The first matches of the LCS Season kick off on January 14. The Lock In 2022 tournament looks to be less competitive than last year. TSM announced they are fielding their Academy roster. Cloud9 announced their Korean players will not make it for Lock In either. Judging by Team Liquid’s social media, the entire starting roster is in Los Angeles.
However, TL could run into an issue with their roster. Unless CoreJJ gets his green card, Team Liquid will have too many imports starting. Santorin and Bjergsen have North American residency, but Bwipo and Hans sama count as imported players. Liquid obviously intend to start CoreJJ, and he will need a green card to do so.
In the Live Q&A from December 4, Steve commented on this issue:
if we do have any kind of delays [getting corejj’s green card], i think it will be fantastic for eyla to get some show time.
Steve mentioned that the Lock In tournament would provide additional processing time and be helpful.
Regardless of whether CoreJJ or Eyla starts, Team Liquid will have a solid chance of winning the tournament. Don’t forget–they won last year after bringing in Alphari and Santorin. The community said they would need time to warm up and gel, and they are saying the same thing now. The sheer talent on the team makes Team Liquid a formidable opponent to any team in the league.
Assuming TSM and Cloud9 field mostly Academy players, 100 Thieves poses the greatest threat. They were Summer Split champions and made TL look silly in the Finals. Behind them, Evil Geniuses or Immortals have the pieces to compete. Both teams showed moments of brilliance last year and brought in heavy hitters, including Inspired and PowerOfEvil. Jojopyun is one of the least predictable pickups of the offseason, and who knows if magic might happen with PoE reuniting with Wildturtle (FLY 2020).
Of course, Golden Guardians started heating up last year and brought on some potential upgrades. Cloud9’s Academy substitutes include Zven and Darshan, perfectly acceptable LCS-level talents. Looking at Team Liquid’s roster, though, the history of success, the high-level experience, and the absolute talent shines through magnitudes above the other rosters. Look for this TL team to come swinging out the gate and make a solid run towards the Lock In 2022 title.
Images from Team Liquid’s Twitter