A 3-0 weekend was finally within Team Liquid’s grasp last weekend, but CLG killed that dream pretty quickly. One of the biggest upsets of the LCS Spring Split, Team Liquid had just come off of a dominant win over first place Cloud9 and nearly perfect-gaming Golden Guardians. Of course, they had to drop the ball at the end. Here are three takeaways from Spring Split Week 5.
Team Liquid Have Cleaned Up Their Drafting
The draft was one of the reasons the CLG loss hit so hard. Team Liquid actually ended up with Gangplank-Hecarim-Syndra-Tristana-Nautilus, which checks all of the boxes Team Liquid looks for in a composition. Alphari and Jensen are S-tier on their respective picks. Santorin had shown several dominant Hecarim wins. Nautilus gave CoreJJ the initiation tools to break CLG’s First Blood streak, and Tristana has proven to be a powerful champion for Tactical.
Against Golden Guardians, Jensen showed the Lucian pick, which had been missing previously. Tacticore played the Xayah-Rakan combo. TL’s draft versus Cloud9 brought out a flexible composition that forced Blaber onto Gragas jungle, while Santorin tried his first Skarner. Overall, Team Liquid’s drafts since the TSM loss have been so much more controlled. Their compositions seem more well-rounded for themselves and targeted against their opponents.
Team Liquid are Actually Bad at 5v5ing for Objectives
Whether it’s the multi-man Lillia sleeps from Broxah, or the failed Teleports from Alphari to bottom lane, or TSM Spica’s Baron steals, Team Liquid have shown serious inconsistencies playing around objectives. Looking at their stats, Team Liquid have a 63.9 percent Dragon control rate, a 73.3 percent Herald control rate, and a 60 percent Baron control rate (after Spring Split Week 6). However, most of their losses involve poor coordination around Dragon, Baron, or Teleport plays.
Tactical’s disrespectful positioning contributes some to this problem. He consistently puts himself in positions to get chunked before a fight or siege. Team Liquid’s opponents have taken advantage of this tendency. Alphari has tried to get involved early with Teleports, but the rest of the team tends to turn away from the engage. Finally, as a team, TL starts and pulls off of Baron in ways that allow their opponents to coinflip the objective. With such strong early games and veteran presence, TL should have more confidence and more discipline around these objectives.
Every Loss in Week 6 Will Hurt
The last week of the regular season is already upon the LCS, and the standings are far from being decided. Each team still has three matches to play, Team Liquid included. They face Dignitas, 100 Thieves and Evil Geniuses, each one win or loss apart in the standings. These are definitely beatable opponents, but Team Liquid has not had a 3-0 week yet, and a loss to any of these teams could prove detrimental in the long run.
100 Thieves and Evil Geniuses already beat Team Liquid once earlier in the season. That means a tied scoreline puts Team Liquid below them, because their head-to-head score would be 0-2. 100 Thieves ties Team Liquid at 9-6 and Evil Geniuses trails below with 8-7. If Team Liquid lose all three games, then they would fall to sixth automatically. If they win all three and DIG lose their other two matches, then TL finishes third because they would own the head-to-head. Assuming TSM and Cloud9 do not completely fumble this last week, third place looks like Team Liquid’s best finish.
Listen to The Liquid Lowdown Episode 6: https://www.spreaker.com/user/10719087/liquidlowdown6
“From Our Haus to Yours”