The reigning, multi-time League of Legends champions of the North American LCS only made a move at the jungler position this past offseason, but their new star jungler may miss the opening set of matches due to ongoing Visa issues. Thankfully, a popular alternative has emerged.
Another Liquid campaign in League of Legends means more hype, more championship aspirations, and hope that, for once, the train doesn’t come off the rails at Worlds again. But for the North American dynasty, the first leg of their journey maybe a little bit bumpy.
Beginning in the offseason, Liquid were unable to retain the services of one of its star players and one of the most prominent junglers in Jake ‘Xmithie’ Puchero. Despite losing Puchero to Immortals, Liquid took a page out of the TSM playbook and looked toward Denmark, snagging Fnatic’s terrific jungler in Mads ‘Broxah’ Brock-Pedersen.
However, just one day into the new decade, Liquid’s owner Steve “Liquid112’ Arhancet tweeted that the team’s plans to practice and compete with Broxah in the starting lineup would be on hold due of problems with Visas.
So this sucks, there are delays processing visas for Cain, Broxah and Shernfire. We hope they all may be able to compete at the start of season, but that may not happen. This has also affected our Jan team practice. We are evaluating backup options should they be required. 😢
— Steve Arhancet (@LiQuiD112) January 2, 2020
While Liquid Steve expressed hope that Broxah, as well as Korean head coach Jang ‘Cain’ Nu-ri and Academy jungler Shern ‘Shernfire’ Cherng Tai from Australia, will join the team in time, he acknowledged it “may not happen.”
With the positional backup for Broxah being unavailable due to the same Visa issues, Liquid are forced to look elsewhere for a starting jungler, and a potential choice has excited some long-time fans of LCS.
A long-time veteran of LCS,and current coach for the Team Liquid roster, Eugene ‘Pobelter’ Park has made the coaching decision to start himself at jungler, in case the Broxah visa issue is still ongoing by opening weekend.
— Team Liquid LoL (@TeamLiquidLoL) January 8, 2020
Traditionally a midlaner, Pobelter has been an active part of North American League of Legends for the entire past decade, finishing his full-time playing career with FlyQuest last year. Prior to that, he played for the original Evil Geniuses NA roster, spent a year with Liquid as a player, and has won five NA splits (three with Liquid, one with Immortals and one with CLG).
After his time with FlyQuest ended, Liquid announced in December that they were bringing back Pobelter in a positional coach role for the midlane position. Since the news of Broxah potentially missing opening weekend released, Pobelter has been playing plenty of solo queue as a jungler.
If Pobelter is indeed the go-to player for Liquid on January 25, he will play alongside them against his most recent former team in FlyQuest for their first match. However, nothing is officially confirmed, as Liquid streamer TFBlade said he might step in as a sub, as well.
Liquid will close out the opening weekend with the second match in the first-ever Monday Night League event, where they will face TSM.