Breathe easy, Team Liquid fans. After going 0-2 to start the 2020 League of Legends World Championship group stage, North America’s third seed finally picked up their first win of the tournament today against Europe’s top squad, G2 Esports.
After this huge victory, the team’s budding star AD carry Tactical talked with Dot Esports about the relief he felt following Liquid’s win, how he and his team changed up their mindset after losing their first two matches, and his message to NA fans moving into the second half of the group stage.
Before today’s match, many fans believed that the LCS was done and dusted after the region went 1-5 through the first three days of group play. For Liquid fans, hope was slowly diminishing after they suffered a disappointing loss against the PCS’ Machi Esports. But this lineup refused to let the light go out on their Worlds dreams.
“If we had lost this game, our chances [would’ve been] really low for getting out of groups,” Tactical said. “Not only did we win, but we also changed things up at the same time. I think it’s a pretty big step for us—I feel more hope and I feel quite happy now.”
Tactical said Liquid had to reassess the way they were approaching their matches, especially after their lopsided loss against Suning Gaming on day three. The roster shifted their focus back to taking over the early game after their play-in stage results altered their mindset, according to TL’s marksman.
“If you’re a good team, you always can take control over the early game, and end the game,” Tactical said. “We came [into the group stage] with the wrong mindset, because in play-ins, we were able to do whatever we want compared to what these teams have been doing to us.”
Pressure hasn’t been an issue for the rookie, either. The 20-year-old said that when he takes the stage in Shanghai, he “[doesn’t] really feel anything special,” and that these matches are just another game where he can prove to the world that he can stand up to the best League players at the tournament.
Tactical isn’t sure if the lack of a live audience has affected him since he hasn’t really played in front of a crowd during his LCS career yet. But he did acknowledge that the presence of a live crowd might have made things a lot more exciting.
“Maybe it’s because I’m more confident in myself nowadays compared to before, but I feel pretty comfortable on stage right now,” Tactical said. “I feel like I’m playing a scrim—I feel pretty calm, I can think properly, and I just think of it as playing another match.”
Ultimately, Tactical and the rest of Liquid want to rekindle the hope of NA fans. Even though they can’t control the other LCS teams’ fates, TL does have the power to help prove that they belong with the rest of the top global teams.
A win against G2 is a good start for their road to redemption, but in two days, they’ll have to face every team in Group A one more time. Worlds hasn’t been the kindest of stages for the LCS, but Liquid have a chance to break the cycle of disappointment that NA fans have suffered through for so many years.
“I want to turn it around for our group, and show that we can be different this year,” Tactical said. “Hopefully, it won’t end up being a waste, because I really want to win.”
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