Who is Zven?
Jesper Svenningsen, more commonly known as Zven, is a professional League of Legends player that currently competes for Cloud9 in the North American LCS.
After winning everything in Europe, Zven arrived in America so he could keep adding trophies to his already remarkable record. Zven has served as a replacement for two of the most respected ADCs in the LCS, Doublelift at TSM and Sneaky at Cloud9, having better success with the latter organization and becoming the competitor with best KDA and minion farm statistics across several tournaments.
Position and play style
Zven used to perform the duties of an ADC in the bottom lane, although as recently as 2022 he switched to the Support role.
His repertoire with his most common role is quite extensive: his most played champions are Ezreal, Aphelios, Kaisa and Varus, the latter character being the one with whom he has garnered some of his best results.
A hardworking competitor with predilection for aggressive play, Zven always attempts to dominate the lane; yet if his plan fails he knows how to play from behind and patiently wait for his team to carry.
Zven defines himself as a “controlled aggressor” because he tries to pressure so long as it does not cost the team an objective or an unnecessary death. As such, Zven is not afraid of prioritizing his team beyond the greedy interests some ADC players have.
“Win lane if you can, but don’t cost your team the game. Don’t try to be a star”.
Zven started playing League of Legends at 13, when the game was still in beta phase. Three years later he already was quite the promise in Europe, and offers from teams did not take long to get thrown his way.
The first organization to sign the Danish player was Tricked Esports, team for whom he barely starred in but a few minor tournaments. Zven also barely played with his next team, Intellectual Playground, although it was there that he met Santorin, future rival of his.
Zven, back then known as Niels, knew his moment would come; he just had to wait.
And so it was that after a brief stint with Sk Gaming Prime he joined the ranks of Origen, a Challenger Series team that would catapult him to relevance. The organization, founded by the renowned xPeke, gathered several established players like sOAZ, Amazing and Mithy.
Without too much effort Origen won the spot for the European LCS after winning both the spring and summer Challenger Series in 2015. By the end of the year Zven already fought among Europe´s best for the title and the world championship pass. Origen fell against Fnatic at the LCS final, but the players earned their spot at Worlds despite only competing for half a season. Origen then surprised by reaching semifinals, where it got eliminated by a an all-powerful SK Telecom T1.
To end the year the players made off with IEM Season 10 San Jose. On top of that, Zven was named “rookie of the season” in Europe.
2016 was the first full year for Zven competing at the EU LCS level. During the spring split Origen positioned fourth, but in playoffs it reached the final, which was then lost to G2.
The European title which Zven craved had to wait until summer, when he was signed by the very team that had previously denied it to him, G2; together they went on to dominate the LCS. With the Danish carry G2 won the summer split and imposed itself upon Splyce in the following playoff. However, the team had a terrible showing at Worlds, finishing last of the group.
Despite the setback, the era of G2 had only begun, and Zven was again in the right place at the right time, as it had happened to him before with Origen. 2017 being his last year in Europe, it was also Zven´s best.
Alongside G2 Zven conquered the spring and summer LCS, and got silver at the MSI after fighting SK Telecom T1. G2´s adventure at Worlds was a forgettable one, falling yet again in the group stage. TSM decided to pay for the Danish player, so he packed and set off for North America.
2018 was tough on Zven: he had to get used to a new life away from friends and family; on top of that, the team was not performing well. The departure of Doublelift left a vacuum which proved hard to fill, seeing as TSM was used to having the ADC position well covered.
Also, as a curiosity, Zven had quietly left Europe; some of his continental fans were thus annoyed at how NA managed to snatch away the best EU players year after year, though whether this had any impact on Zven is rather unlikely. Not that it should be.
Be it as it may, tt seems that pressure got to Zven. The new team did not work well and his first year in North America would be remembered as the worst in TSM history.
2018 and 2019 were disappointing years for the Danish marksman as for first time TSM did not obtain their usual spot at Worlds. The closest the organization got to winning anything was in the spring split of 2019, when TSM reached the finals against Team Liquid, team who held Doublelift. TL reverse sweeped the final after catching Zven in the fifth game, which until that point had been dominated by TSM. For Zven the result was a devastating one, yet his career would most definitely not end there.
In 2020 Cloud9 used him as a substitute for its star player Sneaky, who had decided to retire. This time fortune was on Zven´s side: the first split ended with seventeen victories and only one defeat (against TSM), coursing through the playoff and earning his first North American LCS title.
In summer Cloud9 positioned second, but a fourth place in the playoff left the team out of Worlds; it again lost to TSM, which returned to Worlds after two years.
In 2021 Zven finally rid himself of the superstition of being unlucky by winning the spring split and qualifying his team for the world championship after an excellent season. Cloud9 kept leaving good impressions by claiming the third spot in the summer LCS and reaching quarterfinals at Worlds.
In 2022 Zven would continue transfering in between C9 Academy and the main team. Playing as support, at the Summer LCS split Cloud9 would get a fifth place, yet it managed to win the corresponding playoffs. C9 would advance to Worlds only to fall during the group stages.
Fun facts about Zven
- Zven has gone by at least six different names since beginning to play League: Stæhr, Niels HD, Niels, Phlow, Zvanillan and Zven
- Zven was the first player to win a title in both Europe and North America. Since then only Perkz has achieved the same feat.
- When it comes to team dynamics, Zven has been rumored to be a bit blunt at times, which was one of the reasons he was temporarily benched to C9 Academy
|Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen
|June 24, 1997
|Tricked Esport (2013)
Intellectual Playground (2013)
Team Kappa Prime (2013-2014)
Sk Gaming Prime (2014)
G2 Esports (2016-2017)
Cloud9 (2019- present)
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