Team Liquid enters the 2019 Summer Playoffs as the favourite, and deservedly so. The three-time reigning LCS Champions, Team Liquid have compiled what may be the most talented roster the LCS has ever seen and were once again able to finish first in the regular-season standings.
Building upon their success domestically, Team Liquid was able to pull off what may be the greatest upset in League of Legends history at this year's Mid-Season invitational. Battling the current World Champion and heavy favourites Invictus Gaming, Team Liquid astounded fans and analysts with a 3-1 series victory.
For North American fans weary of early international exits and unfulfilled expectations, Team Liquid's performance was a shot in the arm for a fanbase desperate for international validation. Finally taking a leap forward, Team Liquid is once again NA's best hope to gain credibility and prove the LCS can compete on an international stage.
One thing that cannot be understated is the importance of Team Liquidâ€™s roster being the most experienced internationally of any of the current LCS squads. International experience has proven to be invaluable, enabling players to be relaxed on stage and more importantly allowing them to be resilient when things go wrong throughout a tournament.
Team Liquidâ€™s current roster not only has a wealth of international experience but also multiple players with significant international success. On top of their recent Finals appearance at MSI, mid-laner Nicolaj â€œJensenâ€ Jensen was key in Cloud9â€™s breakthrough run to the Semi-Finals at last yearâ€™s World Championship. They also boast two different World Champions in top-laner Jung "Impact" Eon-yeong and support Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in.
The reigning LCS MVP, CoreJJ could easily be considered the best player in the LCS right now. A savant of the support role, his lane partner Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng (a former MVP himself and the winningest player in LCS history) has consistently heaped praise upon COreJJ for his playmaking ability, macro understanding, and mechanics.
Despite dropping a game or two inexplicably over the Summer Split, Team Liquid has remained the most consistent team in the LCS. Finishing first in both the Spring and Summer Split regular season standings, Team Liquid has proven they are able to adapt to the multiple patches and meta changes that have been implemented over the year. This can be critical entering the World Championships, as we have seen in the past that meta changes leading up to and within the tournament have dramatically altered the fortunes of many teams who looked like contenders.
Out of all the teams in the LCS, Team Liquid likely has the highest floor in terms of international performances. At Rift Rivals, Team Liquid looked like the clear best LCS team and an argument could be made they were the best team at the event overall after their combined 2-0 of G2 Esports. Able to bounce back from early deficits and stand toe to toe in the laning phase against Europe's best, Team Liquid proved they still stand a class above the rest of their LCS counterparts and should be the team fans hope claim the LCS title.
While Team Liquid may not be the only LCS team who has the potential to succeed internationally, they clearly have the best odds of success amongst the current competitors. Whether you're a fan of Team Liquid or any other team in the LCS, success internationally would greatly benefit the region as a whole as the LCS works to strengthen it's claim to a place among the League of Legends elite.
With a history of disappointment at international events, fans should be cheering for their best teams to represent them at Worlds, and Team Liquid is not only the best team but the one most likely to enjoy international success. If they can capturing their fourth consecutive LCS title, Team Liquid would increase the likelihood of a favourable draw and advancing out of the group stage, an outcome that's not only best for their fans but for the region as a whole.