Looking to rebuild their roster, Team Liquid has picked up Reignover as their new jungler. The question, now, is can Reignover lead this team towards success? Whether or not he will is hard to answer at the moment. But he certainly has the qualities to do it. Having learned a lot from YellowStar during his time on Fnatic, Reignover has become a fairly consistent player. The only occasions in which he didn’t perform up to his usual standards were both of his playoff runs with Immortals in the NA LCS. While that may be the sign of a choker, Reignover has showed before that he can perform well in big matches. His cheerful personality, understanding of the jungle role and his ability to plan his routes masterfully are what make him such a great player.
As great as Reignover is however, Liquid’s success won’t depend solely on him. With Piglet returning to the team, Goldenglue being promoted to starting mid laner and Lourlo as well as Matt staying on the team, teamwork will be a key factor behind Liquid’s performance. Looking at the TL roster, the team certainly has a great core of North American players. The problem lies in the lack of star power when it comes to every lane. It’s safe to assume Reignover and Piglet will perform well but the same can’t be said for the rest of the players.
Perhaps the biggest uncertainty for Team Liquid next year is Lourlo. Having been an inconsistent player ever since he joined the organization, he will need to step up if Liquid is aiming for 1st place. Statistically, Lourlo has been middle of the pack to bottom tier amongst all top laners in recent times. During the regular season of the summer split, he was lackluster in quite a lot of categories, namely CS differential at 10, CS per minute as well as DPM (damage per minute) and DMG% (damage share). His low share of his team’s deaths would imply that he’s good at keeping himself safe but that’s only because he does not participate in objective and team fights that much. In-fact he’s almost dead last when it comes to Kill Participation. His summer playoffs statistics weren’t any better either, although they weren’t as bad.
Still, all of this does not mean that Lourlo can’t improve. It’s no secret that the atmosphere on Team Liquid wasn’t the greatest. It’s hard for a younger player such as Lourlo to improve under those circumstances. Changes in the support staff as well as a refreshed roster are sure to help him. Having Reignover as a teammate is a huge benefit for Lourlo. Both players are driven towards improvement and working on the same goal bodes well for them. Throughout summer, Lourlo showed that when he’s given resources he can perform well. If he can make his play more consistent and is able to receive more help from Reignover, he can develop even further and showcase what he is capable of as a player.
Another point of worry for Liquid fans is the promotion of Goldenglue to the main roster. Having a reputation for being “average”, Goldenglue is by no means a star in his position. But there’s many positives when it comes to Goldenglue. He is an NA resident meaning TL don’t waste an import slot with him on the roster. Although his inability to succeed on an LCS team implies that he’s never going to be a star, he still has the potential to be a top player at least within NA. His statistics in the NA CS back this up, as he was consistently in the top in almost every category.
Reignover already has a solid bottom lane that is likely to go even or win against most bottom lanes, so he will have more leeway to help out his solo laners. Both Lourlo and Goldenglue will benefit heavily from getting more resources and jungle attention. Liquid should not fall into the same trap that they fell into in 2016. It’s fine to focus on Piglet’s lane as he is an excellent AD Carry that can win games. But focusing only on him and putting the other two lanes on an island is not the right mindset for Liquid.
The new roster for TL looks great on paper but expectations should be lowered at least for now. There’s a lot to be worked on before they can win their first NA LCS title. Synergy needs to be built and Reignover needs to work well with all of his lanes, not just one of them. The foundation for a great team has been established but it’s up to Liquid to evolve it into a championship worthy team. For Reignover specifically, this is going to be a tough challenge. But if he is able to take this roster and lead it towards an LCS title, he will only prove his doubters wrong and establish himself as one of the greatest players in LCS history.