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Team Liquid/History

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Overview   History    

2015 Season

At the start of the season, Piglet was unable to play in the NA LCS Spring Split due to visa issues, and so Team Liquid Academy AD carry KEITHMCBRIEF started in his place for the first week. The team went 2-0. Piglet then returned for weeks 2, 3, and 4, but after poor performances and a 1-5 record, KEITHMCBRIEF (now Keith) was returned to the starting lineup.[1] During this time, to accommodate Keith's high-school schedule, Liquid scrimmed with Piglet in the mornings and then with Keith in the afternoons. The team went 3-1 in weeks 5 and 6, and Piglet was returned for week 7; he stayed on the starting roster through the rest of the split.[2] The team qualified for playoffs with the sixth seed after defeating Team 8 in a tiebreaker game. There, they beat CLG 3-0 in the quarterfinals before falling to Cloud9 3-2 in the semifinals; in the third-place match, Liquid finally broke the "fourth-place curse" that stopped them from placing higher than fourth place in any event that had persisted since they were Team Curse and took down Team Impulse 3-2 (though their third-place finish did average with former sister team Gravity's fifth-place finish to an overall four).

Team Liquid stuck with the same five-man roster for the entirety of the summer split, and they finished the round robin in first place after winning a tiebreaker match over Counter Logic Gaming - the first team other than TSM or Cloud9 to place first in an NA LCS round robin. However, in the playoffs, they lost immediately in the semifinals to TSM, making them also the first team to finish first in an NA LCS round robin but not make the playoff finals. A CLG victory over TSM in the playoff finals sent Team Liquid to the regional finals instead of giving them a direct seed to Worlds via Championship Points, and in the gauntlet they lost to underdogs Cloud9, ending their post-season abruptly.

2016 Preseason

Following a rumor that Piglet was to leave the team published in late September 2015, Team Liquid announced that they were actually extending his contract.[3][4] The next day, Xpecial revealed that it was he who was leaving the team, not Piglet, and in October the team announced Smoothie as their new starting support player.[5][6] Soon after, Xpecial's departure was officially announced as well.[7]

In late December, Team Liquid announced their plans for a 10-man-roster and heavily revamped their coaching staff with Locodoco as new head coach and new support staff. In January, Liquid announced the addition of Lourlo to fill the gap left by Quas and added zig, Dardoch, Youngbin, fabbbyyy and Matt as active subs from their Challenger team Team Liquid Academy. What "active subs" turned out to mean was a permanent roster shuffle, in which Dardoch and Matt joined the LCS team after the first game of the split. IWDominate retired, and Smoothie moved to the Academy team.

2016 Season

Liquid's spring split started out rocky, with an 0-2 first week and cumulative winrates of 50% or worse after each of the first eight weeks. Eventually, their new roster started to solidify, and they climbed into a fourth-place regular-season finish, behind the newly-formed and almost-undefeated Immortals, CLG, and Cloud9. A lot of their success was attributed to Dardoch's jungling, and he was named Rookie of the Split. Team Liquid's quarterfinal series was an easy 3-0 over NRG, but in the semifinals, they lost a narrow five-game series to CLG (the eventual champions). In the fifth game, Piglet was caught out in mid lane by a double-teleport from both Darshan and Huhi at the same time to the same ward and died. While Liquid were already behind in that game, it was this play that sealed the win for their opponents. In the third-place series against the tournament-favorite Immortals who had been knocked down in an upset by TSM, Liquid lost once again, this time 0-3, to finish the playoffs in fourth place overall and continuing their "fourth-place curse."

Despite Dardoch's stellar spring split performance, on May 27th, he was suspended by the team for "behavioral problems and team dynamics issues. Due to internal conflicts Dardoch was transferred to Echo Fox and Arcsecond was given the starting jungle spot."[8]

2017 Preseason

In the 2017 offseason, Team Liquid announced that they Reignover and Goldenglue would be part of the starting roster in 2017.

2017 Season

Expectations were fairly high for this new roster to at least make it to the playoffs, especially with Reignover's stellar performance as an in game leader in the previous season despite not making to Worlds. However, it was apparent few weeks into the spring split that the team was having serious synergy issues. In particular, Goldenglue was heavily criticized for his underwhelming performance, often getting caught off of position during games. The carrying jungler meta of the spring split was also ill-suited for Reignover's playstyle. The team soon found themselves dead last in the league and was in danger of relegation in the upcoming 2017 Summer Promtion. To stem this downward trend, Team Liquid ultimately made a daring move by moving Piglet to play as a midlaner and acquiring Doublelift as their temporary new ADC until the end of the spring split season. A short while later Goldenglue was sent off to Korea where he bootcamped with Ever8 to raise his skill cap on the Korean server by himself.

The result of this switch up was immediately apparent. In the last few weeks of the spring split, Team Liquid was able at least some games off of their remaining opponents, even beating TSM in Week 9. With Doublelift in the line up, the team slightly improved their standing to 9th place at the end of the season.

In the 2017 NALCS Summer Promotions, they first faced off eUnited and advanced to the next round in 3-1 fashion. In the second round, they narrowly beat out Gold Coin United in a five game series to retain their spot in NALCS for 2017 Summer Split.

As summer split came around, analysts and fans were more cautious in their expectation of the team as Team Liquid made no roster change to their starting line up. While Goldenglue showed signs of individual performance, the team found themselves dead last again in the league during the summer split. Even with the return of Dardoch and acquisition of Mickey from Afreeca Freecs to the starting line up, the team could not improve its standing from 10th place and once again was up for relegation in the 2018 NALCS Spring Promotions.

In the 2018 NALCS Spring Promotions, Team Liquid first faced off eUnited and was able to advance to the next round in a convincing 3-0 fashion. In the second round, they face off against Phoenix1 and narrowly won in a 3-2 series, thereby securing their spot in the 2018 season.

References