North America continues its League Championship Series (LCS), with Spring Split Week 3 in the books. The competing teams found some parity this week, as no one could secure a 3-0. CLG, Golden Guardians and FlyQuest make up tenth, ninth and eighth. Immortals sits in seventh, while Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses share fifth. TSM, Dignitas and 100 Thieves are tied for second, and Cloud9 owns first place. Funnily enough, Team Liquid ended the week by giving C9 their second loss. Here are three takeaways for Team Liquid from the weekend.
Team Liquid Never Bleeds Out the Early Game
Despite having four losses, Team Liquid has arguably the most consistent early game in the league. This team has yet to completely hemorrhage gold in the first 20 minutes the way every other team has. Take a look at the gold graphs from TL, C9 and GG’s early games in their first nine games.
Cloud9 and Golden Guardians represent the most and least dominant teams so far in Spring Split (not including Lock In). Cloud9 usually shows strong gold gains per minute, while Golden Guardians’ gold graph usually curves downwards in most games. Looking at just the first 20 minutes, Team Liquid looks a lot more like C9 than GG, despite ranking between these two teams in the standings. In fact, these early games look even better than C9 and everyone else in the LCS. Even if TL begins at a deficit, they tend to stabilize pre-20 minutes unlike C9, whose wins and losses look like polar opposites at the 20 minute mark.
Team Liquid’s problems arise after 20 minutes, where they start to look like one of the worse teams in LCS. Suddenly, they hemorrhage gold at 20 minutes versus TSM, 26 minutes versus 100 Thieves, and 28 minutes versus Immortals. The Evil Geniuses loss shows gold plummeting at 18 minutes. The green win lines spike for TL between 19 and 25 minutes, and they end between 23 and 30 minutes. If that snowball does not occur, then the opposite effect does. Meanwhile, Cloud9 has shown more resilience by turning their throws back into winning scenarios. The GG graph shows what it looks like to get snowballed on frequently.
The Horse Energy is Strong
First, CoreJJ pops off on the Rell pick. Now Santorin is popping off with Hecarim. It’s always nice to see consistent thematics in esports, and Team Liquid’s horse champion gameplay should make Blue proud.
Alphari is Still Smurfing
Speaking of major regions, Alphari is still absolutely killing it. Will singing his praises ever get old? If the eye test is not clear enough, Team Liquid’s top laner ranks among the best in the world in several stats.
In laning stats, Alphari is either first or second worldwide. Nuguri is the only other contender, as they are back and forth on gold, CS and XP differences at 15 minutes. Alphari starts 744 gold, 14 CS and 375 XP ahead on average, while Nuguri averages 635 gold, 16 CS and 344 XP ahead. When weighing strength of field, of course Nuguri is the more impressive laner. However, it is still amazing that Alphari regularly holds such strong early leads.
Beyond the lane, Alphari shows the second highest gold per minute, the third highest average kills per game, the fourth highest KDA and the fifth highest damage per minute (major regions only). The only other players close to this level across the board are Nuguri, TheShy and Doran. Even considering North America’s relative weakness, Alphari feels like a Worlds-level player. Hopefully, Team Liquid can take him there.
Listen to The Liquid Lowdown Episode 3: https://www.spreaker.com/user/10719087/liquidlowdown3
“From Our Haus to Yours”