The LCS completed Week 2 of the 2021 Spring Split this past weekend, and viewers are getting to see a little bit more from their favorite teams. Some lineups, like TSM and Dignitas, showed marked improvement from Week 1 to Week 2. Others, like Cloud9 and FlyQuest, looked about the same. But if one team looked noticeably worse in Week 2 compared to Week 1, it was Team Liquid. Here are three takeaways from the games.
Live or Die by Large Early Gold Leads
In LCS Week 1, Team Liquid held the league’s second-highest early game rating, according to Oracles Elixir. In Week 2, they dropped to eighth. What happened? During the Lock In, TL’s bottom lane averaged nearly 1,100 gold ahead at 15 minutes and Santorin had his own 192 gold lead. So far in Spring Split matches, those have dropped to +700 and -353, respectively. Alphari remains lane dominant, but slightly less so, while Jensen remains right around even gold-wise, but lost his XP lead from the Lock In.
The counter-pick rates for each player exacerbates this worrying trend. Jensen is tied for the highest counter-pick rate in the league (83 percent), while Santorin and CoreJJ rank very low for counter-picks (17 percent for both). No other team in the LCS is blind picking jungle and support this much. Junglers can augment the early power of solo lanes, while supports generally dictate the early power in bottom lane.
During the Lock In, Alphari and Jensen took way more blind picks, while Tactical, Santorin and CoreJJ got more counter-picks. Team Liquid should lean into the Gangplank, Renekton, Orianna and Azir blind picks.
The Drafts are a Problem
Team Liquid are Still in a Better Spot than Last Year
The first two takeaways may seem critical, and they are, but do not lose perspective. Even ignoring the Lock In tournament, Team Liquid are already ahead of themselves at this time in 2020. If that statement does not seem true, then just watch the VOD of 100 Thieves beating Team Liquid in LCS Week 3 last year.
Keep in mind, that was the roster including Meteos, Ryoma, Cody Sun, Stunt. But don’t worry, Team Liquid also lost to Golden Guardians that same week (VOD), starting the split 2-4. They only beat Dardoch and Kobbe TSM in Week 1 and FlyQuest in Week 2 when V1per ran it down with Mordekaiser. 2021’s Team Liquid has shown dominant wins from Lock In to Spring Split Week 2. Fans might be more worried if the Lock In tournament never happened. However, these are fixable issues that should work out when it counts. Remember, TL finished ninth in Spring Split 2020 and ended the year as North America’s strongest team.
Listen to The Liquid Lowdown Episode 3: https://www.spreaker.com/user/10719087/liquidlowdown3
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