The French AD carry will not be a part of Team Liquid for the next Spring Split.
Steven “Hans sama” Liv had joined the North American Team Liquid in November 2021, with a 3-year contract that was planned to last until 2024. Unfortunately for both Hans and TL, the team built for domestic dominance and international success did not have a year where they met expectations. Days after TL was eliminated from the Summer Playoffs, the team released a video on Twitter. In the video, the CEO Steve Arhancet talked about their change of course for 2023, which prompted fans to speculate about the roster’s future.
The news of Hans leaving become more expected after Upcomer’s Brieuc “LEC Wooloo” Seeger put out a report that said TL would terminate their contract with the star ADC, who is planning a return to Europe with the French team Karmine Corp. KC has been looking a spot in LEC for themselves, and according to rumors, they are very close to an agreement with Astralis for their LEC spot.
Fans did not have to wait too long for news about the organization's future or Hans sama. Team Liquid shared a farewell video on their Twitter today, announcing the termination of the rest of the ADC’s 2-year contract, and giving up any buy-out they could’ve gotten for him by doing so. In his interview in the video, Hans thanked TL fans for their support during the last year and said he will go back to France and prepare for the next season.
Today we say farewell to @Hanssama. Thank you for all that you have done for us at TLH this past year.
We look forward to seeing you again on the other side of the stage. Bonne chance! pic.twitter.com/DzH76k9Qt1
— Team Liquid Honda LoL (@TeamLiquidLoL) September 19, 2022
A disappointing year for Team Liquid but a hopeful future
Team Liquid came into 2022 with what was dubbed as a super team, and they had a good start with their LCS 2022 Lock In victory. Unfortunately for the team, Lock In was the only competition that the roster managed to win, not having to make Finals in either of the following splits. The final nail in the coffin for this Team Liquid roster was missing Worlds 2022, which is held in North America this year and was the reason why TL spent this big.
Despite their lack of success in Playoffs, Team Liquid had good regular season records, even finishing first during the 2022 Spring Split. Hans sama was a significant contributor to this success during Spring as he was the most dominant ADC in the league, whether he was with Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in or Bill “Eyla” Nguyen. However, the Summer of 2022 was a different story. While TL was still the best early game team in the league, it was apparent they were struggling to play around their bot lane in mid to late game, and Hans sama’s decreasing performance was a big reason for it. He was also criticized for his performance in Summer Playoffs, especially for his poor positioning.
With Hans in the past, what is the future for Team Liquid? TL fans are lucky to have the best team in the LCS Academy, with the best bot lane duo playing for them. Eyla had already played for the main LCS team, and impressed fans with his talent, and his lane partner Sean “Yeon” Song is the most-prized ADC prospect in the Academy scene. Yeon/Eyla duo are expected to be promoted to Team Liquid’s main roster for the 2023 LCS Spring Split, especially after Arhancet said the team would not try the super team roster again. With their back-to-back Proving Grounds titles in their pockets, the Academy bot lane of TL looks ready to compete in LCS and can provide TL fans with exciting moments should they be given the chance.