Leading eSports competitors Team Liquid made a huge announcement recently, as they retained the services of one of their top players.
Nicolaj Jensen, better known simply as Jensen, is a Danish League of Legends player, appearing in the mid lane position for Team Liquid. Ahead of the 2021 season, he has signed a contract extension that is rumored to be worth $4.2m over the next three years.
It is a huge comfort to Liquid to get their man to agree to new terms, especially with his previous association with Cloud9, another of the leading teams. The deal is the highest of any player in LCS history, dwarfing that of Jung ‘Impact’ Eon-yeong’s $3.4 million contract with Liquid in 2017 and Huni’s $2.3 million terms with Dignitas last year.
It may not be the last major capture the team make ahead of the new season either; ESPN has linked them with a move for former Origan top laner Barney Morris, known as Alphari. It is thought a contract of around $1m a year is being lined up for Morris, after he was given permission by the Astralis Group to begin discussions with other teams. However, as well as Liquid, there is also strong interest from Fnatic and Rogue.
If he does make the move to Liquid, he will replace Impact, the 2020 series highest-paid player. His contract expires with Liquid in mid-November and he is one of the biggest casualties of Liquid’s failure to qualify for the quarterfinals at the 2020 League of Legends World Championship. They started the competition as third seeds but finished 3-3 in a group with G2 Esports, Suning and Machi Esports. Due to Suning beating G2 to set up a first-place tiebreaker, they were eliminated.
That was enough to prompt a major reshuffle for one of the leading brands in the eSports industry. Liquid is one of the most recognizable names on the roster for many titles, and not just LoL. In November, Bwin Sports rated them as overwhelming favorites in their games again Rugratz in the CS:GO IEM in Beijing, and they also have a strong presence across titles such as Dota 2, Fortnite, Apex Legends and Starcraft 2. Based in Los Angeles at the Alienware Training Facility, the cream of the eSports world train for CS: GO and, of course, LoL.
Other possible names being linked with Liquid include FlyQuest jungler Lucas ‘Santorin’ Tao Kilmer Larssen, who is also out of contract in November, He has been given permission by FlyQuest to talk to other teams, whilst current jungler Mads ‘Broxah’ Brock-Pederson becomes a free agent.
In securing Jensen for another three years, they have ensured that they retain the services of a two-time LCS Champions (Spring, Summer 2019) and an LCS Finals MVP (summer 2019). He is a key member of the Liquid line up and is thought to be instrumental in helping decide the future roster. His voice is reportedly pushing for the capture of Alphari, but also acting as a catalyst for a new jungler he feels he can trust more than Broxah.
Given the size of his salary, it is obvious the 25-year-old has a huge sway at Liquid as they look to bounce back in 2021.