If you take a look at the LCS, there are only a few teams that stand out as real contenders for the North American throne this season. Whether you’re a fan of Cloud9, 100 Thieves, or Evil Geniuses, you can’t deny that Team Liquid sit at the top of the mountain for now.
After taking home the 2021 LCS Lock In championship last month, many people consider them the best League of Legends team in the region. The roster consists of a top-two player in each role, especially after the organization made moves to acquire star European top laner Alphari and back-to-back 2020 LCS finalist Santorin.
The veteran jungler talked with Dot Esports about his time with Liquid so far, his responsibility to the TL fan base, and how playing with this superstar roster is a “jungler’s dream.”
Last year, Santorin was very vocal about his thoughts on his and FlyQuest’s status as an underrated team.
Even though the team made it to back-to-back LCS finals, the 23-year-old believed that he and his team weren’t being recognized for what they truly were: a true challenger for the top. This time, however, he’s now on a top team that has a different type of pressure on their shoulders—pressure from a fan base that expects them to win it all.
“I think something I’m really lucky about is on 2015 TSM, we were supposed to just win it all, so I’ve had this feeling before,” Santorin told Dot Esports. “It’s a lot more, I would almost say responsibility towards your fans because they expect a lot and you don’t want to disappoint them, whereas when I was on FlyQuest, any small victory, they’d be grateful.”
Luckily for Liquid fans, Santorin said he thrives under pressure and welcomes the feeling to help him perform better as the season goes on. Of course, it also helps that he has a stacked roster of talented players around him to help alleviate any concerns he has.
Many people look at this roster and consider it one of the most stacked lineups we’ve seen in North America. They have a star top laner in Alphari who can carry a team to victory, one of NA’s most recognizable talents in mid laner Jensen, and arguably the deadliest LCS bottom lane duo with rising star AD carry Tactical and superstar support CoreJJ.
For Santorin, this makes his role on the team a bit unique. There might be many opportunities that he can take across all three lanes, but knowing when and where to take those chances is now his challenge as the season moves forward.
“I feel like a lot of the teams I’ve been on, we’d have someone that’s really good and someone that’s OK,” Santorin said. “You’d always play to the strong guy, but now there’s so many strong pieces. I can basically play anything so it’s a jungler’s dream, but you still have to adapt to that playstyle and actually know you can do anything.”
Whether he wants to play through the top side with Alphari or activate Tactical and CoreJJ across the map, the timing and decision-making will still matter a ton in terms of effectively pushing Liquid into a winning position during each matchup. This will take some adapting, but Santorin believes he’ll be able to improve continuously.
Ultimately, Santorin is still the linchpin for Liquid’s success since he’ll be the one to get the ball rolling for this juggernaut of a roster. The bar has been set high, but he’s ready to step up to the challenge.
You can catch Santorin and the rest of Liquid in action when the 2021 LCS Spring Split continues on Friday, Feb. 12.
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