Before the 2019 Summer Split began, there weren’t many LCS teams that could even be mentioned in the same sentence as Team Liquid. Their 3rd straight LCS championship in the spring solidified their greatness, which was expected to carry over into the summer. However, a 2-2 start to the split led many spectators to believe that Team Liquid were unmotivated. Rumors and talks across the community suggested burnout from MSI and other factors that were contributing to their failure. Even members like Peter ‘Doublelift’ Peng have discussed issues with adjusting back to their usual schedule. Whatever it was, Team Liquid have since found solutions for a few of their slip ups.
Despite their prior breakdowns, TL are now back atop the LCS with a record of 4-2. Their recent 2-0 weekend over FlyQuest and OpTic Gaming has put them in a massive tie for 1st place. This has been a drastic change from the spring, where most teams were clumped at the bottom of the standings.
Things have certainly changed since then, the most notable being each team’s improved mechanics. After such a dominating Spring Split from teams like Team Liquid and Cloud9, many others have started replicating their play styles. This can range from controlling minion waves to team fighting, but overall the competition has gotten much better.
With a larger hill to climb than in prior splits, it’s not far off for Team Liquid to drop a few games early on. Considering the lack of rest and practice from their time at MSI this year, it’s somewhat surprising to see them back at the top. However, their success has become routine over the last two seasons.
Separating From the Pack
There are a few aspects of Team Liquid’s game that are irreplicable, such as their overall talent and emphasis on team play. In certain scenarios, opposing teams will try to beat TL at their own game, but that’s when their individual talent comes into play.
More often than not, members of Team Liquid can handle themselves in their respective match-ups. When they’re able to gather leads, they likely take advantage of them in almost every way imaginable. This specific trait is what has kept TL among the best in North America, simply because no other team knows how to properly ride out their momentum. During the spring, Team Liquid were nearly impossible to take down if ahead, but perhaps the ever-adapting meta is beginning to catch up to them.
Of course, Team Liquid aren’t just a bunch of machines programmed to play League of Legends. There are bound to be mistakes or even brief periods of failure. If their struggles throughout the first few weeks entail anything, it’s that they’re human. However, it also means that it’s possible to beat them. There haven’t been many teams up to that task, but it won’t be long until they are.
It’s Just the Beginning
Still, TL are arguably the best team in the LCS on paper. Each member was nominated to either the 1st or 2nd All-LCS teams during the spring, including spring MVP Yong-in ‘CoreJJ’ Jo. They also held a LCS best 14-4 record that was tied with Cloud9. This eventually transitioned to their impressive play at MSI, where they made it all the way to the finals against G2 Esports. Nonetheless, this roster can make things happen on both a domestic and global scale. There’s really no telling to how much they can accomplish this year.
Since things haven’t gotten off to a great start this summer, not much can be expected of Team Liquid regarding their record. They could certainly win out from here and finish the split 16-2, but realistically they’ll be playing the long game. The obvious goal of any League of Legends team is to one day make it to the World Finals. With that in the back of their minds at all times, Team Liquid will likely be preparing for that opportunity. This current team is easily capable of making an impact at an international event, but they might mess around and pick up their 4th straight LCS championship on the way.
Featured Image Courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr.
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