LCS 2021: Why Fans Should Be Excited for Team Liquid

Photos by David Lee/Riot Games.
Photos by David Lee/Riot Games. /

Let’s look at why Team Liquid fans should be excited for the coming LCS season.

Once the dominant force in the LCS, last year was supposed to be an extension of the dynasty Team Liquid had previously built over the last two years. Instead, it was a horrific collapse in the Spring Split, leading to the partial breakup of the roster in the Summer Split. But then, miraculously, TL re-emerged in summer, stronger than ever, securing a third-straight spot at Worlds 2020.

With the core of the team still intact and massive upgrades in the top lane and jungle, Team Liquid is a true contender for the LCS crown in 2021. Let’s see just how excited Liquid fans should be this year.

Last Year

7-11 in the Spring Split, 15-3 in the Summer Split

Team Liquid fans would rather forget about the Spring Split, which was marred by visa issues, team infighting, and internal drama. This ultimately resulted in the back-to-back-to-back-to-back LCS champions missing the playoffs and ejecting their star ADC Doublelift. It looked like the end of the TL dynasty.

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Which is what made the Summer Split so incredible.

The team went 15-3 on the back of that same core team with rookie Edward “Tactical” Ra blooming into a star. His lane partner Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in won MVP and the team finished first in the regular season. After a shocking loss to FlyQuest in the semi-finals, they proceeded to lose another heartbreaker to TSM in the loser’s bracket, missing the finals but making Worlds as NA’s third seed.

The Offseason

After a decent run at Worlds (they didn’t make it out of groups but, what else is new?), Team Liquid decided to reload, rather than rebuild. The core roster of CoreJJ, Tactical, and mid laner Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen are returning, but they are joined by new faces.

Gone is long-time top laner Impact, replaced by perhaps the best top laner in EU, Barney “Alphari” Morris. For jungle, the team ditched last year’s big acquisition, Broxah, to get a stronger NA jungler in Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen.

The Coach

Former LCS caster Joshua “Jatt” Leesman, who was so instrumental to Team Liquid’s success in 2020 that he and his staff earned coach of the year honors for their great work.

Players to Be Excited About

The new acquisitions are both going to be hyped, Jensen is looking to assert himself as the best NA mid after Bjergsen’s retirement, and CoreJJ is looking for another MVP-caliber season. All of those players are hyped, but the one I’m most interested in is Tactical.

As a rookie, he established himself as one of the best ADCs in the LCS. I think he has the potential to continue improving and maybe become the best NA AD Carry of all time.

Season Prediction

This is a top-two roster in the LCS, easily, and expectations should be commensurate. This team should be competing for an LCS title and easily secure one of NA’s Worlds spots. Anything less is a massive disappointment.

What are the Fans Excited About?

From the Team Liquid subreddit:

"The most obvious answers would be Alphari/Santorin/coaching staff. I think I’m most excited for Tactical though. I don’t think he’s reached his ceiling yet and that thought should scare the rest of the LCS. If the team clicks AND he takes a step up, nobody but C9 can contend.– Cathordran"

Right in line with this person. Tactical is a star in the making and he can absolutely become a god-tier carry if his development continues.

"I am excited about the fact that Team Liquid this year will supposedly have a big threat in every lane. It’s not going to be just me waiting on Bot lane or sometimes Jensen to get a kill, to make a play. I am hoping for the times where the screen will be at mid, jungle or bot and hearing “An enemy has been slained” coming from Alphari’s lane. The dude is just insane and I’m anxious for it!– UnderwaterFjord"

It’s definitely an advantage that they now have three lanes that Santorin can play through. This gives them a lot of flexibility in terms of changes to the meta and adjusting to their opponents.

Next. Why Fans Should Be Excited About TSM. dark

"Every year TL makes big moves to improve their chances of winning at every level. This year is no different. Alphari is one of the most dominant western laners and Santorin has constantly elevated teams above their expected level of play.More importantly the changes in personnel and the way TL played in their wins at the worlds group stage suggest a long awaited shift to a more aggressive and proactive style. Speaking of worlds, Jensen showed, again, that he is a world class mid laner who can stand toe to toe with the best. Combine these veteran super stars with the talented, aggressive, and hungry tactical and we could be seeing the rise of the next great native NA player. Finally, when all else fails, we have our ace, CoreJJ, who has been the best player in the LCS since he returned in 2019 and one of the best supports in the world since 2017.Winning is never guaranteed, but as a TL fan I know the players, staff, and organization are doing everything they can to win. That is why I am excited as a TL fan going into the 2021 season.– LuckyCulture7"

It used to be that TSM was the Yankees/Cowboys of the LCS, but since franchising I would have to say that Team Liquid have taken that title. Not only have they become aggressive in spending their money, they’ve spent it wisely. There have been very few swings and misses, which is what made them so dominant for so long.