Tactical on his LCS future after import rule rumors: “I’m not really worried”

Andrew Amos

Team Liquid’s Edward ‘Tactical’ Ra is the poster boy of North American League of Legends; or at least, the next generation of it. Even with his career under threat by the potential import rule changes, the American star isn’t worried about his future.

It’s been the conversation that’s dominated the League of Legends discourse all Spring. Rumors about changes to the LCS import rule in 2022 have sent the community, team owners, and most importantly, players into a spiral of uncertainty, sprinkled with PR smooth talk to ease concerns.

Not Tactical though.

“Honestly, I never really thought about it; even when people started the discussion, I never really kept an eye on it. I ignored it. People talk about the rules being changed possibly, but I don’t have much input because who knows? It’s just too many hypotheticals I don’t really care about. I’m just living in the here and now,” the Liquid star told Dexerto.

Even with his career under threat, the shining star of North American AD carries isn’t worried about being replaced by a potential influx of overseas talent.

“I guess that’s one thought I had with the import rule ⁠— ‘hmm, what if we get all the best Korean AD carries?’ I don’t know. I’m not really worried.”

Tactical interviewed on the LCS stage after replacing Doublelift
12 months on after being thrown into the LCS, Tactical is confident he can remain NA’s next big hope despite import rule rumors.

That kind of attitude might startle most, but it comes naturally to Tactical. Liquid, after all, is a team built up of imports aside from Tactical. However, there’s more pressing issues for the squad ⁠— who are now tied second at 8-5 with four other teams ⁠— to focus on.

“I didn’t realize how important recent matches were for our standings, but I’m more happy about how the game went. It felt pretty simple overall, and it’s just another win for now,” he said after demolishing Golden Guardians.

“I’m not really worried about making it out of the group of five tied for second. As long as we keep working on ourselves, we will get out naturally.”

Working through burn out

Tactical has been vocal throughout LCS Spring 2021 about dealing with burnout. After a packed 2020, which saw the star get shuffled through the Liquid roster like a pack of cards at a blackjack table, refocusing heading into the new year took some time.

Tactical playing for Team Liquid in LCS 2020
Tactical entered the 2021 season burned out. However, he’s slowly coming back to form.

It’s still got its ups and downs, but the AD carry is just focusing on himself ⁠— in all aspects, not just League of Legends.

“Right now, I feel a lot better, actually. I feel like I’m back to normal. I’ve been feeling pretty good. Going into the weekend, I did actually feel pretty good, but earlier this week I was a bit down on myself. After this match, I feel better overall.”

“I’m not sure exactly what changed, but I feel like I have a more fresh mind. I just feel better about myself overall. I’ve been trying to look more at the positives than the negatives. Slowly shifting that perspective has been helping me.”

It helps that Team Liquid have a clearer vision for this year as well. Tactical is part of their plan, not just a quick solution to a problem. They’ve built the team around him, and it’s helping them reach their goals.

“I think we can be more flexible this year. I do have a feeling that we can do a lot more things [this year compared to last]. It feels like there’s a lot more we can do.”

“I wouldn’t say there’s necessarily more pressure on me to perform. We’re doing what we think is best as a team, so I guess the way we’ve been drafting is beneficial to both me and Core and the way we both operate in a game. Both of us together bring a really big advantage if we are able to get our conditions met,” he added.

Team Liquid at Worlds 2020
After making a splash at Worlds, Tactical has a chance to return to international play at MSI.

Looking at MSI, the carrot on the stick

With MSI back on the menu in 2021, the motivation to get that number one spot in NA is certainly there.

Tactical, much like with the import discussions, is operating solely in the here and now. That doesn’t mean the potential trip to Iceland to face off against the world’s best and get even more crucial international experience isn’t tantalizing, though.

“For me, it didn’t change that much. I’m just thinking, ‘wow, that’s cool.’ I was saying the same thing for Worlds where I was saying ‘oh yeah, making it to Worlds would be cool’ and then when playoffs started coming around, I started becoming more obsessed with it,” he said.

“Because it’s just regular season still though, I’ll focus on what’s happening now and focus on the extra excitement of MSI when the time comes.”

Liquid next play Cloud9 in LCS Spring 2021 Week 5 on March 6.