After the team’s disappointing end in the 2022 League of Legends season, Team Liquid CEO Steve Arhancet revealed that changes would be made to the LCS roster ahead of the 2023 season.
Despite their mix of award-winning veteran players in their 2022 LCS roster, Liquid were unable to secure a domestic win in the spring or summer events. The attempt to build up a ‘superteam’ resulted in a failure that cost them one of the three LCS representative spots in the LoL World Championship. They finished a game short of Worlds qualification after losing to Evil Geniuses in the lower bracket of the LCS Championship.
Arhancet made the announcement via Twitter, where he confirmed the future changes to the lineup and apologized to fans for the team’s disappointing performance during the 2022 season.
“Going into this season, I was completely enamored by the idea of building a roster that would potentially be the best roster that the region has ever seen,” Arhancet said.
”After participating in Worlds so many times and falling short, going 3-3 in groups, North America being the host for Worlds was such an incredible opportunity for the organization to demonstrate our excellence and continue to build on our legacy.”
According to Arhancet, creating the lineup involved a multistage process where the franchise spent a lot of money and got commitments from several partners and stakeholders while promising that “this was the year”. The importance of the project, as well as the investment put in, was revealed to the players involved. Overall, the project’s investment was not enough to keep it afloat, and Arhancet revealed that the experiment’s outcome “disappointed” him.
Team Liquid’s LCS roster consisted of players with experience in domestic and international events. For the past two seasons, each of the five players had reached the LoL World Championship in their various teams. Liquid will now utilize their internal development programs for the upcoming season instead of taking advantage of free agency.
In the video, Arhancet said that come 2023, the organization intended to double down “on some of the areas where we’ve seen incredible success so far, and also the opportunity to build players using Team Liquid infrastructure rather than this concept of building superteams”. He added that although the superteam formula had proved helpful to Liquid in the past, they intended to move on and almost entirely abandon the concept.
Arhancet said, “Building superteams has always kind of worked for us to a certain degree, but I think times are changing.”
According to reports, Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in is the only starting lineup player on Liquid’s main team that will enter free agency this offseason. The organization’s academy team players – Harry “Haeri” Kang, Bill “Eyla” Nguyen, and Sean “Yeon” Sung – will also have their contracts expire at the end of the 2022 season. Free agency will fully start on November 22.
Steven “Hans Sama” Liv from the main team is signed on to the franchise till 2024, while the remaining three players in the starting lineup will be with Liquid till 2023. As a result of this, if Team Liquid intend to switch up their roster significantly, they will have to secure trades with other teams as well as contract transfers.
Liquid did not specify how they planned on changing their lineup, nor did they make mention of any players. However, their academy squad gave an amazing performance this year. They placed first during the NA Academy Summer Split and won the LCS Proving Grounds during both the spring and summer.