There may be a light at the end of the tunnel for Team Liquid’s League of Legends squad. The team has had more than its fair share of struggles, from the events chronicled in their feature-length documentary Breaking Point, to fighting against relegation on the back of Doublelift in the Spring Split this year, and the rough start to their Summer Split to boot. Was Dardoch the problem? Would GoldenGlue be good enough to compete in the LCS? Could Piglet switch roles and play mid? Would GoldenGlue be good enough part two?
Enter Liquid Mickey
— Team Liquid LoL (@TeamLiquidLoL) July 24, 2017
The announcement made by the organization today, and confirmed by ESPN, might be the catalyst for change the team has needed now for going on two years. Coming most recently from the LCK’s ROX Tigers, and with a KDA of only 2.6 this split, as well as small but consistent deficits in lane, Mickey may not be the region’s best mid laner. But the difference between the regions, most recently on display at MSI with Team SoloMid’s obliteration at the hands of SK Telecom T1, can often be stark. Mickey will bring an aggressive and calculated play style, as well as the unparalleled and infamous South Korean work ethic to the team.
And maybe that’s what Piglet needs upstairs from his lane to feel comfortable. His controversial interview with Inven expressed frustration at the lack of commitment he perceived from his teammates. Although despite their problems, Team Liquid was able to achieve a 2-0 weekend in Week 7, defeating both Team EnVyUs and Phoenix1.
But What About Reignover?
The acquisition of Mickey is not without back swing. According to LCS rules, Team Liquid can only field two imports on their roster at any one time. That means either Reignover or Piglet gets benched, and the organization has shown time and time again their loyalty to their former Worlds Champion ADC. Once considered one of the best junglers in the region, Reignover failed to be the key the team needed to crack the nut of League of Legends success. But whether that was caused by his own shortcomings or just bad team synergy will have to wait for an answer. League of Legends rosters can be surprisingly fickle things to manage, as evidenced by the dramatic improvement in performance from both Counter Logic Gaming and Immortals after they traded junglers for the Summer Split. According to ESPN’s sources, and all conventional wisdom, TL will soon be starting Mickey in the mid lane and Inori in the jungle.
For more information on the roster change, see the official announcement from Team Liquid.