If fans didn’t already consider Team Liquid to be desperate, after learning that the organisation approached professional streamer Michael “Imaqtpie” Santana to be the team’s new AD Carry, the brand of shame has been permanently seared onto the eSports organisation.
After a disastrous first half of the NA LCS Spring Split, Team Liquid made it clear they were looking to make any and all changes needed to succeed. It became quickly apparent that Mid laner Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer would not be continuing with the team going forwards, opening up a number of options to solve the teams in-game issues.
Team Liquid owner Steve “LiQuiD112” Arhancet clarified that the team were considering all possibilities, sparking excitement and curiosity amongst fans and analysts alike. The one avenue no-one considered for an instant however, was the prospect of bringing former Team Dignitas AD Carry Imaqtpie out of retirement to pull on the Team Liquid jersey.
Speaking on his livestream panel show Beyond the Rift, Imaqtpie confirmed that he had been approached by the Team Liquid organisation to rejoin the North American League of Legends Championship Series as the struggling team’s AD Carry:
“They asked me to join their team dude. You’re desperate as f*** if you have to ask me to join your team.
“I told them I was nowhere near good enough and I’m just gonna be a disappointment to your roster, so I’m not gonna allow myself to join your team – I’m sorry.
“Guys, I’m just not good enough.”
Michael “Imaqtpie” Santana
The revelation really emphasises how low Team Liquid have stooped; the team’s scouting methods have certainly been brought into question. Looking to bring in a player who hasn’t played competitively for nearly four years is a drastic move – a move than Imaqtpie was quick to decline, joking:
“Hell no I didn’t say that, I said: ‘You’re tenth place f***ing garbage, don’t you ever come at me with that dude!
“Don’t you disrespect me by asking me to join your tenth place, garbage-ass team.”
Perhaps most what is most disheartening for Team Liquid fans, Imaqtpie would’ve been one of the team’s better options. Twitch’s most popular League of Legends streamer is still a mechanically gifted player, exemplified by his ability to finish last season with four different accounts in NA’s Challenger tier, frequently pushing into the top ten of the server rankings. Imaqtpie maintains a diverse champion pool and is able to play multiple positions at a high level.
With the current role of ADCs trending toward utility champions such as Jhin, Varus, and Ashe, Imaqtpie would be naturally protected by the meta as he transitions back to LCS form. If Team Liquid are willing to put their faith in the unproven Young-bin “Youngbin” Chung, trusting his mechanical proficiency in the position, then having a career AD Carry main such as Imaqtpie would surely only be an improvement.
Imaqtpie brings an extra edge to the table that very few other available ADCs can offer. He brings a wealth of experience with strong communication, macro understanding and the small intricacies that come with being a professional player. Many of the available options for Team Liquid have never played in the LCS, and because much of the talent was already signed during the off-season, Imaqtpie has a significant advantage over many of the players who may have never played for an organised team. Players like Youngbin who have played on a team in the Challenger Scene still fail to come close to the level of experience that Imaqtpie has.
The announcement of Youngbin joining the team did little to quell the fears of their fanbase, many questioned the decision and many saw this as a desperate manoeuvre with very little chance of success. Whereas announcing Imaqtpie as the new ADC would have immediately reignited the fans excitement, catalysing enthusiasm that could have impacted the team’s performance on the rift.
Current NA LCS Stars Who Have Played For The Team Liquid Organisation
Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham
Matthew "Akaadian" Higginbotham played Jungle on the Team Liquid Academy roster between February and April of 2016, until the beginning of May where he was replaced by Galen "Moon" Holgate.
He is now doing very well on the Echo Fox roster and was classed as one of the best rookie Junglers in the Spring Split.
Benjamin “LOD” deMunck
Benjamin "LOD" deMunck is the current AD Carry for Team Dignitas and played with Team EnVy throughout last year. This has been LOD's breakout to his professional career, but it hasn't been his first attempt. First playing for Team LoLPro he was picked up by newly branded Team Curse as their substitute AD Carry. He stayed with the team throughout the entire of season 4 before eventually leaving for greener pastures.
Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black
Zaqueri "Aphromoo" Black may just try and forget his stint with Team Curse as he left Counter Logic Gaming in late Season 3 to join the team for less then a month before returning home where he has remained to this day.
Aphromoo has constantly been called the best Support in North America and a contender for best Support in the west.
Johnny “Altec” Ru
Johnny "Altec" Ru was the AD Carry for Curse Academy from January until July in Season 3 when he was picked up to be a substitute for Team Solo Mid. He has been on many other teams such as Cloud 9 Tempest, Evil Geniuses and Gravity.
Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett
After one of the most public departures from a team, Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett left Team Liquid last year and traded places with Kim "Reignover" Yeu-jin to join the Immortals squad.
Dardoch is one of the best examples of Team Liquid birthing a strong national talent and letting them go.
Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell
Kevin "Hauntzer" Yarnell may now be classed as one of the best Top laners in North America.
However before he was known as Team SoloMid's backbone he played top lane for Team LoLPro and stuck with the team when they branded as Curse Gaming, eventually leaving for Team Gravity.
Galen “Moon” Holgate
Galen "Moon" Holgate has somewhat of a similar story to Keith. Originally playing for the Liquid Challenger roster, he was bumped up to the main roster when Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett was suspended for poor attitude.
However the team seemed to fall apart without Dardoch and he was taken off suspension and Moon was retired back to the Challenger roster.
Eugene “Pobelter” Park
Eugene "Pobelter" Park has had multiple stints with Curse rosters, originally playing for their main roster he left to join Meat Playground, however he rejoined shortly afterwards and joined the Curse challenger line-up.
He bounced around other teams for quite a while before landing back on Curse for less than a month in October at the end of Season 3.
Andy “Smoothie” Ta
After a disappointing start to Andy "Smoothie" Ta's collaboration with Team Liquid, he jumped between the main roster and the challenger roster.
Team Liquid wanted to utilize both rosters, but Smoothie ended up playing on the challenger roster almost non-stop. He left the team in April 2016 and shortly after was picked up by Cloud9 who he has stayed with ever since.
Alex “Xpecial” Chu
Rewind time to season 4, Alex "Xpecial" Chu is a superstar support. Playing with Team SoloMid for 3 years will give you that reputation. After being released from Team SoloMid shortly after Season 4, he joined Curse Gaming and stayed with them for four splits and two seasons through their rebrand to Team Liquid.
After some drama between Xpecial and AD Carry Chae "Piglet" Gwang-jin he left the roster to join Apex Gaming.
Derek “Zig” Shao
Derek "Zig" Shao has been with the Team Liquid organization the longest of any player on the list, staying with the organization almost two years, playing on both the challenger and main roster of both Team Curse and Team Liquid.
He left team Liquid in Season 6 to join Phoenix 1.
He currently still plays Top lane for Phoenix 1 and they are tied third in the North American LCS
Yuri “Keith” Jew
Yuri "Keith" Jew has somewhat of a sad story to begin his league career. Used by both Team Liquid and Team SoloMid when their previous AD Carries weren't performing up to scratch, Keith would come in, perform really well and then his competition would begin playing well again.
He helped Liquid overcome a rough 1-3 start in the spring split of season 6.
Apollo “Apollo” Price
Apollo "Apollo" Price is now a well known name in the North American LCS, however this wasn't always the case. His time with Team LoLPro was so unknown there isn't even a certainty on the time he spent with them.
He left the team to join Team Impulse in December of 2014 and he now plays for Team NV in the North American LCS.
Lae-Young “Keane” Jang
Originally playing for the Oceanic version of Team Curse Lae-Young "Keane" Jang wanted bigger things and eventually moved on to the Curse Academy roster. He stayed with the team until the end of Season 5, when he left to join Team Gravity and has stayed with the team through all its rebrands ever since.
David “Cop” Roberson
David "Cop" Roberson is one of the veterans on this list, not only has been been playing on professional teams since at least season 1, his skill also transcends the rift. Playing with Team Curse and moving to Curse Academy from December 2011 all the way through until January 2015, his most recent team has been Team Dignitas where he has returned to coach the team during their 2017 Spring Split.
William "Stunt" Chen is the youngest player of the bunch, now representing Immortals. He was one game away from qualifying for the LCS with Team Liquid Academy last year in the summer split promotion. Going to a full 5 games, Stunt and the rest of TLA failed to qualify for the 2017 Spring Split.