Adrian’s NA LCS Days Are Numbered After Departure From Team Liquid

Adrian “Adrian” Ma has announced his departure from Team Liquid just a few weeks after joining the team in the middle of the 2017 NA LCS Spring Split. After leaving his third team in a little over half a year, the issues inherent with Adrian may cost him another chance to play in the LCS. A culmination of a predictable playstyle, limited champion pool, issues with teammates, and dedication to improvement have all factored into his recent issues. Now a free agent, Adrian may experience great difficulty finding his way back to the LCS.

The warning signs were there. In a leaked conversation between Adrian’s former teammate and current Immortals mid laner, Eugene “Pobelter” Park and Echo Fox AD Carry, Yuri “Keith” Jew, Pobelter provided insight into many of the issues with Adrian:

Source: Riot Games Flickr

Champion Pool

In the current meta, the support role is dominated by aggressive mage picks, none of which were included in Adrian’s prior top picks. Malzahar, Zyra and Lulu have all risen to the top of the tier list, while Adrian’s traditional comfort picks of Soraka, Janna, and Nami have all fallen off. Despite the dominance of these mage picks, Adrian only played one of the three in less than a quarter of the matches (21%) he has played in the LCS split, playing Nami more than Zyra, Malzahar, and Lulu combined.

For comparison, Team Liquid’s current support Matt “Matt” Elento has played those three champions almost twice as often as Adrian (40%). Moving forward, Adrian will need either the meta or his champion pool to change to reassert himself as a top tier support. If he is unwilling or unable to do so, LCS teams may look at other support options based on Adrian’s play alone.

Source: Riot Games Flickr

Work Ethic

Pobelter also highlighted Adrian’s poor work ethic and his use of marijuana as detrimental to their performance and team atmosphere. Pobelter alleged Adrian had used marijuana before a playoff match between Immortals and CLG and talked about how Adrian’s work ethic would make him a poor example and leader on any future team. Since then Adrian has become the cautionary tale for drug use within the LCS, something no organization wants attached to their brand.

Team Disruption

Before his departure from Phoenix1, Adrian showed once again that he can be a catalyst for issues within a team. During an interview, Adrian talked about how playing with substitute jungler William “Meteos” Hartman was refreshing because he was finally playing with a jungler who “used his brain”, a clear shot at the then-starting jungler Rami “Inori” Charagh. Any questions as to who the organization felt was a bigger issue for their team environment were quickly answered when Adrian was shipped off to Team Liquid and rookie support William “Stunt” Chen was brought in to replace him.

For Adrian looking to join any future team, his reputation as a poor teammate and as someone who creates problems will likely be the biggest obstacle for him. Adrian is simply not talented enough for teams to risk destroying their internal environment in signing the LCS journeyman – the fact that three different organizations in the past year have signed him, then released or traded him, is a red flag to any potential future suitors.

The value that Team Liquid sees in Adrian could not have been made much clearer when they choose Matt (one of the poorest performing supports in the LCS) over him as the starter for the Promotion Tournament and heading into next split.

Source: Riot Games Flickr


With the decline in Adrian’s value, the drug use, the poor work ethic and the disruptive force he presents to a team environment, do not expect to see the now free-agent signed as a starter for any LCS organization soon. While there may be teams willing to give him a chance as a substitute, the demand for Adrian has dropped significantly and should continue to do so: once considered to be a top-tier NA LCS support, his professional eSports career may be on the descent from its peak.

The NA LCS Owes A Debt Of Gratitude To The Birthing Grounds Of Team Liquid


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