The Collapse of the Team Liquid Super-team
This year did not bring good news for the super-teams in the professional League of Legends scene, especially for Team Liquid.
Despite having a 2022 LCS roster packed with award-winning veteran players, including superstars from North America and Europe, Team Liquid's attempt to secure a victory in the spring and summer games didn't pay off.
While Liquid had hoped to be the NA super-team ahead of the North American World Championship, a less-than-spectacular failure kept them out of the renowned LCS event.
The result was very different from what Liquid promised: There is no qualification for League of Legends Worlds 2022.
You might know from our article about the Vitality roster, that big names and excessive spending might not be enough to lift the trophy. Let’s look at how the project went wrong.
A Disappointing Performance After Budget Problems
Through an announcement on Twitter, Team Liquid CEO Steve Arhancet confirmed what many expected: the LCS roster would be changed before the 2023 season.
Before the revealing news, Arhancet apologized to fans for the team's disappointing performance this year.
While the CEO hoped to create what would likely be the best roster North America had ever seen while the region was hosting the event, the organization's excellence and legacy took a hit.
Arhancet said creating the lineup involved a multi-stage, time-consuming process and required a large budget.
Partners and interested parties committed to the project, knowing its importance and the investment made.
However, all the money the franchise put into the project wasn't enough to keep it afloat. As a result, the experiment failed and was disappointing, putting the super-teams' future in doubt.
What Happened to the All-star LCS Roster?
With a mix of North American veterans and superstars from Europe, Team Liquid's LCS roster was the most promising this season.
All the players had experience in national and international events. In fact, each member had already made it to the LoL World Championships with their respective teams.
However, many consider individual brilliance to have trumped the synergy a team needs to pull off a win.
As a result, the team failed to win any national titles in either the summer or spring or secure their long-awaited spot as one of three representatives at the LCS World Championship.
Now, Liquid doesn't trust the super-team formula for 2023.
Team Liquid Rebuilding: Times Are Changing
While the organization expects to duplicate the "successful" areas, the concept of building super-teams is no longer considered reliable.
Team Liquid hopes to build its players using the existing structure instead of the super-team formula, abandoning it almost entirely.
Arhacent did not elaborate on how Liquid planned to change its lineup or reveal which players were leaving or staying.
However, the Academy team had a good year, winning the NA Academy Summer Split.
Liquid's Academy team also took the LCS Proving Grounds' first place during the spring and summer.
According to multiple sources, prominent North American player Søren 'Bjergsen' Bjerg is leaving Team Liquid after a year and will be a free agent starting in 2023, considering LCS and LEC offers.
Other insiders say Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in is the only player in the starting lineup to move from Liquid's main team to free agency during the offseason.
The rest of the players, except for Steven "Hans Sama" Liv - who will be until 2024, signed with the franchise until 2023.
In either scenario, a significant roster change must include trades with other teams or contract transfers.
Due to the game's nature, a team in any League of Legends tournament has little to no chance of winning unless players work as one, which Rogue has proven in 2022 as they emerged victorious when no one believed in them. The collapse of Team Liquid is proof of that fact.