The back-to-back North American champions, Team Liquid, have shown that they haven’t missed a beat for 2019. In the first game of the 2019 LCS Spring Split, they have defeated Cloud9 in a pretty convincing 36-minute battle.
— Team Liquid LoL (@TeamLiquidLoL) January 26, 2019
This was one of the more anticipated matches of the weekend, with Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen facing off against his old team. Team Liquid are coming off an incredible offseason, where they were able to acquire Jensen and former Gen.G support, Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in. They were able to replace two of their biggest weaknesses with amazing upgrades. As a result, Jensen could alleviate some pressure from Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng. Additionally, CoreJJ would help control the laning phase with his good mechanics and macro skills. Liquid was now the favorite to win the LCS once again.
Meanwhile, Cloud9 were coming back from the best Worlds run of any North American team ever. They were able to reach the quarterfinals of the tournament, reaching heights that no one expected them to find. However, this offseason, they were blindsided when their best player would jump ship and join the best team in the LCS. As a result, they would be forced to pick up Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer, who last played for Splyce over in the LEC. They also had four members of that amazing Worlds run of 2018, including star top laner, Eric “Licorice” Ritchie.
Slow and methodical: Team Liquid vs. Cloud9
Unfortunately for Cloud9 fans, it was clear that they still had some work to do alongside their new mid laner. The early game was actually very close between the two teams, with kills spread across most of the lanes. However, after a close twenty minutes, Team Liquid would begin to pick up steam behind Jensen and Doublelift. They would start to swing the game into their favor, and after a good teamfight, Liquid would grab Baron.
This would be where the game would turn for the worst for Cloud9. With Jensen and Doublelift now fed and ready to fight, Liquid would pick up the pace and push down the opponents into their base. In the meantime, they would also manage to pick up three elemental dragons and another Baron. Even still, team fights would be pretty close, but they wouldn’t be able to get past Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong’s Sion.
There were still some positives for Cloud9 to pull from this match. First off, it looks like Licorice is ready to step up as Cloud9’s leader and carry. He was trying his hardest on Urgot to attack the backline, but unfortunately, there wouldn’t be enough support from his damage dealers. Nisqy still needs time to grow into his role on Cloud9. He showed some promise, hitting some nice Paddle Stars and Sleepy Trouble Bubbles on Zoe. However, he was also missing as many as he hit.
For Team Liquid, this was a good start to their 2019 Spring Split campaign. There were a few hiccups in today’s game, and some cleaning up to do in terms of their macro. However, they look poised to take the LCS for themselves. On the other hand, Cloud9 still has a ways to go in terms of reaching their peak. There is a lot of potential in this lineup, and if Nisqy can find a bit more consistency in his play, Cloud9 will rise to the occasion once again.
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