If you haven't checked out the NA LCS standings in the last couple months, let me be the one to inform you: Team Liquid isn't in fourth. In fact, they can only dream of such a lofty position in the standings. The organization has, instead, been having the worst split of it's history, and has been scrambling to try to find the silver bullet that will turn the split around for them. They aren't the only team who undershot their mark this split, however, as Team Dignitas also started out sitting firmly in the relegation zone despite their outstanding talent pool. They've since managed to rally their season, though, and now are starting to legitimately look like the championship threat we always expected them to be.
In an interview with ESPN, Team Dignitas' support Xpecial, himself one of the longest-tenured players in the region, gave a few thoughts about why he thought Team Liquid hadn't managed to pull out of their death spiral in the same way that Team Dignitas has. In fairness to Xpecial, however, it should be noted that this interview was made before Team Liquid managed to upset Team Solomid this week, and while critics are far from ready to call that victory come sort of renaissance for Team Liquid, it does show that the team has much more spunk left than might be obvious.
"When I see TL, I see them just throwing darts at a wall, hoping one of them sticks," said Xpecial. "And I wouldn't say it's worked out, but it would have been better if they kept (the team) the same. Whereas for us, we were very much about identifying the problem and actually doing whatever we can to fix it. When I see TL, I see an AD carry going mid who has never really played mid ever... instead of doing that, why not add a player like (Gold Coin United's Kim "FeniX" Jae-hun, who himself was formerly the mid laner for Team Liquid in years past), for example. Basically, I feel like TL doesn't identify their problems correctly and they've kept a player that is not worth keeping for so long.
"AD is not worth importing (a foreign player for) in North America. AD carries in North America, with exception of a few, have been doing rather well. I don't want there to be going, 'Oh I hate Piglet' or whatever, but objectively, looking at TL, they haven't been doing well with Piglet. People say he's a world class AD carry, but compare him to (Phoenix1's Noh "Arrow" Dong-hyeon), and I don't think there is a comparison. Arrow is actually 1v2'ing the lanes sometimes, and he's actually popping off. (With) Piglet we don't really see that, and I'm baffled to see why they have him on the team for so long."