The 2022 LCS Spring Season Week 1 kicked off the regular season over the weekend. North America’s teams faced off against their first opponents with their records on the line. Teams including TSM, Cloud9 and Golden Guardians finally started their intended lineup, after starting at least partial Academy League teams during Lock In. Team Liquid ended the weekend 1-1, losing to 100 Thieves and beating Immortals. Here are 3 takeaways from those matches.
Winning Lanes is Not Enough
In Team Liquid’s match versus 100 Thieves, everyone won their lane matchups to some degree. Bwipo’s Renekton held Ssumday’s Ornn down significant farm. He pushed the lane in and secured a few turret plates. Santorin got the upper hand early, double-crabbing Closer and maintaining a farm lead. Bjergsen and the bottom lane stayed slightly ahead of their opponents.
However, 100 Thieves contested the first Drake, where Huhi landed his Solar Flare onto Hans sama and Bjergsen. FBI was able to combo with the Aphelios root, ultimately killing them both. It closed any gap gained in the lanes. Absorbing all of the resources, making it to late game and receiving the Ornn item upgrade put FBI’s Aphelios over the threshold to carry. Team Liquid could not confidently approach the neutral objectives once 100T’s carries reached three items.
Thresh and Zilean are Pick or Ban for TL
These two champions made another appearance for the squad in their win versus Immortals. Bjergsen’s Zilean mid has been his lauded pocket pick for a while now. CoreJJ’s Thresh was previously feared, and that seems to have transferred over with Eyla. Bwipo and Hans are such scary carries that these supportive champions simply enable them to carry harder. On top of that, TL’s early leads make Zilean speed-ups and Thresh picks more valuable for snowballing.
The other champions at the top of everyone’s drafts should be Graves, Xin Zhao and Jinx. Xin Zhao and Jinx are already very high priority across the world, with Graves a little lower. But when considering Bwipo, Santorin and Hans sama are currently ranked among the most successful on these champs globally.
TL Will Not Have a Problem Versus Smite Top or Enchanters Mid
Of all the teams in the LCS, Team Liquid seems like they have the tools to deal with these new strategies involving Enchanters in top or mid lane. FlyQuest scored two wins off roaming Enchanters top, while Cloud9 heisted two wins with Enchanters mid. Other teams will probably adopt these strategies following Spring Season Week 1, but they may want to rethink it versus TL.
Bwipo has shown he is not afraid to answer the enemy top laner, and TL are happy to give him counterpicks. Of all the top laners in the LCS, Bwipo seems most likely to push his lane to the limit if the opponent ignores him. In mid lane, Bjergsen could probably pick up the Enchanters, since he already specializes in Zilean. But TL as a team feels like they could easily pull ahead and take fights on their terms, completely nullifying the Enchanter pick.
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