Melany M. June 30, 2020
Three weeks into the 2020 LCS Summer Split, it’s time to make a balance of Team Liquid’s season and how the team is faring without Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng.
On April 26, Team SoloMid confirmed that Doublelift would be rejoining the organization as the starting ADC. It wasn’t a surprise, the rumors about this move started flying around by the end of spring’s regular season where Liquid finished ninth.
Losing Doublelift put Liquid in a difficult situation since the team had to find a replacement under less than ideal circumstances. The organization made the executive decision to keep former academy player Edward “Tactical” Ra as its starter, and so far the move has paid off.
Team Liquid reinvents itself after Doublelift leaves
Liquid reinvented itself in the offseason with the addition of head coach Joshua "Jatt" Leesman. The former caster added a new perspective to a team that was in desperate need of a change. With jungler Mads "Broxah" Brock-Pedersen fully integrated into the team and Tactical in the bottom lane, Liquid looks comfortable around the map.
At this point in the 2020 LCS Spring Split, Liquid had only two wins to four losses, placing them seventh. At the same point in the 2020 LCS Summer Split, the team has four wins and two losses, placing second. The improvement is noteworthy, not only because of the end results but also when looking at the overall performance of the team.
With Doublelift on the roster, Liquid played a style focused on the bottom lane, funneling resources into the star AD carry. By the end of 2019, Liquid attempted to play through the solo lanes with mixed results. This new iteration of Team Liquid plays heavily through its solo lanes and is aggressive from level one. Liquid is not waiting patiently for enemies to make mistakes, as Broxah is creating more dynamic situations and is enabling his laners early.
This stylistic adjustment is a massive improvement for the team compared to their stale play earlier in 2020, and it's the reason why the squad is currently in second place.
Who won the breakup: Team Liquid and Tactical, or TSM and Doublelift?
Whenever a team and a player part ways, fans can’t help but wonder, who won the breakup? In this case, Liquid is slightly ahead of TSM. It might sound odd, especially considering that TSM and Liquid are tied for second with the same score.
Overall, Liquid looks more consistent and capable of closing out games. A match against 100 Thieves exposed TSM, who managed to take the victory only because 100 Thieves made some crucial mistakes. In week one, Liquid took down TSM in a dominant fashion. But there still isn't a clear answer between the two teams, as where TSM managed to defeat Evil Geniuses, Liquid couldn’t best EG.
Week four will give us a better idea of who’s the better team. Liquid is facing FlyQuest and Immortals, while TSM is playing Golden Guardians and Counter Logic Gaming.