Team Liquid: Are they Still a Safe Bet?
After their miraculous run in the 2019 Worlds tournament, Team Liquid looked poised to dominate the North American League Championship Series once again. Having been pretty much the only strong horse to make it into contention the past few years, everyone was fairly sure that they would completely wreck it again. However, the start of the 2020 spring split has been all but victorious for them. So what happened to Team Liquid? Was the roster swap their downfall? And will the curse of 4th place Liquid come to haunt their dreams once again?
History of Team Liquid
Although the entirety of the organization has been around for quite some time, the League of Legends roster was only founded in 2015. Starting out after merging with Team Curse, not to be confused with Curse Gaming, they acquired their roster that included veterans Quas, IWillDominate, FeniX, Piglet, and Xpecial, all who were veterans of their craft at that time. However, over the course of the next 3 years until 2018, Team Liquid would go through massive roster shifts as they attempted to battle their way out of their cursed 4th place position.
However, at the turn of 2018, Team Liquid looked to hedge their bets during the new franchising of the LCS. After they were accepted into the LCS, Team Liquid looked to revamp their roster by completely releasing all of their rosters, as well as their coaching staff. They picked up former Immortals players Xmithie, Pobelter, Olleh, as well as Cloud9’s top laner Impact at the time, and Doublelift.
This roster of stars allowed Team Liquid to make a strong push for the first time in their career. They placed once again at 4th place, but the playoffs of the spring 2018 season were all Team Liquid, which saw them hoist their first LCS title ever. Since then, the team have looked to be on a rampage nationally. Internationally, they have seen some growth, with the 2019 MSI Finals having them gain notoriety as the quickest bo5 loss ever in professional history to G2 in a 3-0 shutout.
During the summer split of 2019, Team Liquid looked to be dominant once again in the North American region. However, their success did not transfer into the international scene, which sadly saw them not make it out of groups at Worlds 2019.
During the off-season and preseason of 2020, Team Liquid made a bold move to import Broxah to their team, parting with their jungler Xmithie who helped carry them through the 2019 season. But, this turned out to have unfortunate consequences, as it ended up with the team having various visa issues, resulting in them having to field Shernfire for the first few weeks instead.
Drastically poor early showing
Many predicted that Team Liquid would once again claim the throne as North America’s strongest competitor, however, nothing could be further from the truth. With Broxah sidelined due to visa complications, it looked to be due to a substitute jungler that the team was not doing well. It became evident though rather quickly that there was more than just this issue causing conflict.
The teamwork between the players seemed to have collapsed. The synergy that botlane had with the rest of the team seemed stressed. Not only that, Jensen in the mid lane has looked atrocious, with score lines that would be more in line with a rookie player, just being freshly tossed into the professional matches.
Half the Season done
With over half of the season completed, Team Liquid are looking to push back and regain their spot as one of the top tier teams. However as it stands, they are trailing behind some of the best teams by close to 3 wins. Taking this into account, their uphill battle is only just beginning, as their remaining matches are against the upper side of the bracket. Teams such as Team SoloMid, Cloud9, and FlyQuest all hold fairly strong records as of right now.
Team Liquid has also lost to teams such as Evil Geniuses and Golden Guardians, who are the lower echelon teams. If they cannot win against the lower bracket, their chances of breaking through into the top half of the bracket seem slim to none.
A Bright Light in the Darkness
With all that being said, there still remains a glimmer of hope. For the first 4 weeks, Team Liquid had to deal with not having their star import Broxah, as we know, yet now that hiccup has been resolved and Broxah is finally able to complete once more. This joining puts the team in an even more positive position going into their second half of the split, securing a better chance at getting a higher seeded spot.
With Broxah, the Mid and Jungle synergy has looked much stronger, as well as overall global pressure on towers and global objectives. Broxah may be having a slightly slow start initially, but his world-class skill is starting to show on the North American Stage.
Do they Still have a Chance?
In terms of betting odds, it is best to never count Team Liquid out. From their past records, they have the star studded roster to be able to pull themselves out of this slump. The question that should really be on everyone’s mind is how quickly they will recover from their terrible start?
The bets for specific matchups, such as the head to head against teams like Cloud9 and FlyQuest, may stay a bit against Team Liquid. However, all odds for for the team to start moving up in the standings should now increase, and it may be solid to bet on them to win if the odds are more spread. In the overall run for Team Liquid to win overall first place for the spring split, the chances are still quite slim. However, the odds of them placing within the top 4 has increased dramatically.
So start placing your bets on Team Liquid and ride the wave of potential harmony as the horse rises from the depths of the standings.