Spring Champions, Summer Dreams

June 01 2019

Well, we’ve officially found ourselves at the halfway point in the season. The Spring Split and MSI behind us, Summer Split and Worlds ahead. With our first game of the Summer kicking off in just a few hours, it’s a great time to take a look at what we have accomplished so far while also setting the stage for what is to come. So get your merch on, your signs out, and your hype buttons at the ready summoners, because it's LCS time once again!

This year has been one of immense hard work and success for both Team Liquid as a whole and our players as individuals. Our new and improved roster started the domestic season with a personal record breaking 7 game win-streak before finally losing our first game in week 4. From there we would continue onto another 5 game win-streak before ending the regular season in 1st place at 14-4.

Despite some shakiness heading into the playoffs, once there we regained our strength. A revitalized TL went on to dominate FlyQuest in a 3-0 Semifinals victory in order to face the monstrous TSM in the Finals. And a hard fought Finals it was. TSM ended up taking the first two games of the series in a rather convincing manner. The crowd was behind them, they had momentum. But in true NA fashion TL came back from the edge of defeat to reverse sweep TSM in what became our 3rd consecutive LCS Championship title.

This was our first milestone reached this year. By winning this title we became only the second ever team in NA/LCS history to win 3 consecutive Championships. Beating the only other team to have ever done so made it that much sweeter. There is only one other org in NA/LCS history with more LCS titles than us and now no other player is more decorated in LCS than DoubleLift. It is safe to say we were also officially recognized as the reigning titans of NA.

From there we went on to represent NA and the LCS at MSI 2019. We started off strong with a 3-0 against the Vietnamese home team to qualify for the Group Stage. Soon, however, our luck would take a turn. The competition at MSI is always fierce. While at Worlds you very well might be playing against the 3rd place teams from whatever regions you’re drawn with, at MSI you’re only playing against regional champions. These teams are the best of the best internationally and it shows.

After struggling to find wins against the other 3 major regions for the first few days we finally had a breakthrough against G2. This time our destiny was very much in our own hands. No tie breakers, no cheering for other teams. We made it through groups with our own strength.

That’s where we did the unthinkable. That’s where we, the team once cursed with the perpetual burden of 4th place, made North America proud once again. Our team dug deep and slayed the dragon that was IG. And not because they were having a bad day or they weren’t playing well. No. We became dragon slayers while the dragon could still spit fire. And sure, our road to the Finals was slightly longer than that of our EU counterparts. But we made it there all the same. Though our match was short, and the odds not in our favor, finishing second place at the first international tournament of the year is a terrific result and a great start to the year.

But it’s merely that. A start. Team Liquid has no intention of going quietly into that good night for the rest of the year. We will make the playoffs, we will fight for the title, we will qualify for worlds, and we will once again show what NA is capable of. The journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step. We have taken that first step.

Writer // Sarah Enders

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