North America’s LCS continued into Week 3 this past weekend, and Team Liquid had a decent showing. They won versus FlyQuest and Golden Guardians, but fell to 100 Thieves. TL held steady at third place, tied with Cloud9 at 17-10. With TSM and 100 Thieves pulling up one to two wins ahead, Team Liquid needs to net more wins to catch up. Here are 3 takeaways for TL from Week 3 of LCS Summer Split.
Santorin is Actually Performing Fine
So many fans are dissecting Team Liquid’s players and blaming every individual for various issues. Santorin has come under fire, including from Azael on The Dive, explaining “it felt like he was always finding plays and always making things happen…in Summer that isn’t happening as much, so it almost feels like he needs to shift his playstyle…” Some believe Santorin is playing too passive while Team Liquid’s laners just lose the game slowly.
However, Santorin’s early game seems fine, especially considering he only gets counterpick in 11 percent of games (lowest of any player in the LCS). He has the fifth highest kill participation of all players (77.4 percent), the third highest gold difference at 10 minutes among junglers(+115), and the highest damage per minute among junglers (416). Team Liquid has the third highest early game rating, according to Oracles Elixir. They get first turret in 67 percent of games, and first dragon in 78 percent of games. None of this happens without Santorin’s intelligent pathing and matchup knowledge.
Tactical-Varus is the Scariest Player-Champion Combo
Looking through some player-champion combos, Tactical’s Varus has become quite the killer. Across four games on the pick so far, he has an average 9.25 KDA, 434.75 gold per minute and 699.25 damage per minute. These are all fantastic stats, and the 100 percent win rate obviously doesn’t hurt. Others included in this conversation are FBI’s Kai’Sa, PowerofEvil’s Viktor, Raes’ Jinx and even Jenkins’ Gangplank.
Tactical’s Varus stands above them currently, because they all lack something. Jenkins’ Gangplank is weaker across the board, and part of that is the nature of top lane versus bottom lane. Also, Gangplank naturally generates more gold, so it feels like even more of a gap. Raes’ Jinx generates the most gold, but damage and KDA are significantly lower.
FBI’s Kai’Sa has a higher KDA and gold generation, but the damage is not as high. Part of that is Kai’Sa’s kit versus Varus’, and part of it is 100 Thieves’ superior team coordination right now. PowerofEvil’s Viktor is arguably the closest contender to Tactical’s Varus, but he is lower across the board with only three games. And, again, TSM is playing as a better team right now. At the end of the day, Team Liquid should probably continue prioritizing this champion for Tactical.
Team Liquid are Ramping Up
Week 3 marks the first complete round robin of Summer Split. With several bottom teams picking up wins and top teams faltering, the path to the top is wide open. Consistency is going to be the difference in this next round robin. Teams who have found their footing will continue to build, while falling teams might keep fumbling.
Look back at this year’s Spring Split. Not including Lock In, Team Liquid started 3-3. They won versus CLG, FlyQuest and Dignitas, but lost to Immortals, TSM and 100 Thieves. New players was the excuse, as Alphari and Santorin had just joined the team. Over the course of the split, Team Liquid improved and learned how to play around their strengths. By the end they took Cloud9 to five games with a sub jungler.
With TL bringing Jenkins into the top lane, it seems like they are ramping up the same way. Alphari is expected to return as starter this weekend, but who knows if the teamwork and strategy actually improves. No individual players really seem to be the problem. TL just hasn’t found that key strength to develop strategies around yet. Fans should not give up on them as title contenders, especially with such a long season and playoffs.
“From Our Haus to Yours”