Liquid failed to perform in its first game of the main event despite using a classic TL composition. After its play-ins run, the draft became the main win condition for the North American squad. Liquid needed certain champions to be able to compete.
Team Liquid drafted Graves in the jungle, Orianna and Mordekaiser in the solo lanes, and the Caitlyn-Lux combination in the bot lane. This is a composition that worked for the team domestically but proved to be useless against Machi.
The main issue for the composition is the lack of initiation and set up for plays. Team Liquid expected Machi to run at them and make mistakes, but those mistakes and engages never came. Machi proved to be way better than expected and took control of the game early. Machi dominated the lanes and its junglers had a solid presence on the map. Liquid couldn’t do anything about it.
Drafting is a prevalent issue for the North American squads and one that is costing the teams greatly at Worlds. A good draft at Worlds must be capable of doing pretty much everything. Teams need tools to start fights, but also to disengage. Different sources of damage and strong frontlines. Games don’t follow a single pattern and a lack of flexibility can decide the outcome before the game even officially begins.
North American squads are not the most flexible of the bunch. These teams play one style and crumble under pressure when the game doesn’t fit into their preferred pattern. Machi showcased a great ability to fight, but also play for the objectives. The PCS squad made a statement in its debut at Worlds and is looking like a team that can upset group A.