How Team Liquid climbed to first place in the LCS Summer Split
Seven weeks into the 2020 LCS Summer Split, there has been a lot of conversation regarding who was the second-best team in the LCS, with Team Liquid and Team SoloMid primarily in the conversation. This all assumed that Cloud9 would remain at the top.
After this past week's match between C9 and Liquid, that conversation has changed. C9 tried to pull off its usual tricks and Liquid handled it as only a four-time championship team would. The match was proof that C9 is no longer the beast that took over the LCS in the spring, and that Liquid is a legitimate contender for the title.
How did Team Liquid manage to tie C9 for first place in the league? It didn’t take crazy strategies or luck. It was simply good teamwork.
Team Liquid's jungle-support synergy improves
The big difference-maker for Team Liquid is jungler Mads "Broxah" Brock-Pedersen. Now that Broxah had time to get accustomed to his new teammates and is fully on board, he is bringing exactly what the organization expected of him: relentless aggression and playmaking from level one. But it’s not just a one-man show, as Broxah is getting help from his support. The synergy between Broxah and Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in is evident and it shows in the team’s results.
Together, this jungler and support duo is turning Liquid into a more aggressive team. Gone are the days where Liquid waited patiently for a mistake from the enemy. CoreJJ is constantly roaming, helping Broxah set up plays and vision. It’s not reckless aggression, as Liquid always goes for riskier plays with full information. According to stats by Game of Legends, Liquid’s vision control in the highest in the LCS. Overall, Liquid feels like a completely different team compared to the spring.
Liquid has improved, but the team still has some issues in the draft. In its match against Cloud9, Liquid drafted five champions with AP damage. Fortunately for Liquid, C9 didn’t adapt to it and instead of stacking up magic resistance, went for some armor. Those are small mistakes, but easy enough for other top teams to pick up.
The season of TL Tactical
Edward “Tactical” Ra had big shoes to fill when Liquid promoted him to the main roster. Tactical took over none other than veteran Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, one of the top players in the LCS. It was a challenge from the start, but the rookie ADC is living up to expectations.
Tactical is not the type of ADC that needs a support to hold his hand. The rookie is more than capable of playing the laning phase on his own while CoreJJ is roaming around the map. Broxah doesn’t push any extra resources to the bottom lane, either. Tactical can do a lot with the bare minimum, and it shows in his stats.
Tactical is second in CS per minute, gold per minute, total damage dealt to enemy champions, and first blood participation. In kill participation and gold difference at 15 minutes, Tactical is number one. Tactical is having a good performance as an individual and contributes to his team as a whole.
On Summoner’s Rift, Liquid has a clear purpose and the team knows where it’s going at any given time. There’s no hesitation, and from the veterans to the rookie, all five players are on the same page. Liquid doesn’t resort to tricks and unorthodox strategies. On the contrary, the team plays whatever is working in the meta and makes it its own. The four-time championship squad is looking like it might claim its fifth title in the LCS this season.
Team Liquid returns to the stage on July 31 to face Dignitas.
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