NA LCS Playoffs Semifinal: Team Liquid vs Echo Fox

Unless Echo Fox pull a 180 and show that they are actually stronger as a best of 5 team, they will have to say goodbye to any prospect of being finalists.

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 It’s been a long ride for both Team Liquid and Echo Fox, both looking like a commanding top team in the league at points this Spring Split. But in the chaos of the final weeks, Echo Fox landed second, and TL grabbed fourth. 

Both are looking to recover from the final stretch to return to the juggernaut status they once held.

With their playoff lives on the line, let’s get to the fireworks.

Team Liquid

TL started the season off as though they were one of the league’s first place contenders, then drooped into ‘not actually that good’ form, and then pulled the pendulum back towards the center, crescendoing in a TSM-like ‘meh.’

The aquatically themed team would finish the season in fourth place, tied with Cloud9 in wins and losses, but ahead through a tie breaker. Despite their poor performances mid-season, no one could deny the raw power players like Pobelter and Doublelift brought to the team.

With a rock-solid foundation provided by Impact, Olleh, and Xmithie, the team is only void of decisive late-game decision making to translate their mechanical prowess into victories more often.

Simple enough. Easy, right? Right. Nothin’ to see here. 

The same cannot be said for their weekend counterparts.

Echo Fox

Echo Fox. My dear Echo Fox. 

Let’s start with this: it’s been a good run. And I suspect our form over the long term will only improve over the off-season as we iron out some of our major issues, but that doesn’t mean those issues won’t be vocal this weekend. 

The good things we noticed from the start of the season are still there: Dardoch is still Carricking his way into becoming the captain for the team with solid gameplay, Huni is still… well… Huni, and that’s about it.

The bad things, which managed to hide themselves until the end of the split, haven’t really been patched up yet. The mid lane, which was one of the issues apparently, has been filled in by substitute Demonte, leaving Fenix on the bench for the playoffs. 

He hasn’t been good, nor bad. He’s just been fine. And that’s fine, but fine isn’t good enough for a semi-final. 

This logic applies to Papa Chau, the support substitute meant to aid our bot lane after the duo Adrian and Altec were found out to be a ‘not so good’ combination. He’s been just decent enough to replace Adrian, but not good enough to convince me that he’s got what it takes to create an effective ADC in the playoffs. 

All of these issues are bad enough on their own, but we have to factor in the team they are playing against and in what format they will be playing in. 

Team liquid, and best of 5. That is to say: Echo Fox will be playing against a strong opponent and will be playing against them over the course of  3-5 games. Huni’s drafting ability might be good, but it’s not good enough to auto-win 3 games. 

What this ultimately comes down to for Echo Fox is the fact that they really only have 3/5th’s of a team, and they are no longer in a Bo1 format. 

Maybe they could scrape by in a format such as Bo1’s where sucker punches netted you a victory, but when the competition is stretched out over a minimum of three games, getting lucky just isn’t a strategy to fall back on. 

But like I said, predictions are a thing of the past (or future), not the present. So maybe Chau and Demonte will prove to be rookies of a generation that are inherently better than the current players of the time. Maybe I’ll just be wrong about this whole situation.

As an Echo Fox fan, I hope this is the case. But we’ll have to wait until tomorrow, to find out won’t we?

Don’t miss it! Saturday, March 31st, 2:00 pm. 

Until then,