This cannot come as a shock to anyone; most expected Team Liquid to sit this out given their abysmal record this split; a fall from grace from the team that dominated and won the last four splits.
Liquid have had a tough go of it since the beginning, when they were unable to fully acquire their new jungler, Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen due to visa issues. They subbed in Shern "Shernfire" Cherng Tai, their new jungler for their academy team, but he did not have much time to scrim with the team and it seemed to translate to issues on the main stage.
Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng also seemed to be having issues playing with Senna, a new AD Carry/Support hybrid (that most have been playing in the AD Carry role specifically), and not too long later, suffered from laryngitis and was subbed by another academy substitute, Edward "Tactical" Ra.
We gave it everything we had.— Team Liquid LoL (@TeamLiquidLoL) March 29, 2020
This is not the team that brought you four repeat titles, but hopefully that performance showed that, with time, we can be once again.
Thank you to everyone who stuck with us through it all. We'll see you in the summer. 💙
Despite a 2-0 the week that playing with Tactical gave them, it did not last long and Liquid quickly went back to Doublelift once he was feeling better, but the team has still been extremely inconsistent in their games.
The games for this weekend were slated against FlyQuest and Cloud9, but when Liquid lost to both teams, they were unable to get into playoffs.
Liquid’s most important game against Cloud9 was one definitely one for the books.
While Cloud9 began an early lead thanks to Robert “Blaber” Huang’s Olaf - who continued to quickly take down jungle camps and got himself a nice level lead over Broxah - Team Liquid were able to bounce back during a few pivotal fights around the drake pit.
Doublelift’s Ashe was not only able to use Hawk Shot to constantly find players on the map, but continuous use of her ultimate made picks and began fights.
However, with Eric “Licorice” Ritchie being able to use flanks to his advantage and Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer doing well on Rumble, Cloud9 were able to bounce back and push far into the base.
It seemed a fight for elder drake would be the game ending play, but during the move, Phillippe “Vulcan” Laflamme used his Tahm Kench ult to backdoor into the base and take the Nexus with Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen.
This hopefully should be a wake up call for Liquid, who have time before Summer Split to figure out the issues, which seem to be way deeper than just Doublelift, or Broxah’s visa, or their Academy substitutes.
Even if you take away Broxah, you have four other veterans who have been playing together fully for the last year (as Nikolaj “Jensen” Jensen” had been on Cloud9 for Liquid’s first Spring and Summer split wins) and there should really be no excuses.
Is it motivation issues, due to Spring Split not having as much of an impact on getting teams to Worlds? Or is it something even deeper than that?
It’s hard to say from this perspective, but something needs to change if Team Liquid wants another spot at Worlds, which was one of the reasons they snagged Broxah.
They won’t make it there if they cannot win domestically, something we didn’t think we would be saying after the last four splits.