Team Liquid vs LNG Esports
Last but certainly not least, we have a clash between Team Liquid and LNG Esports. On paper, this is a pretty darn interesting match-up, although not one that'll go down in history for its importance. We're talking about two teams that, simply put, lack the tools to go the whole nine yards and truly etch their names in history. Still, they're more than talented enough to make things interesting and will surely entertain us for as long as they're scheduled to compete in Reykjavik, Iceland.
The biggest reason why this particular match is so fascinating — and the fact it came out of the blue makes it all the more potent — is that they're sitting on the opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of hype and momentum. LNG ran circles around their opposition back in the Play-In Stage but their opening loss (or shellacking, rather) to Gen.G hurt their stock quite a bit. Heck, we're putting it mildly here. They had a staggering amount of impetus and yet it all came crashing down in just a couple of minutes. Now sure, it was just a single game which means they could, by all means, correct course and mount a comeback, but we're not all too certain given just how shaky certain teams (that were previously favored) have looked thus far. FunPlus Phoenix are a shadow of their former selves, the MAD Lions were as meek and feeble as it gets, and so on — there's no telling what'll happen, but the status quo *is* slightly different than what most of us had expected coming into 2021 Worlds.
And, frankly, the same goes for Team Liquid. No one thought they'd explode as much as their predecessors (think Team SoloMid in 2020), but the fashion in which they had beaten MAD Lions yesterday left no one indifferent. They were clean, commanding, and had played some truly great League of Legends without making too many mistakes. And, well, they had MAD's number from start to finish. Does that mean they'll now go on a rampage and make it out of groups? Far from it, but at least they'll put up a much bigger fight than previously anticipated. And that, in short, is absolutely spectacular news as it'll make Group D all the more entertaining and unpredictable!
So, needless to say, no one can confidently predict what'll happen once LNG and TL step foot on stage to compete. It can really go either way, with both teams being sufficiently talented and capable for the task at hand. Who'll come out on top will, as always, depend on preparation, draft, and perhaps most of all: execution. If Team Liquid draft comfort and get Santorin and Alphari ample agency, they could, by all means, pull off an upset. And that, in short, is exactly what we're betting on here. There are never any guarantees, but after seeing them play yesterday, we might as well give them the benefit of the doubt on this one and see what happens.