Week three of the LCS Spring Split shaped out to be a good and competitive weekend. Teams like the Golden Guardians and 100 Thieves finally showed their worth by picking up two wins each, while both Optic and Clutch Gaming dropped two games. As we get closer to the middle of the split, we’re starting to see the stronger teams emerge from the pack and pull away. Team Liquid has held their spot at the top for three weeks and it doesn’t look like they have plans of turning back any time soon.
Ahead of the Pack
It’s no coincidence that Team Liquid is on a tear this split. Their roster is similar to that of the Golden State Warriors in the NBA: stacked with experienced players who are polished in their craft. With such high hopes from last season, it’s clear that they have something to prove as they sit at the top of the LCS with a record of 6-0.
Team play has been a huge factor in their success so far, as well as gold delegation. Farming and vision control are their main focus in most games, and as a result you’ll rarely see any member of Team Liquid losing in farm. If someone happens to be down in creep score, it’s most likely because they’re warding more or rotating with the team. This forces the enemy team to play defensive and scramble around the map to counter whatever TL is doing. No matter how ahead the enemy team is, Team Liquid always finds a way to chop down any lead and take over the game.
Playing as a Team
Even if Team Liquid is losing kill-wise, you can never count them out because of their ability to team fight. CoreJJ and Xmithie have noticeably impacted every major fight that Team Liquid has been in. Whether it be their positioning or ability combos, these two have flourished with their respective carries. Xmithie does a fantastic job of getting top lane ahead in most games which ultimately forces enemy teams to focus down Impact instead of Doublelift. This gives Doublelift the opportunity to go crazy and melt the enemy team with little pressure on him.
CoreJJ has a great feel for the team’s positioning in these situations and mostly keeps damage off of his teammates. Because of this, it’s very rare to see Team Liquid get behind even if they lose a fight. So far, most teams have tried shutting down Jensen in the mid lane since Xmithie puts a lot of energy into the side lanes, but this tactic has proven to be costly as TL’s side lanes have some of the best K/D/A’s in the LCS. Their team play is what catapults them into victory in every game they’ve played so far this season.
With such a great head-start on the season, it’s hard to see Team Liquid losing a game this split. Surely they’ll have some bad games soon enough, but the way they’ve bounced back in recent games shows otherwise. In their most recent game against Optic Gaming, TL was down 4-1 in kills at 19 minutes. However, they were able to group up as a team and pick off enemy carries. By picking off one enemy at a time, Team Liquid was able to move around the map as a group with ease. Eventually TL secured multiple objectives to give them the gold lead and they shoved their lanes to the nexus. It was a game that had viewers in question of Team Liquid’s true capability, but it seemed that their players were never in doubt.
Now that we’re a third of the way through the spring split, it’s clear that Team Liquid is a force to be reckoned with. Next week they’ll be facing a tougher Golden Guardians squad and an always competitive TSM.
Featured photo from Team Liquid
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