Dec 7 2016 - 11:28 pm
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NA HCS Pro League Fall Season Finals: Team Liquid Team Preview

Meet the #3 seed heading to the Burbank Finals: Team Liquid. From being at the bottom of the league last year, see how they turned around their franchise to make the finals this year.
Journalist for GAMURS
preview

Team Liquid has been a driving force in several esports, and has become one of the household names in the general esports business. That has not been the case for its Halo team, though, as it entered late into the game in 2015 and placed, at best, top-eight up until and including the Halo World Championship.

From then, this team barely stayed afloat over the summer, getting into the league at a last chance qualifier and working their way out of relegations, but has come into its own during the fall with a new roster that brought home some podium finishes.

Here’s what Team Liquid brings to Burbank:


The Team:

Tyler "Spartan" Ganza, Hamza "Commonly" Abbaali, Zane "Penguin" Hearon, Timothy "Rayne" Tinkler

(Coach: Kory "Symbolic" Arruda)

(Analyst: Tyler "TiberiusAudley" Hicks)


The Stats:

Team:

  • Overall: 7-7 (34-28 Map Count)
    • Vs. nV: 5-3
    • Vs. OG: 3-6
    • Vs. Str8: 4-6
  • Slayer:  9-13 (-57 +/-)
    • Coliseum: 1-0
    • Eden: 2-1
    • Plaza: 3-0
    • Regret: 3-5
    • The Rig: 0-6
    • Truth: 0-1
  • Strongholds: 10-9 (+13 +/-)
    • Eden: 2-2
    • Empire: 2-3
    • Plaza: 3-2
    • The Rig: 3-2
  • CTF: 15-6 (+18 +/-)
    • Coliseum: 1-3
    • Fathom: 6-1
    • Stasis: 2-0
    • Truth: 6-2

Individual:

  • Spartan
    • K/D: 1.04
    • KDA: 1.63
    • Damage/D: 128.2
    • Strongholds Captured: 103 (4th in League)
    • Flag Returns: 24 (T-1st in League)
    • Perfects/Game: .476 (24th in League)
  • Rayne
    • K/D: .94
    • KDA: 1.58
    • Damage/D: 123.2
    • Strongholds Captured: 117 (2nd in League)
    • Flag Returns: 22 (3rd in League)
    • Perfects/Game: .698 (5th in League)
  • Commonly
    • K/D: .97
    • KDA: 1.66
    • Damage/D: 130.2
    • Stronghold Secured: 49 (4th in League)
    • Flag Returns: 19 (5th in League)
    • Flag Defends: 28 (2nd in League)
    • Flag Captures: 13 (T-3rd in League)
    • Perfects/Game: .492 (23rd in League)
  • Penguin
    • K/D: 1.03
    • KDA: 1.76
    • Damage/D: 130.1
    • Strongholds Captured: 89 (10th in League)
    • Flag Returns: 16 (10th in League)
    • Flag Defends: 22 (T-4th in League)
    • Flag Captures: 17 (1st in League)
    • Perfects/Game: .619 (12th in League)

How They Got Here:

To continue on with TL’s rise, they wound up beating the “super-team” of EnVyUs in the first main event of the season. They then would lose in a five game series to Enigma6, however Liquid would go on to have an… interesting season.

They had a winning map record against every team in the Pro League, except against OpTic Gaming and Str8 Rippin, the latter of which TL had trouble with even before their late season rise. Liquid had its money’s worth in matches, allowing teams like Allegiance and Luminosity to stick with them in the middle of the season.

The kings of objective play, TL was a force to be reckoned with on Capture the Flag, where they posted the best record in the league and won several matches off the momentum of dominant CTF games.

Team Liquid also had its fair share of LAN experience during the season, taking third in Orange County and second in Las Vegas. Both times, they were taken out by nV, with the more recent event seeing them lose two straight best-of-sevens to the boys in blue. Regardless of their losses to a Pro League Finals favorite, these podium finishes indicate a change in the tides for Team Liquid as they have their eyes on their first ever Pro League title.


How Can They Win:

First off, this team needs to ban Slayer on The Rig immediately for every single match, without question.

If they can get the right maps against OG and nV, there is definitely the possibility of an upset victory, especially with that last Las Vegas series going to seven games. Slayer on Eden is their only shot on paper that sees them with a more favorable matchup, as does CTF on Truth (I would also say Stasis, but that map should not be in the current map pool). However, there are always exceptions to map play, and a prime example of that is CTF on Coliseum, where Liquid took down nV, despite the map being a “weaker” one for TL.

Speaking of capturing flags, having a dominating victory or two against another team on a CTF game could help them mentally take down both OG and nV. They may be out-slayed by both of these fast teams, but in objective game modes, they could use Coach Symbolic’s guidance to get quality rotations and plays to earn upsets.

Team Liquid is one of the slowest teams in terms of time of play, as according to Halo 5 Arena, their games took over nine minutes to finish. This could work out to their advantage if they can slow the game down, as nV and OpTic, two fast teams, could be a bit uncomfortable playing the waiting game and relying on radar.

Slow, methodical play will be the key to Liquid’s hypothetical Finals victory, and while it may not be the most intense style of play to watch, having accurate shots and quality fundamentals could give this organization their first gold medal placement.


For all your Halo and esports updates, make sure you are following us on Twitter, @GAMURScom.

James Mattone is a journalist for GAMURS and can be contacted on Twitter -@TheJamesMattone.

Statistics are courtesy of Halo 5 Arena (Team Stats), Halo Data Hive (all individual stats) and HCS Stats (Perfects/Game).

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