On Friday, Team Liquid formally announced that Chu ‘shadow‘ Zeyu will be standing in for Amer ‘Miracle-‘ Al-Barkawi at the Chongqing Major.
In a Twitter post, Team Liquid confirmed earlier rumors regarding their stand-in for the 21-year-old wunderkind, who will not be attending the first Major of the year due to personal reasons.
“We’d like to announce that Valve has approved our emergency stand-in, Chu “shadow” Zeyu. We are still working with Valve to figure out the DPC points situation, and we will let you know as soon as we find out
shadow is a phenomenal player who has already won a TI with Wings Gaming at The International 2016 back when he was just 18 years old. Although that team was filled with stand-outs, many often singled him out as one of the best players of that particular team. His performances at The International 2016 was especially noteworthy. This includes the time he went for 20 kills and 0 deaths and 16 assists on his Faceless Void in Game 3 of the Grand Finals to give his team the win against Digital Chaos.
Since breaking off from his former team, shadow has not had much to show. He has spent the better part of the past two years with Eclipse where he saw very little success.
What Does Shadow Standing in Mean for Team Liquid?
At DreamLeague Season 9, Team Liquid played without Miracle as well. But, instead of getting someone outside of the organization, they opted to slot their captain Kuro ‘KuroKy‘ Salehi Takhasomi as their hard carry and had their former coach Lee ‘Heen‘ Seung Gon take KuroKy’s place as the team’s position five support for the tournament.
The experiment worked relatively well as Team Liquid notched a 3rd-4th placement at the DreamLeague Minor.
However, the stakes are much higher this time around. Not only will they be playing at a Major, the tournament in China will also serve as Team Liquid’s first Major of the season. A deep run here will do wonders for their bid for a spot at The International 2019, and KuroKy would most likely prefer that his team secure as many DPC points as early as possible.
Then again, it’s not all bad for Team Liquid.
With shadow as their hard carry, we’ll likely see Lasse Aukusti MATUMBAMAN‘ Urpalainen playing mid exclusively, a role that he has excelled at in the past. Also, considering that shadow can farm and execute just as well as Miracle, the team would not have to adjust their play style as much as if they had to shift their roles. Finally, shadow will also have a lot to gain from this. A good showing at the Chongqing Major 2019 with Team Liquid should help put him back on the map and garner a lot of interest from teams looking for a hard carry.