2023 LCS Summer Split Preview: Team Liquid

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2023 LCS Summer Split Preview: Team Liquid

Four titles in four splits now a distant memory, can Team Liquid return to the organization’s glory days?

It’s been almost four years since Team Liquid was at the top of the LCS back in the Summer of 2019. After they lost Jake “Xmithie” Puchero and Peter “Doublelift” Peng the following split and the dynasty came to an end, TL has tried time and time again to create another “superteam” to win another LCS title. Split after split, TL kept falling short of the ultimate goal, with winning the 2021 Lock In Tournament and making a couple of finals as their only achievements.

2023 Season wasn’t all that different either. After another star-filled TL superteam failed to even make it to the Worlds 2022, the org decided to switch directions. They brought in two Korean superstars in Park “Summit” Woo-tae and Hong “Pyosik” Chang-hyeon and promoted two of their highly prized prospects, both Korean speakers, from the Academy team.

Supported by a former World champion as their head coach, Jang “MaRin” Gyeong-hwan, this Team Liquid roster was supposed to dominate the league with their LCK-style approach to the game and practice. But in-game problems quickly became too much to handle for a squad with two rookies and a first-time head coach, and MaRin found himself the out of a job after a disastrous eight-place finish in Spring.

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Team Liquid LCS Roster for the 2023 Summer

  • Top lane: Park “Summit” Woo-tae
  • Jungle: Hong “Pyosik” Chang-hyeon
  • Mid lane: Harry “Haeri” Kang
  • AD Carry: Sean “Yeon” Sung
  • Support: Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in

MaRin was the only casualty of the Spring Split for Liquid. The organization decided to promote Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin and give these five players another chance, which is probably the right thing to do considering they were playing with two rookies in the most important positions on the Rift.

Both Yeon and Haeri are highly coveted players since their successful tenures with the TL Academy. Unfortunately, their first split in the LCS wasn’t exactly the most inspiring one, especially for Haeri. The young mid laner had a lot of rough laning phases and he was making a lot of crucial mistakes during teamfights. Yeon’s debut was much better. He and CoreJJ had a relatively impressive laning, they were able to pressure their opponents, get leads and find 2v2 kills. But once out of lane, Yeon’s positioning mistakes were too costly at times and he couldn’t impact mid to late games enough. Still, both rookies have the necessary talent, and with an offseason bootcamp for TL, they might show a lot more during the Summer Split.

Esports Predictions Today: Who Will Win the Biggest Events in 2024?

And rookies weren’t the only problem for Team Liquid either. Both of TL’s new transfers came into the season with a lot of hype, Summit was the previous Spring’s MVP and Pyosik had just won Worlds. Summit returning to his old habits of dying to ganks or getting caught a lot in the side lanes, combined with a very underwhelming split from Pyosik meant TL had no one to rely on to carry games.

Even counting CoreJJ, all five TL players had unusually bad splits for themselves. This roster should not be finishing eight in the LCS under no circumstances if these players play to the level they showed they can. Stability from keeping the roster the same, a more experienced head coach in Reignover and a bootcamp with MSI teams in Europe should give Team Liquid a leg up to start the 2023 LCS Summer Split.

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2023 LCS Summer Split Preview: Team Liquid
Rohat Dicle Kılınç
Rohat is a writer mainly focused on the League of Legends esports scene, and an LCS hopeful.