Team Liquid’s nightmare start to 2020 was consolidated yesterday as a defeat to top dogs Cloud9 saw the defending LCS champions fail to reach the Spring Split Playoffs.
Team Liquid will end the split second from bottom in ninth position with a 7-11 record, making this the first time the organisation has failed to reach the playoffs of a split since the start of its LCS winning streak of four titles on the bounce in the 2018 Spring Split. While missing the playoffs seemed likely heading into the final weekend of fixtures, Liquid’s fate was sealed as 17-1 Cloud9 took the victory.
Team Liquid’s year got off to a terrible start after facing visa issues with its biggest offseason signing in Fnatic jungler Mads ‘Broxah’ Brock-Pedersen, preventing the Dane from travelling to the US and missing the first few weeks of the split. Then, health issues saw AD carry Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng sidelined and replaced with academy player Edward ‘Tactical’ Ra. Despite returning to full fitness, Doublelift was left benched for a week in favour of Tactical after the seven-time LCS winner admitted he was lacking motivation. All of this compacted together to result in a miserable split for Team Liquid.
Following the defeat against Cloud9, Doublelift says that his teammates “played [their] hearts out.” Meanwhile, Broxah admits the split has left him “sad and disappointed” because he believed the team was capable of going on a “miracle run” in the final half of the split to secure a playoff spot.
Very sad and disappointed about this split. We had an opportunity to come back and make a miracle run happen here at the end, but it simply wasn’t meant to be.
For what it’s worth, despite feeling massive pain right now, I believe in this organization and team.
— Broxah (@BroxahLoL) March 29, 2020
This is certainly one of the most rapid declines in form ever seen from a reigning champion team in LoL esports. With the only outstanding performer this split being Cloud9 and the rest of the middle-field from second to ninth place being a closely run contest, it is doubly surprising that Liquid has fallen so short.
The LCS concludes today, March 30, with the remaining two group stage games and two tiebreaker games to determine the final pecking order of the Spring Split.