League of Legends professional Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg has acquired a stake in TSM as part of renewing his LCS contract with the organisation.
The new deal extends Bjergsen’s tenure with TSM through to 2021.
Andy “Reginald” Dinh, CEO & Founder of TSM discussed the decision in a release: “It was essential for us to re-sign Bjergsen. 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.”
Having joined the organisation in November 2013 after Dinh stepped away from playing mid lane for the team, Bjergsen stands as the longest-serving player for the organisation and has become synonymous with the TSM brand.
Bjergsen also shared his thoughts on the development: “For the past six years, TSM has been my home and I’ve witnessed it evolve from an esports team to the organization it is today. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to not only continue my career here as a player, but also be a bigger part of the incredible future that lies ahead for TSM.”
Financial terms of the deal have been not disclosed at the time of writing. Notably, the deal appears to violate Rule 2.5 of the official 2019 LCS Rule Set, which states that “The GM, Head Coach, Strategic Coach, LACS Coach and any Owner of the Team may not be on the Full Team Roster.”
As per a statement given to ESPN, Chris Greeley, Commissioner of LCS clarified that players who have played for their team for three or more consecutive years are eligible to compete for, while owning, said team.
Esports Insider says: Player ownership was commonplace prior to the influx of capital and subsequent professionalisation of League of Legends and esports more broadly over the past few years. In particular, franchising has signaled a big shift towards more traditional sports business models. The big motivation here appears to be maintaining the link between an organisation and a player’s personal brand, so it will be interesting to see if this has implications for other players and teams in the future. Could players leverage their personal brand against their own teams not only for better deals but ownership stakes?