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3 Takeaways for Team Liquid from Spring Split Week 1

Team Liquid's draft versus Immortals in LCS Week 1.

The LCS finally started up for 2021, with teams playing their first games of Spring Split. Everyone got their shot at the Lock In tournament, an exhibition-style tournament with a small prize pool and charity donation on the line. Team Liquid came away the victor with their 3-2 series win over Cloud9. Getting into games that actually count towards playoffs and international qualifiers, Team Liquid showed a 2-1 start, beating Dignitas and FlyQuest, while losing to Immortals. Here are three takeaways for Team Liquid from Week 1.

[Related: 3 Takeaways for Team Liquid from the Lock In Week 3]


Chalk Up the IMT Loss to Experimental Draft

“Horrible draft. What is Jatt thinking? Blah, blah, blah.” No, this is not meant to flame the draft. Team Liquid should be comfortable trying champs and strategies that may be a little outside their comfort zone, especially against a newly consolidated Immortals. However, it does feel like Team Liquid purposefully drafted Jensen, Tactical and CoreJJ champions that do not fit their playstyle, while also giving Immortals top lane counter-pick. Both teams blitzed the draft, as it only last about 1 minute 30 seconds.

Team Liquid's draft versus Immortals in LCS Week 1.
Team Liquid’s draft versus Immortals in LCS Week 1.

TL first picks Udyr. IMT takes Kai’Sa-Pantheon. TL drafts Senna-Tahm Kench, and IMT responds with Orianna. IMT bans Azir-Renekton, while TL bans Rell-Jayce. IMT locks in Blitzcrank. TL rounds out their comp with Yone-Kennen, and IMT finalizes everything with Irelia. IMT counter-picked top, jungle and support. Liquid must have thought they would out-scale while using their flanks and AoE damage to take the game. However, Revenge turned out to truly know his limits in the top lane match-up, Insanity’s Orianna was more useful than Jensen’s Yone, and Tactical died five times, despite having CoreJJ on Tahm Kench.

Core’s Abyssal Voyage directly into Insanity’s Shockwave pretty much sums up the match. Team Liquid prioritized top-mid-jungle for first-round picks in their next two games. They seem to be much more comfortable keeping bottom lane’s pick towards the end of the draft. Maybe when they switch to red side the draft will change to adapt to having the final pick.TL played Blue Side in all three Week 1 games.

Alphari Gangplank Should be Perma-Banned

Team Liquid’s top laner continues to dominate, only faltering in the Immortals match so far. Teams can only throw so many bans towards him, especially with five non-top lane champions having 100 percent presence. That being said, Immortals and Dignitas first-banned Gangplank, while Team Liquid first-picked the Gangplank when FlyQuest left him up.

Alphari achieved his career best damage per minute versus FlyQuest in Week 1 (Games of Legends).
Alphari achieved his career best damage per minute versus FlyQuest in Week 1 (Games of Legends).

Alphari has won three of four games with GP in 2021. The one loss involved Fudge falling nearly 100 cs behind, while Alphari dished out nearly 35 percent of TL’s damage. Expect this to be a key champion in any Team Liquid game. GP is Alphari’s third-highest career play-rate champion, with two of his personal best stats achieved with the champ.

Team Liquid Showed the Second Worst Late Game in the LCS

Everyone asked Team Liquid to get more aggressive, and they have. However, they may sacrifice their late-game prowess in the process. According to Oracles Elixir, Team Liquid has the second-highest early game rating (just behind Cloud9), while also having the second-lowest mid-late game rating (CLG is the only one  lower [much lower]). These first three games have much lower mid-late ratings than during the Lock In tournament.
Team Liquid's gold graphs from Week 1 (Games of Legends).
Team Liquid’s gold graphs from Week 1 (Games of Legends).

Looking at Team Liquid’s gold graphs from Week 1, Immortals and FlyQuest exhibited strong gold earnings between 25 and 30 minutes. Lucky for TL, FlyQuest was behind a significant amount of gold. But Immortals actually closed out their game based on the throw. 100 Thieves and Cloud9 will be much tougher in the mid-game stages, so this is something Team Liquid will need to keep an eye on.


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3 comments

Team Liquid and Team Liquid Academy Have Some of the Best Stats in the World February 12, 2021 at 10:11 am

[…] In the LCS, Team Liquid took home first place in the Lock In tournament and start 2-1 in Week 1. Meanwhile, TLA sits in first place in Academy League with a 7-1 record. Altogether, the […]

Reply
TL vs. TSM: A Deep Dive Into What Went Wrong February 16, 2021 at 1:46 pm

[…] draft, in particular, looks reminiscent of the Immortals loss. Team Liquid gives their opponent Kai’Sa and Pantheon, this time as counterpicks. They draft […]

Reply
3 Takeaways for Team Liquid from Spring Split Week 2 February 22, 2021 at 4:31 pm

[…] [Related: 3 Takeaways for Team Liquid from Spring Split Week 1] […]

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