There haven’t been many teams at the level of Team Liquid in these past few years and they still remain at the top of the LCS. They recently picked up their third straight LCS championship after an incredible string of performances in the LCS Spring Split. Now, they’re currently awaiting their destiny at the 2019 MSI Invitational Tournament.
After such an incredible start to the season, it’s time to take a look at what’s kept Team Liquid among the world’s best.
Top-Class Play in the Jungle
For Team Liquid, it’s very important to have great map awareness and rotational skills. This has been most evident in the play of their jungler, Jake ‘Xmithie’ Puchero. Xmithie is one of the few junglers in North America that can dictate the outcome of a game based off of his performance. By keeping an eye on minion waves, enemy positioning and ward coverage, he is able to effectively create plays for his team. More often than not, Xmithie stays one step ahead of the enemy jungler to make sure these plays work. Whether it’s getting a deep ward in the enemy jungle or trusting his gut, he certainly knows how to set his team up for success.
Even on the biggest stage in North America, Xmithie was able to shine. His play from the Spring Split translated well into the Spring Playoffs, considering his statistics and the overall outcome. Xmithie improved upon his K/D/A of 4.29 from the regular season and put up a 5.91 K/D/A during the playoffs. On top of that, he managed a 100% win ratio on Skarner through four matches, three of which came in the Spring Finals against Team SoloMid. It’s clear that Skarner is one of Xmithie’s favorite champions and undoubtedly helped secure the championship for Team Liquid.
Doubling Down in the Bottom Lane
Having the best bot-laner in North America can come with a lot of pressure, but Team Liquid knows precisely how to use their weapons. One of these weapons, if not their most powerful, is Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng. Doublelift has been one of the world’s most consistent ADCs and his opponents are well aware of that fact. A lot of opposing teams look to shut him down in the early game, but having a top tier jungler in Xmithie means he isn’t down for long. His teammates do a great job of keeping him in the game and often ahead of the enemy bot-laner.
When Doublelift is given the green light, he takes the opportunity with an aggressive mentality. This is seen in his Spring Split K/D/A of 7.43, the highest among North American ADCs. Doublelift makes the most of every chance he gets and tends to keep his team ahead because of it. Though he doesn’t need to be the focal point of their game plan, his teammates prefer to establish a presence in the bot lane before anything else. As a result, Team Liquid usually win most matches where they have an advantage in the bot lane.
Selective Fighting and Objective Control
More often than not, Team Liquid are seen controlling most fights and objectives. This is a direct result of their incredibly sound fundamentals and patience. It’s very important to think through potential fighting opportunities before acting and because of their patience, Team Liquid can usually dictate how each fight goes. It’s very rare to see any member jump the gun and this allows them to dance around before committing to anything too risky.
In addition to their patience, Team Liquid have a great understanding of how to effectively peel for their carries. It’s very important to keep members, like Doublelift, alive and healthy in crucial situations. By doing so, they are able to keep their damage output and health bars high. This quality helps them transition faster to objectives, like turrets or global buffs.
With these three focal points, Team Liquid have been dominating the LCS. It’s no wonder why they’ve won three straight LCS championships, considering the talent and wit among their players. Now, they have to step up their game to play some of the world’s best talent at the 2019 MSI Invitational Tournament.
Featured Image Courtesy of Team Liquid’s YouTube Channel.
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