For a lot of years, the competitive landscape of NA League of Legends was a joke to the other top regions. Many analysts and critics rated North American teams as chokers on the international stage. We believe that they were right since looking at the competitive history of MSI and Worlds the North American teams exhibited poor results.
Yet after years of of criticism and disappointing results, the NA region kept its cool. The region took its time to flourish and now it fair to say that: NA’s Team Liquid have managed to pull off the biggest upset in League history.
The current roster of Liquid holds some of the most decorated players in the NA region. Yet in the MSI 2019 they were not rated amongst the strongest owing to their lack of consistency on the international stage. Throughout the competition no one had confidence over Liquid and everybody expected them to fail. This paved the way for the fall of world champions in the semifinals.
Apart from their local success, the Liquid roster had fair share of troubles in the past years. In seven year of competing in some of the best competitions, Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng almost always knocked out of the group stage. Meanwhile, Nicolaj Jensen have been defeat by Fnatic in the in the semifinals of Worlds 2018.
— Team Liquid Honda LoL (@TeamLiquidLoL) May 14, 2019
At the MSI 2019, they team had a difficult time in the group stage. The side only confirmed its participation on the last day. After that when Invictus picked Liquid as their semi final opponents, it seemed that the road ended for the NA side. Every critic including us predicted that the team will get thrashed 3-0 in Vietnam.
Owing to the criticism, this victory is surely a salvation for Liquid. Each member of the team craved for international success. Time and again, they have been beaten and they their had to see their side struggle for success. The win against IG surely answers the prayers of the NA fans.
Breaking the wheel
The champions of the Worlds 2018 and the LPL Spring Split 2019, were labeled as the best candidate to win the competition. They were labeled to win every single competition of 2019 and follow the feat of SK Telecom T1. The exceptional style of play of Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok and Song “Rookie” Eui-jin was a forced to be reckoned with. Not even a single side was deemed worthy to win against the chinese juggernaut.
Yet Liquid didn’t care about the facts and completely decimated the side. The team didn’t hesitate to execute their strategy to perfection. In every game of the best of five series, Jake “Xmithie” Puchero outplayed Gao “Ning” Zhen-Ning. The best characteristic of the team was that they were not afraid to pick champions, like Neeko, Lux and Skarner as cores. NA laid the foundation of their own meta and played it out to perfections.