2020 Worlds Prep — Team Liquid (LCS Seed 3)

Top Takeaways

  • Bounce back after disappointing Spring, but fell off the horse hard during Playoffs
  • Strong playmaking from (now 2 time) LCS MVP CoreJJ in the Support role
  • Had shallow Champion Pools during the Regular Season
  • Lower CK/M games with longer game times
  • Use early game advantages & objectives to grow increasing leads to set up a winning position

League overview

  • 10 teams participate in a double round robin Regular Season
  • Matches are best of one, moving to best of five in Playoffs
  • Top eight teams qualify for Playoffs
  • Top two teams receive a bye to winners’ bracket round 2
  • 3rd to 6th play in the winners’ bracket
  • 7th and 8th play in the losers’ bracket
  • Top 3 teams qualify for Worlds, with the 3rd place team going to the Play-In Stage

Team overview

  • Were 9th Place in the Spring Split after winning 4 back-to-back Championships
  • Promoted Rookie Bot Laner Tactical, keeping him in Summer while Doublelift left
  • Ended the Regular Season in 1st place with a 15–3 Record
  • 3–0’d GG in Round 3 of Playoffs before losing 2 series in a row 3–2 to FLY & TSM
  • This is the 3rd Worlds appearance for TL — making this 3 in a row since 2018
  • Failed to get out of groups each time
  • First time the team is playing in Play-In for Worlds, although they did seed into Play-In Knockouts at MSI 2019
  • They made it the Finals of that MSI, losing 3–0 to G2

Game Line

Players per role

  • We include all players who have played 30% or more of the average number of games for a player in the league, for the LCS these are how many players are included in the ranking for each position (rankings are always among position unless otherwise stated):

Analysis

Gold Graphs [Regular Season + Playoffs]

Early Game

Early Gold Stats (Regular Season + Playoffs)

  • TL had one of the best first 10 minutes in the LCS up until Playoffs
  • However, their games felt like they “stalled” even though they continued to grow their leads
  • Their leads did not increase in explosive amounts
  • Their early gold leads in the Regular Season & Playoffs were very similar
  • They lost more games in Playoffs than the Regular Season
  • Their inability to “spike” from 15–20 is reflected in their Playoff games

Game Tempo

TL’s games very often talked about as “slow” or “uneventful” — here we will look at the pace of their gameplay from early -> late game

  • Matching their early game gold leads, TL have high 1st objective rates for towers, herald & dragon
  • Their kill counts however are lower — 8th in FB% and 7th in Kills
  • They also do not die as much, they are the lowest in DTH@15
  • Even when TL secure their first objectives, they are often on the slow side to do so
  • Although they don’t get their FT until almost 15 minutes, TL are 2nd in T@15
  • In the Regular Season TL was one of the slowest teams in terms of game pace
  • Their games went long, there weren’t many kills, and often times they “bled out” opponents from their leads
  • In Playoffs, their games were more bloody, but they had the slowest game times

Objective control

TL Objective Control Stats (Regular Season + Playoffs)

  • TL never focused on Drake stacking (low DRAKE%, Soul count)
  • In 31 games they only took 8 Souls (38.1%)
  • However, they have secured the 3rd most Elder Dragons in the LCS
  • Really relied on Baron to close out games
  • TL games had the 2nd most Total Barons per game in them in the LCS (behind CLG)
  • This means both TL & their opponent’s Barons
  • Despite this, TL did not close games out during the BPP very often
  • Only 7 of their 36 Barons ended games (19.4% of them) which is the lowest in the LCS
  • TL’s Baron secures were more of them extending their leads vs securing a win
  • 3rd in kills, but low on Towers/Inhibs
  • Baron would often “set up” and end game for TL, but rarely be the cause of winning
  • Two games they secured Baron & lost — one of those games they took 2 Barons

Players to watch

Jensen (Mid Lane)

Jensen Stats (Regular Season + Playoffs)

  • Jensen led LCS Mid Laners in all the above stats during the Regular Season
  • When he was unable to garner the same advantages in Playoffs, TL struggled to be as dominant in the Early Game
  • Jensen’s JP-D was -4.7 in the Regular Season, which was the 2nd lowest among LCS Mid Laners
  • It actually went up slightly in playoffs to -2.5 (which was still 2nd lowest)

CoreJJ (Support)

CoreJJ Stats (Regular Season + Playoffs)

  • CoreJJ does a lot for the team, winning his 2nd MVP award this Split
  • Between his DUO PROX and FWD%, he spends a lot of time roaming from lane and getting aggressive on the enemy side of the map
  • Vision Control is his strong suit (highest VS/M in the LCS)
  • Picks like Bard while taking Ghost Ward are a big benefit to this, naturally wanting to leave to collect Chimes while clearing vision

Picks to watch

Small Champion Pools

  • In the Regular Season, TL had the least unique picks at 31
  • Counting Playoffs, TL was T-2nd least unique picks at 42
  • They were above IMT (36, 0 playoff series) & tied 100T (1 playoff series)
  • Their 11 unique-to-Playoffs-picks were a combined 50.0% WIN%
  • Caitlyn, Gangplank, Hecarim, Jhin, Kog’Maw, Lillia, Lux, Morgana, Sett, Zilean & Zyra were new in Playoffs
  • Other teams had played Caitlyn, Gangplank, Jhin, Lillia, Lux, Morgana & Sett before — to TL these were “new picks”
  • The 19 of their 31 picks from the Regular Season were a combined 55.1% WIN% in Playoffs
  • TL only have 1 Flex pick, which is T-2nd lowest
  • TL has none of the “usual” flex picks in LCS (Sett, Volibear, Senna, Karma)

Impact’s Shen

Impact Shen Stats (Regular Season + Playoffs)

  • Shen has been banned 33 times in LCS, Impact is 30.3% of those
  • His Shen is not just a great pick for him but enables a lot of TL plans
  • Gives extra protection to Mid/Bot lane picks from cross-map

Broxah’s Lee Sin

  • People still respect it, 8 times it’s been banned vs TL (19 total bans in LCS)
  • 5.5 KDA & is 8–2 on the pick

CoreJJ’s Bard

CoreJJ Bard Stats (Regular Season + Playoffs)

  • CoreJJ’s Bard is by far his most influential map pick
  • Known for using his Tempered Fate on towers where Herald is activated, recalling in order to do so
  • The avg DUO PROX in the LCS is 54.2%
  • CoreJJ’s Bard roams so much he is a full -20.0 under
  • The bard avg DUO PROX is 43.5% — CoreJJ is -9.3 under

Breakout (optional)

Impact??

  • Wasn’t a stand out at any point in the Split
  • Was known for one of two things — Shen and destroying with it, or Mordekaiser and losing somewhat gracefully with it until team fights happened
  • There was no real “Playoff Impact” buff talk this Split — almost all of his laning stats went down in Playoffs
  • He had higher K+A@15, KP@15, JP & JP-D but lower FWD/CSD/GD/XP-D stats

Tactical — Rookie of the Year

Tactical Stats (Regular Season + Playoffs)

  • Rookie of the Split, playing his first complete LCS Split this Summer
  • Because of CoreJJ’s low DUO PROX, it’s impressive to see his lane stats so high
  • Became a reliable damage source/threat for TL throughout the course of the Split
  • Quietly, Tactical became the main recipient of TL’s resources late game
  • Although his GOLD% & CS%15–30 are very high, his damage output matches that
  • His most played is Ashe (see below) yet still pumped out the highest DMG% for Bot Laners
  • There was a lot in picks to watch, but I moved this down here for a few noteworthy reasons:
  • While Kalista was a very high presence Champion around the world, LCS Kalistas left a bit to be desired
  • Kalista is the 3rd most banned Champion in the LCS (64 bans) but Tactical is 21.9% of those
  • Tactical’s Kalista is noteworthy alone for his game-saving play against FLY
  • Tactical as a Rookie ended up drawing 6 Kalsita bans in Playoffs, which was the most by a single team
  • There were 0 Kalista bans vs TSM or FLY, the other 2 Worlds Teams

Misuse of Dragon (TL do not stack Drakes)

  • TL did not seem to prioritize Dragon stacking in their games
  • They were T-4th in the LCS (with 4 other teams) for taking the First 3 Drakes in game
  • They were 5–0 when they took the first 3 Drakes
  • They were 17–9 when they did not (65.4% WIN%, the highest in LCS)
  • These stats aren’t bad — but with such a strong bottom side of the map it’s weird to see TL middle-of-the-pack in DRAKE% & stacking Drakes
  • By not securing stacking Drakes, TL lost the momentum they had gained in the early game and relied more on Baron since they could not get early Dragon Souls

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Thomas Searfoss

Thomas Searfoss

Creating & telling stats-informed stories in Esports for a decade.