Throughout the 2019 LCS Spring Split, there weren’t many teams that could keep up with Team Liquid. They dominated the league early on, by opening with seven emphatic wins. This immediately put them at the top of North America, where they would remain for the rest of the split.
Their dominance wasn’t surprising to many, considering the sheer amount of talent they have on paper. However, Team Liquid managed to turn heads all season-long by playing their game and proving why they are the best team in North America.
Splitting From the Competition
No matter who they played against, Team Liquid crafted their own path to success. In fact, they had the most impressive resume of any North American team during the Spring Split. They tallied a record of 9-1 against teams under .500, as well as a respectable 5-3 record against other top opponents.
The only other team that could compare to this type of dominance was Cloud9, who happened to tie Team Liquid with a 14-4 record of their own.
However, Team Liquid seemed to be on another level for most of the Spring Split. Most teams fell victim to poor synergy and team compositions, whereas TL looked more polished than anyone else. This was evident across the board, and even more noticeable when comparing the statistics.
Top: Jung ‘Impact’ Eon-yeong | K/D/A: 4.26 | KPAR: 57.5% | Best Champion: Kennen (4-3)
Impact had a stellar split in the top lane for Team Liquid. Overall, his champion pool fit TL’s composition quite well, no matter who he played. Kennen was clearly Impact’s most ‘impactful’ champion, as he played seven matches while using him during the Spring Split. The utility from Kennen’s ability kit allows Impact to play top lane like an island, while still having team fight potential. The same can be said about Impact’s play on Jayce, another comfortable champion with a similar set of skills.
In the end, Impact was selected to the 2nd All-LCS team. This was well deserved, considering his team’s record and play-style. Team Liquid prefers to focus their energy on the bottom-side of the map, typically leaving Impact to do his own thing elsewhere. It isn’t easy being a solo laner in a highly competitive league, but Impact was able to thrive because of it.
Jungle: Jake ‘Xmithie’ Puchero | K/D/A: 4.65 | KPAR: 66.9% | Best Champion: Lee Sin (6-1)
There hasn’t been a more polished jungler in North America other than Xmithie since he stepped foot on the scene. His incredible knowledge of the game and wide champion pool have put him in elite company, as he is the most successful jungler in NALCS history. This translated well this spring, where he led Team Liquid to another Spring Finals championship.
Xmithie is one of the most impactful junglers in the game based off of his playmaking ability. This becomes more evident during crucial moments of the game, where Xmithie often takes control. He’s great at securing objectives for his team, as well as establishing jungle control. This constant pressure in the jungle allows for his teammates to play more aggressive, but comfortably.
There wasn’t any doubt of Xmithie’s skill this past split, and he was deservingly named to the 1st All-LCS team.
Mid: Nicolaj ‘Jensen’ Jensen | K/D/A: 8.75 | KPAR: 71.8% | Best Champion: Syndra (5-1)
Jensen has proven himself worthy of being a top talent in the LCS, but a championship eluded him for quite some time. He was able to channel this hunger into his game play and as a result, Team Liquid crowned themselves champions of the Spring Split. Jensen played phenomenally in almost every situation that was thrown at him, making him a key factor in their success.
His skill, game knowledge and champion pool have all taken a noticeable leap since joining Team Liquid. There are still a few kinks to work out, but Jensen has clearly been grinding to make a name for himself. His regular season K/D/A of 14.2 was the best in the LCS, which is massively impressive considering the overall talent of North American mid laners.
Jensen’s incredible performance this split earned him the honors of being selected to the 2nd All-LCS team. With such an emphatic start to the 2019 season, Jensen should be an early favorite for the 1st All-LCS team come this summer.
ADC: Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng | K/D/A: 6.55 | KPAR: 73% | Best Champion: Ezreal (5-0)
Doublelift has become a worldwide icon these past few years and he’s only going to get bigger. His resume is jam-packed with split championships and a ridiculous amount of wins, however he has yet to make an impact on the global stage. It seems that he is well aware of this fact and was looking to make a statement on the rift.
Smart play was the name of the game for Doublelift this season, and his death totals were staggeringly low because of it. In fact, he totaled the highest K/D/A of any bot laner during the Spring Split. These are the types of statistics that made it hard to vote against him for 1st Team All-LCS, where he was ultimately placed at the end of the split. There just wasn’t another ADC who was on his level.
Support: Jo ‘CoreJJ’ Yong-in | K/D/A: 5.57 | KPAR: 75.1% | Best Champion: Tahm Kench (7-2)
Last, but certainly not least, is CoreJJ: the MVP of the Spring Split. CoreJJ was undoubtedly the most polished player in the LCS, and as a result his team reigned over everyone else. His feel for Doublelift in the bot lane allowed the duo to synergize in crucial moments, where their opponents were left shell-shocked. This translated during team fights as well, where CoreJJ worked incredibly hard to protect his carries.
Supports aren’t usually the center of attention in League of Legends, however CoreJJ is starting to change the narrative. Consistent playmakers are hard to come by in the LCS, but consistency is one of CoreJJ’s fortes. There shouldn’t be any doubt that he’ll continue this play in the coming months.
Featured Image Courtesy of @TeamLiquidLoL on Twitter.
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