Stephen “Boowee” Buie took home the gold in Week 4 of the Liquid Galaxy Qualifier, but it wasn’t clean.
In the first event of the new TFT set 3.5 patch, Boowee piloted the Cybernetic composition all the way to the final lobby. After the second game in the finals, Boowee had his back to the wall, needing a first place to win the event. With 1 HP remaining, Boowee clutched out the game three victory to win the event off of tiebreakers.
Not only was his win not the cleanest, others might think that his win wasn’t convincing. With the tournament being held just days after a huge mid-set update, the meta game had not developed. Not only that, many of the game’s biggest names did not compete. Boowee, the fourth player to earn a spot at the LGQ finals, joins three other players who are Challenger level. Boowee has never ended a TFT season above Diamond.
On his main account, Boowee has played a total of 19 ranked games so far in the new mid-set update. Out of those 19 games he has only won once. His average placing over the 19 games is a 4.42. However, in a tournament setting, Boowee played much better. Over the course of his nine games in Week 4 of the LGQ, Boowee won three times as many games. He also had an average placing of 2.88. Something clicked for Boowee, he said it was because he was ahead of the curve.
“In North America, people love Vanguard and Mystic which isnt that much fun to me,” Boowee said. “In Korea, though the top player switches between Cybernetics and Brawler Blaster I tried it out, liked it, and decided to own that comp.”
Boowee said that a lot of his earlier rounds were easier than normal. But said his final lobby was relatively the same skill level as previous weeks. He said that high ranked players who didn’t play in this weeks event should of thought twice before skipping.
“I think it’s a coin toss, If you were already high up on the ladder then yes you should keep grinding to stay in the top 10,” Boowee said. “If you aren’t however I definitely think they missed out on easier lobbies.”
There are two ways to qualify for the TFT Galaxies championship for North America residents. The first way is to place in the top 16 players on the ranked ladder. The other option is to qualify in a tournament like Team Liquid’s LGQ. The mid set update for TFT brought a ladder reset along with it. Many of the game’s top players elected to climb back towards the top instead of playing in this week’s event. Not every high ranked player decided to skip out though. Daniel “Duo Queue Abuser” Li, was a top 50 Challenger player before the mid-set reset. But he opted to play in the tournament at the cost of losing ground on the other high profile players. He said that his choice was optimal.
“I played this week’s event because I knew that a lot of people would skip it,” Duo Queue Abuser said. “I think I made the right choice to play the tournament for myself.”
Duo Queue Abuser’s choice to play in this week’s event turned out to be a good one in hindsight. He made it into the finals lobby and looked like he was in a very favorable position to take home the gold. That was until BooWee snatched it from him at the last possible second. Duo Queue Abuser ended up placing second on tiebreakers. Although he placed highly, Duo Queue Abuser thinks they should of pushed the event back.
“Everyone in the final lobby was skilled to an extent but I dont believe this is a good representation of North America as a whole,” Duo Queue Abuser said. “Many high elo players weren’t playing at it was the first week of the new set.”
Zach “Izpanda” Shaner, the head tournament organizer for the LGQ, knows that many people reached out to see if Team Liquid could wait for the metagame to settle before hosting an important event like this one. He said that at the end of the day, they made the best decision.
“For us it came down to the fact that we had the event scheduled to hit certain deadlines before the patch was announced so we had to roll with the punches,” Izpanda said. “On the positive side, we got to see some great players showcase how quickly they can adapt to new metas and game states.”
Duo Queue Abuser understands where Team Liquid is coming from. “It most likely would of been a good idea to wait but in the long run it may not matter because they still need to win in the final event anyway,” Duo Queue Abuser said.
When asked if he thinks Boowee had what it takes to win in the LGQ finals, Duo Queue Abuser wasnt high on the idea. “There always is a possibility due to the nature of the game but id say the odds are not particularly favorable.”
Boowee understands that he has a chip on his shoulder, but said that he doesn’t care. He said that TFT is like chess, with enough practice, anyone can learn the right moves to beat the competition. He said he has what it takes to earn his spot at the OCENA regional qualifiers.
“I know a lot of players are going to talk about how I forced Cybernetics and that I’m not a high Challenger players but in the end it doesn’t matter, winning does.” Boowee said. “I’m living proof that a low elo player can win with their own play style, just because someone is a lower rank than you doesn’t mean they can’t beat you in the same lobby.”
Week 5 of 8 of the LGQ kicks off this weekend. More Information is located at liquidtactics.gg.
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