A less than solid start from Team Liquid

UPDATE: Week 2 current standings – Team Liquid.

Team Liquid, perhaps unexpectedly, currently occupy 7th place in the NALCS rankings alongside Dignitas and CLG. With their current score of 1-3 (25% win-rate), and an overall score of 4-6 (40% win-rate) in games played, the results for TL don’t seem to be overly positive. This article will take a look at the opening week for Team Liquid, and identify what went wrong for them.

Week 1 

During the opening week of NALCS Team Liquid played a total of 5 games across the 2 series that they played, and with a record of 3-2 averaged a 60% win-rate.

CLG (2-0)

Their first game against CLG promised a positive start to the year with them securing first blood in an extended 4 for 1 trade in the botlane around the 8:30 mark. Whilst the rest of the game was a little sloppy from TL, they secured a 34 minute victory with an overall team KDA of 18/11/41.

Their second game against CLG started off in the opposite fashion with Reignover getting collapsed on after getting caught out in CLG’s jungle, giving up first blood at the 4:40 mark. From this TL stalled until their scaling comp could come online, making a comeback to secure victory after 43 minutes, with an overall team KDA of 16/11/45.

These first two games showcased a promising beginning for TL, with them demonstrating the ability to snowball a victory in game 1, and being able to stall long enough in game 2 to recognise their late game scaling victory condition.

FLY (1-2)

The first game for TL started poorly with Goldenglue falling to a gank in the midlane at the 4 minute mark, despite still having flash up. From this TL eventually clawed their way back into the game through playing around Lourlo’s Fiora, securing a 44 minute win with a team KDA of 19/16/44.

The second game started off slow with a 1 for 1 trade in the botlane at 4:50. However a mid-game Corki enabled FLY to win multiple teamfights, with TL unable to halt the snowball they were eventually trampled over, with the nexus falling at the 35 minute mark. TL ended this game with a KDA of 6/19/10.

The final game of this series began with the revival of Kalista from Piglet, taken during the second rotation of pick/bans. Combined with the Thresh pick, the botlane for TL was looking to make picks around the bottom half of the map, fitting in with the rest of TL’s all-in composition from the Katarina and Rengar pick. However a 3 for 1 trade for FLY at 8 minutes enabled by an initial pick on Piglet plus the shielding from Karma meant that TL’s feast or famine team comp was already set behind. A botlane dive past the first tower at 11 minutes led to another 3 for 1 trade in FLY’s favour, setting TL even further behind. From this FLY was able to use the mid game spike of Ezreal and Kha’Zix to propel themselves to victory at 25 minutes. TL ended this game with a team KDA of 6/16/15.

After the hard fought win against FLY in their first game, TL struggled to measure their aggression in the subsequent games, with an especially poor performance from the duo of Piglet and Matt who went 2/15/18 and 5/9/18 respectively. Most notable throughout this series was Piglet in particular who had the highest death count in the series, with his trademark lane aggression being punished repeatedly, and even dying during game 1 in a straight up 2v2 having been forced to use heal in a previous trade.

Week 1 Summary

A strong opening against CLG showed potential for this TL roster, as they demonstrated the ability to snowball a lead (albeit somewhat sloppy) and to identify their late game scaling win condition and stall until that was reached. Ideally TL would have gone even during game 2, however a well timed collapse by CLG onto Reignover followed by the threat of Huhi roaming meant that TL were forced to play from behind for the majority of that game.

The first game against FLY once again showcased TL clawing their way out of a gold deficit by playing around the Fiora, whilst this again shows that TL can identify their win conditions, the poor performance of Piglet and Matt meant that the standout performance from Lourlo was their only win condition. This transitioned into their next game where TL failed to recover from Hai’s roams around the map, and their continual attempts to engage eventually cost them the game. One thing to note was that Reignover also had a large number of deaths, especially in game 2 where he went 0/6/0, however applying the eye test to this shows that several of those deaths are him trying to either make plays to get TL back into the game, or him trying to prevent a dive, etc. However it is undeniable that the remaining deaths are simply Reignover getting caught out, or trying to aggressively initiate into a losing teamfight.

TL fans still need not worry, FLY also won their other game against NV, 2-0 during week 1, and so they can be proud that Liquid took at least one game off the surging FLY squad. Next week I shall be re-examining Liquids standings, and whether progress has been made on the mistakes of the first week.

Do you agree/disagree with me? Thought Piglet’s poor play was due to getting camped throughout each series? How did Lourlo stack up during each series? Let me know in the comments below, alongside any improvements that you would like to see!

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