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Fresh off a less than two-week break after the Mid Season Invitational, Team Liquid were expected to have a slow start upon returning to the LCS.
But burnt out or not, Liquid flexed their MSI finalist muscles by steamrolling TSM in their Summer Split debut match, which lasted less than 30 minutes.
“Honestly I was a little burnt out after MSI, so I haven’t been practicing much,” Liquid AD carry Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng said after beating his former team. “But even with that our team is just better than theirs, so it was a funny game to me.”
Liquid’s superiority over TSM was quickly made apparent with how proactive they were from start to finish. Having two lanes with massive pressure already in mid and bot, Liquid jungler Jake “Xmithie” Puchero was free to focus his efforts on helping his top laner Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong, providing ganks that landed his teammate first blood.
But all eyes were on this match, with fans watching to see if TSM’s bot lane could redeem themselves after a poor showing in the LCS finals. Sadly for TSM, that didn’t happen, with Liquid coming ahead on just about every bot lane trade.
“I was expecting their bot lane to play to win lane more I guess, but they didn’t,” Doublelift said. “They just played to farm. It was a bit weird”
After finding their initial lead, Liquid were relentless in looking for any possible advantage no matter the risk—a tendency they learned during their MSI run. “In NA, a 70-30 [percentage of success] play is what’s considered a good play,” Doublelift said. “That’s because if you’re a good team like when I was on TSM in season six and seven, and then on TL for the last two seasons, a 70-30 play was the good play because you’re better than them so you don’t need to take 50-50, or even 60-40 plays because you’re just better.”
Liquid headed into MSI with that 70-30 mentality and were met with a reality check. “But internationally the margins are really slim, so teams that are willing to take those 60-40s, and really practice at them, and even [doing the same with] 50-50s, are just way better as a team,” Doublelift said. “They have so many more chances to win the game than you, because you’re only looking for those tiny moments in the game that are overwhelming on your side.”
Liquid exercised this international playstyle in their LCS return, finding an overwhelming win against the league’s second-best team, who had dominated them for most of the Spring Split.
Liquid will return to the LCS stage tomorrow when they’ll face off against Echo Fox.