017.
A reoccurring theme for Team SoloMid, Bjergsen outlined the team’s new approach for the summer, determined to nail down the team’s arsenal of strategies ahead of the World Championship, hoping to avoid ‘shitting the bed internationally’:
“I don’t regret picking things we might not be as good at, or things that we still need to get better at.
“I know we can probably pick to our strengths every single game and we would’ve won a lot more games than we did.
“But it’s not really about the early games in the split, it’s about the long run.
“Every time we win the split then shit the bed internationally, I wish we had practiced these things earlier in the split.”
Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg
Svenskeren’s return to Lee Sin strayed away from these tactics and back towards the ideology that has secured the team so many regional titles.
Confidence may well have formed part of Team SoloMid’s thinking, granting Svenskeren an opportunity to feel comfortable on-stage against a team performing well in the NA LCS.
After consistent criticism for underperformance, a stand-out performance on his most reliable champion should provide Svenskeren with the confidence required to continue working to adapt his playstyle.