Team Liquid have announced that they will be bringing in a new head coach, Jang “Cain” Nu-ri. Cain will be entrusted with the monumental task of salvaging the team’s disastrous Spring Split and avoiding relegation. Can he make a miracle happen?
If there’s one thing you can say about Team Liquid, it’s that change was long overdue. It’s clear from their 4-12 win/loss record that the team is a disjointed mess, and the previous coaching staff was largely ineffective in facilitating any visible improvements. But can Cain succeed where his predecessors didn’t?
Well, he definitely has the skillset for it. As the former Najin Black Sword support player, Cain knows well what it’s like to play on stage. Not only that, but he’s also a seasoned coach that had worked with teams like CJ Entus and Cloud9. The last point is especially noteworthy since so many Korean coaches tend to struggle to adapt to the cultural differences that come with working on Western teams.
Of course, it still remains to be seen, whether Cain can take on the role of a head coach, but the swap does seem like a move in the right direction. However, it also highlights a much bigger problem with Team Liquid’s decision-making.
Too Little Too Late
As a rule, you almost never want to make such drastic changes at the end of the competitive season. Every move Team Liquid has done recently sounds good on paper but simultaneously reeks of desperation. After all, if you could win games by throwing money at the best free agents, then Chinese League of Legends teams would be the best in the world.
Team Liquid were too slow to notice their shortcomings, too slow to look for improvements, and too slow to make the necessary changes. It comes as no surprise that this kind of tardiness was greatly punished by the rest of NA LCS teams. What the team needs most is something that it doesn’t have. Time. Even the best coaches need time to pinpoint mistakes and find ways to fix them, while players need to develop synergy and learn to work together.
Team Liquid’s upcoming schedule is the final nail in the coffin. Defeating TSM, the #1 team in the league, seems nigh impossible for this lineup. And even standing up to the down-on-its-luck FlyQuest might prove to be a tall order for them.
Thoughts on the changes? Comment below!