2018 was the first year in TSM's history that the organization did not attend the League of Legends World Championship. Soren "Bjergsen" Bjerg, arguably the best Western talent the game has ever produced, watched the competition for the Summoner's Cup from the sidelines.
TSM wasted no time re-tooling around its star Mid Laner this off-season. Jesper "Zven" Zvenningsen made the cut and will remain on TSM after a quietly excellent individual season. Andy "Smoothie" Ta was picked up from Echo Fox in favor of Alfonso "Mithy" Aguirre, and Jonathan "Grig" Armao remains as the best option available amongst NA Junglers.
The most interesting augment to TSM's roster is in the form of a new Top Laner. Sergen "Broken Blade" Çelik Broken Blade showcased impressive flexibility in the TCL on Royal Bandits, and is ready to make his mark on North America as the first Turkish player to ever play in the NA LCS.
I'm here with the new Top Laner for TSM, Broken Blade. Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your career thus far?
My name is Sergen "Broken Blade" Çelik. I've been playing in Turkey, but most people won't know me because I'm a completely new face in North America. I've been playing the game in Europe since I started. I grind the EUWest server a lot; I had four Challenger accounts before I left, so people know me in EUWest.
Like I said, I've been playing the last few years in Turkey. The last year was a really good year for me and a really important year for me in terms of growing as a player. I learned a lot about how to be a teammate; how to be a professional; stuff like this. Now, I'm going to take the big step to TSM, and I think I'm going to grow faster than I've been growing in Turkey.
Everything is more professional in a major region. There is more infrastructure and a lot more people that care about your mental and physical health. Not only that, the players and coaches are on a much greater level than anywhere else, so I can grow even faster and more than before as a player.
You've been in the states for about a week now. What are your first impressions of TSM as an organization now that you've met them in person?
Before I came here to be a part of TSM, I had been watching their youtube videos; they're super funny. Also, the house is such a major upgrade from what I've experienced personally. We have so many good sponsors who help us be a good team. The fans are really nice, and Bjergsen, Smoothie...all of my teammates are really chill but very driven and talented.
This is only the beginning of my experience in North America. Also, the food is really good. I've been enjoying the food a lot...but I gotta go to work out now. *laughs* Also, the portions of the food are immense. It's insane!
There's a reason a lot of our pros go to the gym frequently — the food is so rich! Did you have any hesitation about leaving Turkey for North America?
No. It was always my dream to be the first player from Turkey to go to a major region. This is not only good for me, but good for Turkey because I've shown what is possible. I still need to perform and show up on stage, but this is my goal. I don't just want to show that I can play in a major region, I want to achieve something in a major region.
What do you feel that you bring stylistically to TSM as a Top Laner?
I think I'm really flexible when it comes to playstyle and champions. Also, I'm really adaptive when it comes to work ethic. I'm a pretty simple guy, I'm easy to work with and I don't cause a lot of problems. Also, I can thrive in the shadow of another but I can also shine for the team, it just depends on what is needed stylistically.
I'd say my best style is probably my carry-style play. That's what shows up in the montages and highlights.
That's great to hear that you're comfortable in a utility role as well, though. Are there any top laners in the world that you look up to or are inspired by?
Before, I used to look up to top laners. Now, I just watch them play. I don't look up to someone anymore because I'm at about the same level, so if only I look up to them, it will cause a lot of trouble. Now, I only look at my mistakes, because at the end of the day, I want to be a great player. I don't want to be like any other player, I just want to be better than myself, and not like someone else.
That's a great perspective to have. Are there any top laners in the NA LCS that you're looking forward to playing against?
I'm just excited to play against anyone. I want to know how good everyone is. I've already played against Dhokla and Darshan, but I can't tell how good they are yet. It's all been in Solo Queue and In-Houses; I need to play in NA LCS against people before I can really tell how good the other top laners are when compared to me. The same goes for them, too, as far as them being able to tell how good I am.
Personally, I'm looking forward to playing against Ssumday and Hauntzer.
Those will both be exciting matchups, without a doubt. Thank you so much for the interview, Broken Blade. Would you like to give a message to your new TSM fans?
I'm just really thankful that they gave me a really warm welcome. Also, some people were upset about Hauntzer leaving and me joining, but that's normal. People have their favorites, but I want to show them that I belong here, this is my new home, and I'm capable of performing in this scene.
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