Team Liquid’s winning start
(Team) Liquid are 2-0 in the HGC putting them in first place. Whilst most would be surprised if that’s how the Division finished, it is still a promising start. Liquid already have as many match wins as they did in the second split of Phase 2. Liquid beat Zealots a team that beat them in their last two matches. Cause to celebrate perhaps?
Certainly not in the court of public opinion that reigned during the close Zealots series. Comments, mainly on Reddit but also on other social media saw substantial criticism of Liquid, especially their two new players, ethernal and SportBilly picked up from Diamond Skin. A main strand of criticism was that Liquid had picked up two players from a crucible team, so it was no surprise that the players would be bad and that Liquid would also face the crucible.
Consider this is a team playing competitively in their first week who have replaced their tank, gained a shot caller and an off-laner. There were times when I might be shouting at the monitor to attack, as the team played a little passive for my liking. But this is a team learning to play well together and there can be many reasons for decision making that we are not privy to.
Whilst, yes, it is possible to nit-pick Liquid players performances in the two series I think that both ethernal and SportBilly played well. Ethernal has been putting in the games in hero league and the practice that comes with that showed in the series. SportBilly was excellent in the series versus Diamond Skin with great shot blocking. He won Liquid the game against Zealots with his excellent delaying skills on the Zealots team as they tried to rescue Malthael from the Liquid top shrine gank.
Recruiting diamonds in the rough
The argument that you should not recruit from teams that aren’t doing well and teams that are worse than you is ridiculous.
Ridiculous as it suggests that a team at the top can’t recruit anyone as all other teams are of worse standing. Surely Dignitas can’t recruit anyone from Europe as they are the best team in Europe? Oh wait, they recruited Poilk from Zealots and that’s been a great success.
Also, it ignores the fact that maybe people in poorly performing teams are actually quite skilled and/or are good team players it is just that their team is performing badly. Perhaps there is a personality clash, the team atmosphere is horrible or maybe the other players are not great. A team performing badly does not mean that all of their players are terrible.
Additionally, it doesn’t allow for a team to maybe pick up a player that might not be an obvious first choice and turn them into a better player. A toxic player can become well mannered, players can be encouraged to be more of a team player and skills can be trained. A good coach and a supportive team can turn mediocre players into great ones.
Anyway, just a short rant from me on the absurd comments about Liquid’s new players, who are diamonds in the rough. Get it Diamond Skin, diamonds in the rough? Oh, never mind!
Whilst Dignitas /Fnatic/ Method will be a far sterner test, the Liquid of last season would have lost that game 5 versus Zealots and SportBilly and ethernal are part of the reason why Liquid won it instead.