Year in Review
April 24 2018
Let’s face it. 2017 wasn’t the best year for Team Liquid LoL. We struggled in many areas and, despite finding brief success with Doublelift as a mid-season sub, we sadly ended both splits with back-to-back appearances in the promotion/relegation tournaments.
With the 2018 roster reshuffles acting as a chance to start from scratch, we decided to shake off the memories of 2017 and rebuild from the ground up with one goal in mind: silence the 4th place memes for good by winning an NA LCS championship. Thus, we became the 4th NA LCS organization to win a championship — it’s hard to kill a meme. With Team Liquid LoL having successfully brought home the NA LCS trophy for the 2018 Spring Split, we decided it would be a good time to look back and reflect on the ten hectic weeks that lead us to an historic finish.
Doublelift | Average KDA: 10.0 | Playoff KDA: 57/3/49 | Playoff Farm: 10.3cs/m (#1) | 1 Quadrakill
A Good Start
Our story this split was one of redemption. For Liquid, this season was about proving doubters wrong as a team and as individual players. This redemption tour started off with a bang when our first game of the season brought our team, and more specifically Doublelift, their first taste of revenge with a win against TSM. After similarly dispatching OpTic Gaming the following day, we were off to an explosive 2-0 start.
Despite going 2-0 the first week, some synergy issues plaguing our bot lane and troubles in scrims made the victories bittersweet. Olleh and Doublelift took time to be open about the difficulties that new bot duos have with synergizing, but were able to power through their relationship struggles for the better of the team. This allowed us to refocus on long-term goals and work through our growing pains. Even through these potential issues we went 1-1 during the second week, beating Clutch Gaming but losing to 100T. With it being so early in the split the players understood they had to remain focused and we saw their determination and incredible amount of effort pay off as the season continued.
The Calm Before the Storm
Pobelter | Average KDA: 4.8 | Average Farm: 10.6cs/m (#1) | Undefeated: Cassiopeia, Malzahar (4-0 each)
Pobelter mentioned in this week's Squad episode that while staying competitive and improving is difficult to do as a pro, keeping one’s skills up is a must. As such, week 3 saw our players get back to the grind with great success. In addition to breaking the fastest game time record twice in a row and going 2-0 on the week, Pobelter astounded with his performances in both games.
With his teammates behind him, Pobelter ended the week with a combined KDA of 25.0 and proved once again why he deserves to be called one of the best in the West.
We kicked off week 4 by taking some well deserved time out to celebrate coach Cain’s birthday! Despite the festivities, however, there was work to do. Doublelift warned at the beginning of the week that, regardless of our improvements, the road to playoffs would be difficult. And difficult it was. Unfortunately, we went 0-2 on the week. While playing against the first-place teams highlighted fixable weaknesses, Impact took the loss especially hard. Losing this chance to cement our place at the top didn’t discourage us, but rather reignited our passion to improve.
Back to Basics
Olleh | Playoff KDA: 7.3, 8/14/94 (#1 support, 3x the 2nd) | Playoff Assists: 94 (#1 in the playoffs)
After back to back losses in week 4, we were made painfully aware of our lacking basic skills. We took week 5 as our chance to begin the long grind to create a stable foundation. Despite the losses and seeding changes, however, we were confident that we could both create and stand firmly upon this foundation by the time playoffs came around.
Moving the Pieces
The fruits of our labour began to show in week 6. Though the 1-1s continued for the second week in a row, productive scrims and practices were finally reaping real results against the other teams. With a lot more room to grow, our Squad episode highlighted the dynamics between our players and how far they had come throughout the split.
Week 7 was the fuel that ignited our team’s turning point. The new patch helped shake up the seeding while our hard work began to pay dividends. Though our first game was a sub 30 minute, almost deathless blowout, our second game displayed one of the last weaknesses we had left to tackle before the playoffs.
Every Play Has Risks
Impact | Playoff KDA: 6.6 (#1, 2x the 2nd) | Undefeated: Swain, Singed, Shen (2-0 each)
Week 8 was both exciting and difficult. Not only did we celebrate Impact’s birthday, we celebrated the Alienware Training Facility’s grand opening.
This facility allows our players a place to practice, stream, and even test their DJ skills. Olleh also took his day off to coach our Academy team before preparing for the most important week of the split. Through their extra practice, Olleh and Doublelift’s synergy issues experienced a sharp change for the better between the first and second games this week.
Despite going 1-1 again this week, the team had faith in their abilities and had their sights on playoff seeding.
Return to Fourth
We entered week 9 in 4th place with a playoff slot still on the line. By the end of day 2 we had played 4 games and were still seeded 4th going into playoffs. Memes aside, we began the week finally getting Impact his long sought redemption against his former team and ended the game with our finally realized bot synergy allowing Olleh and Doublelift to shine.
Make Them Eat Their Words
Xmithie | Playoff KDA: 6.6 | Undefeated: Trundle (4-0) | Playoff Kill Participation: 81.2% (highest on TL)
Despite their insistent confidence on twitter, we eliminated Cloud 9 in a clean 3-0 series in the first week of playoffs. With his risky Baron steal in the first game and selfless play in the remainder of the series, Xmithie received the most praise from his teammates. Having faith in each other's abilities and in our team-oriented gameplay as a whole, we emphatically claimed our place as a top LCS team.
Only one opponent stood between us and our goal. An opponent whose ranks were lined with old allies, friends, and rivals. This would not stop us. As we stood on stage at Miami and felled our foe in a perfect 3-0 set, we not only made history by bringing home Team Liquid’s first NA LCS trophy, but also by becoming only the 4th ever team to win an NA LCS Championship.
Game 1: Stealing from the Thieves
Game 2: The Takedown and the Shuffle
Game 3: The Title In Our Sights
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