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.
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.
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 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
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.
Listen to The Liquid Lowdown Episode 2: https://www.spreaker.com/user/10719087/liquidlowdownep2
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