Team Liquid managed to scrape by and qualify for the MSI Knockout Stage 2019. Unfortunately, that’s where the good news for Team Liquid ends, as they’re set to face off against Invictus Gaming, and potentially, one of SK Telecom T1 or G2 Esports, if they make it past the reigning champions.
Team Liquid’s star ADC, Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, put it best when he said in an interview that he’s happy that the team managed to qualify for the semifinals, but it’s not like they played great, they just managed to win a a couple of games and got lucky.
You can chalk that up to Doublelift just trying to be humble. But, then again, he wasn’t exactly lying. At one point, Team Liquid were in danger of missing out on the MSI Knockout Stage 2019. If not for their surprise upset against G2 Esports in their final game of the Group Stage, they might not have made it here. Or, at least, they would have had a much harder path.
Either way, to put it bluntly, Team Liquid are fucked.
Unfortunately, we’re suckers for pipe dreams here, and while we think Team Liquid have close to zero chance at beating the defending champions at the Semifinals of the MSI Knockout Stage 2019, that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t try.
As such, here are a couple of points that we believe Team Liquid should take into consideration heading into the MSI Knockout Stage 2019.
Put Jensen on a Champion with an Escape
Team Liquid knew that they needed a competent mid heading into the season, which is why they brought Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen from Cloud9 and got exactly what they paid for as Jensen seemed to toy around with opposing mid players at times throughout the Spring Split. Unfortunately, up against the likes of Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, Song “Rookie” Eui-jin, and Rasmus “Caps” Winther, Jensen has not played as well as expected.
Some of it is his own fault. However, Team Liquid hasn’t put him in a position to succeed either. In particular, Team Liquid seem keen on drafting champions for Jensen that have no escape, which has, so far, turned out to be a disaster for the Mid laner.
Jensen needs a champion that can get into the thick of things and has multiple escape routes, especially with Jake “Xmithie” Puchero getting dominated so often early in the game. Otherwise, Team Liquid will be looking at a clean sweep in favour of Invictus Gaming.
Play more around Impact
Anyone who watched Team Liquid so far couldn’t help but feel sorry for Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong, who’s been the lone bright spark of Team Liquid.
Despite Team Liquid’s lackluster performance so far, Impact has done his best trying to hold his own without any help. Considering how Doublelift seems like he’s not getting out of his funk anytime soon, it might make a lot more sense to focus on enabling Impact’s game.
Who knows? With Impact playing well, Doublelift might have the space he needs to get his timing right.
Xmithie Needs to be More Proactive
I have never been a fan of Xmithie because he was never a proactive jungler.
While they can get away with this in north America, Xmithie often finds himself exposed up against better junglers in international tournaments. This MSI was no different. He was especially abysmal against SK Telecom T1 and Invictus Gaming.
Xmithie’s reactive style of play was arguably one of the biggest reasons for Team Liquid’s poor performance during the Group Stages. No longer able to rely on their superior team fighting skills to win games, Team Liquid could no longer just afford to let Xmithie lose the jungles and cede control to the opposing team.
Xmithie hasn’t had a standout performance at the tournament so far. Here’s to hoping that comes at the MSI Knockout Stage 2019.
Focus on Getting More Picks and Kills
Team Liquid aren’t necessarily a bad team. They’re good, even, one of the best, albeit inconsistent. To consistently rank among the top, however, Team Liquid will need to address a couple of issues first. In particular, Team Liquid has to work on their team fighting skills.
Sure, Team Liquid can outplay other teams in the LCS as it is, but it just won’t work against the likes of SK Telecom T1 and Invictus Gaming.
Team Liquid’s lack of aggression and reactive play makes them vulnerable to teams who will prey on them every chance they get. As such, Team Liquid may want to flip the table and go from the hunted, to the hunter, at the MSI Knockout Stage 2019.
How do you think Team Liquid will fare at the MSI Knockout Stage 2019? Do you think they can take a game off of Invictus Gaming? Do you expect to see a stomp? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.