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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

LoL Analysis: NALCS 2016 Summer, APX vs TL (Week 9)

What the hell is wrong with Liquid? The upstart bunch that were so close to going to the Spring Playoff Finals have struggled through an inconsistent split of monster plays followed by careless throws. Their most recent embarrassment was a 2-1 loss to Apex, a non-playoff team. Let's take a look at what exactly is going on.


In a desperate bid to make playoffs, Apex had to go 2-0 against playoff teams Liquid and CLG to make it, while hoping Envy stubbed their toe. Liquid on the other hand still had pride and playoff positioning to play for. They can't throw these games away.

In game 1, after a big midgame fight blew summoners on both sides (notably both Keane’s Cleanse and Ghost), Liquid built big CS leads and a 3k gold lead by 17 minutes. But a fight for Apex’s blue buff was turned by Ray and ShrimP catching four Liquid members in a choke point. The game gets a bit crazy as the teams trade inhibitors around 22 minutes but it’s really blown open as Apex sneak a Baron for free at 25 minutes and take control of the game.


Game 2 started horribly for Liquid as they lost an early fight 4-0 in the bot lane. But they rotated better for turrets and pick up a 3:1 advantage to stay reasonably close in gold. An Liquid Ace at 20 minutes (Apex teamfight positioning was just terrible) flipped the map and their superior teamfight comp allowed them to win fights, take Baron, and win the game.


Game 3 was another disastrous early game start for TL After the lane swap, TL get baited into a series of teamfight mistakes and before you can blink, it’s 4-0 for Apex. It feels like Liquid don’t respect these guys at all: the blue buff call in the first game, the fights from behind in this game. I know they are individually skilled players but you can’t keep going into these series assuming that your skill will carry you to victory. This is the worry for an immature team: that they tilt on their own arrogance. I love the attitude the play with and hope they resolve their issues so we can see peak Liquid in the playoffs.

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