Since then, the League of Legends team has climbed the standings, posting a 3-1 record over two weeks to land them sole possession of fourth place in the league. Yuri “KEITHMCBRIEF” Jew, the young high school student turned League pro, now has a 5-1 record in the Liquid lineup.
But Liquid is going back to their prized acquisition. Chae will be back in the lineup this weekend.
“The staff and players collaborated on this decision, and we believe that it is in the best interest of the team,” Liquid coach Peter Zhang said. “Keith has performed admirably during the past few weeks, making this change a difficult one to make. While everyone has seen the success we’ve had with Keith, Piglet has shown significant improvement within the team as well. We’ve made noticeable strides in team dynamics and communication with Piglet, and he’s earned the right to show this off in LCS.”
When the team benched Chae, they gave him a written list of the things he needed to improve. The team is happy with his progress.
During the past two weeks, Liquid has practiced with both Chae and Jew, as the younger player’s school schedule prevented him from attending the team’s earlier scheduled practice sessions each day. That’s given Chae a chance to earn a return to the lineup.
“Our focus isn’t just on this week or the next; it is to continue improving each week and to reach our best condition for the playoffs and ultimately, Worlds,” Zhang says.
Fitting a talented World Champion with a reputation as a practice hound who plays the game too much into the lineup should be a boon in that endeavor, but Team Liquid needs to be careful. Thanks to Riot Games’ new point system, this season really does matter for reaching Worlds. They may need a solid performance this season to guarantee a spot at the World Championship after next season, and based off how the team has played with each player, that may take Jew in the lineup, for now.
Team Liquid faces two 6-6 teams this week, Team 8 and Team Impulse. Both are just one game behind Liquid in the standings, chomping at the bit for the chance to pull ahead and into sole possession of a playoff spot. If putting Chae back in the lineup doesn’t work, it could be disastrous for Liquid’s season, especially considering they’ve managed to beat top teams Counter Logic Gaming and Team SoloMid in consecutive weeks with Jew in the lineup.
But only time will tell. Chae has the ability to not just shine, but dominate in the LCS. Maybe this is the week he shows it. Team Liquid certainly seems to think so.
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr