Immortals have found their play style. They still rely on Dardoch to do a lot of work, but it’s no longer a one man show. Other members of the team have picked up the slack, and I can only see them getting better as players develop synergies and hone their macro game.
When you’re changing your AD carry to a mid lane position in the middle of the Split, you know you’ve got a problem on your hands. Team Liquid is a mess. None of its parts are working together and the team’s players consistently underperform time and time again.
Top Lane Matchup: IMT Flame is finally showing what he’s capable of. With a 2.6 KDA and 8.3 CS per minute, he’s not quite the monster of Ssumday’s caliber, but he’s very well-rounded and knows how to play his role on the team. On the other hand, things have been going downhill for Liquid Lourlo. Even though he has a formidable 3.8 KDA and 8.1 CS per minute, these stats are remnants of his former glory. Lourlo’s recent performances have been uninspiring, as Team Liquid’s top laner struggled to hold his own against the opposition.
Jungle Matchup: Things haven’t been working out for TL Reignover. Although his early pathing is still in a league of its own, Reignover has had a hard time transitioning this success into leads for his team. With a 2.4 KDA and 5.6 CS per minute, he’s a shadow of the dominant jungler that he once was. But Dardoch is still going strong. Sporting a 3.1 KDA and 4.9 CS per minute, IMT’s jungler is always ready to channel his aggression and go for that game-winning play. And sure, it can backfire but most of the time, Dardoch makes it work.
Mid Lane Matchup: One of the most perplexing moves of the season is the swap of TL Piglet to the mid lane. There’s a lot that can go wrong here but let’s try and find out whether it can go right. As a player, Piglet has always been highly aggressive and mechanically gifted. He likes to push his advantages in lane to the max—sometimes, even to his own harm. Despite claiming that he’s always wanted to try mid lane, he’s only ever played it in Solo Queue as an off-role. Even with his natural talent, I don’t expect Piglet to be able to measure up to the players like Jensen or Bjergsen. Still, he’ll likely be able to hold his own in lane—and even come up with surprise outplays—against most of the opposition. But even if his laning won’t be that bad, it’s Piglet’s overaggression and mid game decision-making that have me worried.
Luckily, Piglet’s first game in the new role will be against Pobelter. While he’s picked up the slack, Immortals’ mid laner is still far from his last Split form. Pobelter is no longer the stable foundation of IMT, as his play is plagued by individual blunders and misplays. A close matchup. Piglet has an edge in lane, but Pobelter will take over in the later stages of the game with his superior experience.
Bot Lane Matchup: After a rocky start of the Split, Immortals’ bot lane of Cody Sun and Olleh is starting to come together. A lot of it has to do with the draft. Cody Sun has found great success on picks like Sivir and Miss Fortune, while Olleh has been leaning more and more towards meta supports.
On the other hand, Team Liquid continues its trend of making puzzling roster swaps by bringing in a mid laner, Youngbin, into the AD carry role. One thing to note about Youngbin is that his communication is rumored to be exceptional. But ultimately, a mechanically intensive role like AD carry isn’t kind to newcomers, and it will be a tall order for Youngbin to stand up to most established bot lanes. His support, Matt, isn’t likely to help out much either, as he’s spent the majority of the season being very much mediocre. I expect TL’s new bot lane to employ a passive play style in their first games, and Immortals should have no trouble taking advantage of that.
Team Liquid’s roster swaps seem to follow the “It can’t be worse” line of thought. Well, it can and it will. Unless Immortals underperform or some sort of a miracle happens, they’ll claim a 2-1 victory in this series.
Risk: Low. While Team Liquid does have two wild cards, it takes a long time for an overhauled roster to come together.
Oddschecker: Immortals (13/18), Team Liquid (6/4)