After not making Worlds in LCS Summer 2022 Split, Team Liquid is planning multiple changes to its roster.
This iteration of Team Liquid has been built before the 2022 Spring Split with a goal of not only dominating LCS but also making noise in Worlds as it was revealed North America would be hosting the event. They brought in two new imports from LEC, Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau and Steven “Hans sama” Liv, who both had stellar performances in the previous split.
TL also added the LCS legend Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg who came out of a year-long retirement. Replacing Bjergsen for their long-time mid laner Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen has been a controversial decision among the fan base, especially after the latter won the LCS with his new team Cloud9.
Team Liquid finished the Spring Split in third, but the real disappointment was in Summer. After a five-game series loss to Evil Geniuses, TL finished the Split fourth, just missing the Worlds 2022. The organization’s co-owner and co-CEO Steve “LiQuiD112” Arhancet addressed the fans in a video just days after their season ended. He talked about the decision-making process ahead of the Spring 2022 Split and took responsibility for some of the decisions that led to their current outcome. This video gave the community the feeling TL would shy away from the superteam idea for 2023, despite most of their current roster having contracts for at least one more year.
It’s been a few days, and we believe you deserve to know what’s happening. pic.twitter.com/ABB4Ps4GyB
— Team Liquid Honda LoL (@TeamLiquidLoL) September 12, 2022
Team Liquid to replace coaching staff and bot laner
The reporting for the rumored changes comes from Upcomer’s Brieuc “LEC Wooloo” Seeger, who reported multiple roster changes, both in LEC and LCS, ahead of time in the past. According to Wooloo, TL will change their coaching staff by releasing both the head coach André “Guilhoto” Pereira Guilhoto and the assistant coach Jonas “Kold” Andersen. Guilhoto had joined TL at the start of Spring from Immortals, while Kold has been with the team since late 2020 and was also the interim head coach after the departure of Joshua “Jatt” Leesman.
Along with the coaching staff changes, Wooloo also reported that TL would terminate the contract of their ADC Hans sama, who wants to return to Europe. His most probable destination would be Karmine Corp, an LFL team rumored to be in talks with Astralis to join LEC. If KC can find a spot in Europe’s premier league, a highly regarded French ADC can do wonders for their already solid player base.
What can Team Liquid do for the 2023 Spring Split?
While this year hasn’t been the best for TL, the future is somewhat bright. Their Academy team won the Proving Grounds event back-to-back and has excellent prospects. With Hans sama looking to leave and Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in’s contract ending at the end of this November, there is an anticipation that TL could start their Academy bot lane for the next LCS Split.
The duo of Sean “Yeon” Sung and Bill “Eyla” Nguyen is regarded as the best bot lane in the Proving Grounds circuit and neither player will take an import slot. Of course, while the bot lane synergy is essential, CoreJJ has been a franchise player for Team Liquid ever since he arrived in North America, and not re-signing the star support can upset some parts of the fan base.
Aside from the bot lane, Team Liquid Academy has some other prospects TL can use. The mid laner for the team, Harry “Haeri” Kang, has been shining this year even if he did not have a solid start to his Academy career. Haeri has been a big part of the TLA’s success and there is a chance he could find a place for himself in the LCS main roster, if TL decides to move on from Bjergsen who took a lot of heat from fans, especially in the recent playoff series.