In the latest episode of Team Liquid’s SQUAD, the organization’s documentary series about their North American League of Legends team, star Doublelift revealed details from a conversation with coaches about his less-than-stellar play during the team’s slow start to 2020.
The three-time reigning NA LCS champions in Team Liquid have not gotten off to an ideal start to their 2020 Spring Split campaign.
While winning the LCS is now a secondary objective to the team’s AD carry star, the team will have to right their ship before the Summer Playoffs, when all three NA spots for Worlds are on the line.
Doublelift compared their current form to their pre-Worlds bootcamp form from half a year ago, saying that 2019 version “would stomp” Liquid. He also spoke candidly about a conversation with Liquid coaches about his own personal form.
“They were telling me that they think I’m playing really bad, and that the Doublelift from 2018 is just gone. The player who was screaming every single game at his teammates, who was impossible to kill, I was basically quarterback-ing the entire team [in 2018]. And I agreed with them.”
He says that the discussion with the coaches was “a good wakeup call,” and that might be what the team as a whole needs going forward.
The journey has not been smooth for Liquid, with EU jungler star Broxah joining in week four, and now Doublelift having to miss week six due to illness.
I wont be able to play this weekend of LCS because I got laryngitis (not corona) and I can't use my voice at all. We're gonna play with @Tactical so please support him in his debut and cheer for TL ?
— Yiliang Peng (@TLDoublelift) February 29, 2020
But the bot laner says that playing with a lack of motivation and passion has equally been as effective on the team’s performance.
“How relaxed I was for the last month was just a direct result of [a lack of] passion for Spring Split. They (LCS) removed a lot of importance of it, also I was truly waiting for our real roster to come. I was definitely too relaxed, I wasn’t taking scrims too seriously. When we lost, I didn’t feel upset, and when we played well, it didn’t feel really rewarding.”
Video section featuring the above quote starts at 20:50 for mobile users
The point about feeling next-to-nothing after wins or losses might be the most surprising quote to come from Doublelift, who has famously paid passionately with his heart on his sleeve for almost all of his career.
While the Spring Split does carry less weight than it did in previous years, with Worlds qualification now solely decided by the outcome of the Summer Playoffs, Liquid’s slow start sill puts them behind pace of the other top teams in NA, including the red hot 10-0 Cloud9.
With Doublelift’s absence in week six, fans will still have to wait to see a woken up Team Liquid in full form, but when that team does wake up, it’s hard not to imagine them as an NA contender.