The Retooling Continues, Team Liquid Acquires Adrian

by Matt Best

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(Photo: lolesports)

Team Liquid continues to reshape their League of Legends roster in the middle of the Spring Split. Team Liquid has purchased the contract of Adrian "Adrian" Ma, the former Phoenix1 support. 

The move comes less than 24 hours after the team had announced they acquired Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng, Team SoloMid's former starting AD carry to fill the role of TL's starting ADC.

Team Liquid was quite active and said that they finalized the transfer ahead of the March 7 trade deadline and the move is now pending Riot's approval. On Team Liquids official Facebook page Steve "Liquid112" Arhancet, Co-CEO said, "Adrian is one of the strongest NALCS supports and in coordination with Matt, Doublelift, and Youngbin, I’m confident that our bot lane talents will work together to achieve the level of performance that our team expects."

Matt "Matt" Elento has been struggling during the Spring Split but will retain his starting role according to Arhancet. "For this week, Matt will retain his starting position on our LCS roster. Bringing in Adrian provides our coaching staff options for the remainder of the split and enables our experienced support duo to provide valuable feedback to each other."

Arhancet is a firm believer in his new acquisitions, saying, "We believe that with our two new additions, Doublelift and Adrian, we can bounce back to form and avoid relegation. This has been a turbulent split for our team but we hope our fans know that we are doing everything we can to improve."

According to Matt, he understands his performance thus far on the LCS Stage and is looking forward to working alongside his new teammate. "Adding Adrian to the Team Liquid roster is really exciting for me. This split has been a turbulent one and I’m absolutely gutted with what I’ve shown on stage. In the preseason I was incredibly motivated and had really high expectations for myself and my team, but unfortunately at the start of the split my practice and improvement took a nosedive. Recently, I've been able to get back into stride and I'm improving at an acceptable rate - I look forward to working with Adrian so we can push each other to be the best supports that we can."

As for Adrian, he is thrilled with how Team Liquid looks on paper and can't wait to get with the team. "I’m very excited to be joining Team Liquid. While the team’s performance has been below expectations this split, I see massive potential in this roster and I hope to help us get better one day at a time. Hopefully Matt and I can push each other to improve and give our team the best chance of winning. I always tilted TL with my Soraka... now I want it to tilt other teams."

"I always tilted TL with my Soraka... now I want it to tilt other teams." - Adrian

Adrian then took to Twitter to thank Phoenix1 and explain his move further.

For James Bates, WWG's League of Legends Writer and Analyst, the move is very risky for Team Liquid. "When League insiders discuss Adrian, one topic always comes up: his attitude. He's long been known for having a combination of motivation issues and trouble cooperating with teammates that have caused many teams to view him as a poison pill. The fact that he's leaving Phoenix1, thus, comes as no surprise, as he simply isn't good enough to justify stomaching an interpersonal conflict such as this, and I think Phoenix1 made the correct choice in keeping Inori, who has proven to be one of the top performers in his role this split, over him. What is surprising, however, is that Team Liquid have opted to acquire his contract, which is bad news for Matt, and doesn't make very much sense if their plan is to try to keep Doublelift on the roster into Summer, as his aggressive play clashes rather heavily with Adrian's traditionally passive laning style. On the plus side for Team Liquid, it can't get any worse than it is now, so they might as well make any change, no matter how ill-advised."

"On the plus side for Team Liquid, it can't get any worse than it is now, so they might as well make any change, no matter how ill-advised." - James Bates 

Team Liquid heads into Week 7 of the NA LCS with matchups against both Cloud9 and Team EnVyUs.

By Matt Best

Matt Best is the Lead On Air Host and Producer for WWG. He has spent his professional career submerged in both the traditional sports world as well as esports. As one of the only Canadians at WWG, if you want to tilt Matt, just bring up awful Canadian stereotypes.