If Team Liquid fielded this roster from the get-go, we very much doubt they’d end up in relegation. This lineup has impressive firepower thanks to its carries that is further emphasized by Dardoch’s strong jungle presence. Their communication might be iffy, but the sheer individual talent still allows them to bulldozer through weaker teams.
Surprisingly enough, Phoenix1 managed to get decent leads against GCU, but closing games out was a tall order for them. Their macro was abysmal, and P1 often struggled to find the right way to snowball their advantage. And while Ryu’s insane play kept this team afloat, we can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen if his Corki gets banned.
Top Lane Matchup
Sure, Lourlo didn’t set the world ablaze in his series against eUnited, but he didn’t have to. With a 2.8 KDA and 8.3 CS per minute, he’s responsible for the frontline duty on the current iteration of TL, and—as long as he does it well—that’s all this team needs from him.
On the other hand, P1 Zig elected to go with carry-oriented bruisers like Kled and Renekton. Holding a 2.3 KDA and 7.9 CS per minute, he did well enough during the laning phase, but he didn’t have nearly enough impact to warrant these picks.
Verdict: TL Lourlo takes the lead in the top lane.
While Dardoch is no longer the singular carry that he used to be, his aggressive playstyle puts quite a bit of pressure on his opponents. Holding a 2.9 KDA and 3.7 CS per minute, he’s a gank-heavy jungler that puts extra emphasis on snowballing his solo lanes.
P1’s MikeYeung also showed up in his series. Sporting a 3.2 KDA and 4.4 CS per minute, he’s not adapted well to the tank meta, but his innate knack for pathing still makes him a force to be reckoned with. Even so, we’d have to give an edge to Dardoch for being a more versatile player.
Verdict: TL Dardcoh conquers the jungle.
Mid Lane Matchup
We’ve criticized Ryu in the past, but man did he show up yesterday! With a 3.4 KDA and 8.5 CS per minute, P1’s captain put on an absolute clinic both in lane and in teamfights. Our only concern is that he gravitated so much towards his trademark Corki and Taliyah picks that we have no idea how well he’s going to do on other champions.
Meanwhile, Mickey has been putting on a clinic! With a 4.0 KDA and 9.8 CS per minute, he has the perfect mix of mechanics and game sense to dominate the mid lane. If he improves his communication, we could see him becoming a pillar of Team Liquid in the nearest future.
Verdict: TL Mickey outmuscles Ryu in the mid lane.
Bot Lane Matchup
There’s no denying that P1’s bot lane is great in late game scenarios. With a 3.7 KDA and 8.2 CS per minute, Arrow is a strong marksman that consistently pulls through in teamfights and skirmishes while Xpecial (2.7 KDA) backs him up with solid mid-game playmaking.
But they can’t hope to match TL’s power duo. Sporting a 3.5 KDA and 8.8 CS per minute, Piglet is a monstrous carry who’s adept at every phase of the game, and his teammate—Matt—is a hyper-aggressive support with a 3.1 KDA to his name.
Verdict: TL’s Piglet and Matt outgun the enemy bottom lane.
Phoenix1 won’t be able to secure any early game leads against an opponent of this caliber, and things will only get worse for them as the game goes on. Maybe standout showings from Ryu or MikeYeung can get them a single victory, but they won’t ever come close to winning the series. Our prediction: a 3-1 in favor of Team Liquid!
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