After much speculation, one of the best League of Legends mid-laners in the world has not only extended his contract with Team SoloMid, but has become one of the few player-owners in the field, the team announced Monday.

Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, 23, signed a two-year extension to stay with the lucrative and popular Team SoloMid (TSM), becoming the longest tenured player in the team’s decade-long history.

“I knew I wanted to continue to work with TSM and add value to the company,” Bjerg told The Washington Post in an exclusive interview. “And this move means that I can continue to not only represent TSM as a player, but also be a part of the entire organization as we strive to achieve new heights in gaming, media and tech.”

Bjerg said TSM CEO and founder Andy “Reginald” Dinh approached him to be a part owner. Dinh was one of the first player-owners in League of Legends esports, and also the first mid-laner for TSM.

“It felt like a natural progression in my relationship with TSM," Bjerg said. “There were a lot of details to go over and we worked closely with Riot over the course of the year to set up rules and guidelines because this move sets a precedent for other players to follow.”

The move wasn’t something he considered until recently, Bjerg said. No other player has become an owner without starting the team outright. There was also the pressure of playing competitively while keeping the business afloat.

There’s been some speculation in the esports media world that it was time for Bjergsen to move on, with multiple sites speculating on who could replace him. The team has been called the “Yankees of esports” and dominated the League of Legends Championship Series until two years ago.

“TSM’s goal is to regain our position as the most dominant North American LCS team,” Dinh said to The Post. “Outside of just the LCS, [Bjerg] exemplifies our brand and values. He’s a big part of what TSM means today.”

Dinh added that keeping Bjerg on the team was the first step to rebuilding the roster for 2020, and that making him a shareholder was important.

“Six years ago, TSM picked me up and believed in me when I was no one,” Bjerg said, adding that he’s become close friends with those in the company.

Bjerg was originally with the Copenhagen Wolves in the European LCS before moving to the U.S. to join TSM.

“Finally, TSM and I share the same values such as approach to competitive excellence and commitment to learning and growth. There were so many reasons that ultimately the decision to stay was an easy one,” Bjerg said.

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