League of Legends is preparing to close out its esports season in a big way, with the World Championship already in its group stages. While Team SoloMid is not among the teams present this year, their League of Legends team is front and center for today's news cycle because of a historic contract signing. On Monday, TSM retained the services of the game's top mid-laner Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg by signing him to a new contract. However, it's the terms of this deal that has the League world talking.
Bjergsen's deal is not only set to make him the longest tenured player in TSM's franchise history, but it's also going to make him part-owner of the team. The exact terms of the deal were not disclosed, neither through the issued press release, nor through the story first broken by Launcher. However, it has been noted that Bjergsen will play a key role in assembling TSM's future League of Legends roster. TSM finished the 2019 Summer Split with a 10-8 record, putting them in fourth place. They went on to lose in the NA LCS quarterfinals to Clutch Gaming. Bjergsen finished the 2019 season with 4.98 KDA, putting in his most time with Lissandra and Corki.
"It was essential for us to re-sign Bjergsen," TSM CEO/Founder Andy "Reginald" Dinh said via press release. "Not only is he is one of the best players at his position, he is a great leader. He shares the same values we do as an organization. He is selfless, hardworking, and focused. It is this culture of grit, fortitude, and determination that is the most vital part of our organization. At TSM we are committed to living this culture, and Bjergsen is a testament to that. He is more than just a player to us, so making him a strategic shareholder was important."
This is not the first instance that an esports player has also become part of an esports team's ownership. Tempo Storm has owner Andrey "Reynad" Yanyuk and, more recently, former Super Smash Bros. Melee player Adam "Armada" Lindgren retired from Melee and formed his own esports team. However, Bjerg's deal is one of the first of its kind in League of Legends, a game worth billions of dollars and sporting one of the biggest prize pools in all of esports. Bjergsen's new contract is expected to add a new precedent for the idea of player-ownership for League of Legends esports going forward.
The League of Legends World Championship group stages are unfolding right now from Berlin, Germany. The Grand Finals are set to take place in Paris, France on November 10. The current prize pool sits at $2.22 million and is set to rise between now and the conclusion of the finals.