Team Liquid’s start in RLCS X was far from ideal, but things are looking up.
Every week, GGRecon highlights one team performing well and gives context to their performance. This week, we look at the history, recent results, and expectations of Team Liquid.
Jack "Speed" Packwood-Clarke, Emil "fruity" Moselund, and Aldin "Ronaky" Hodzic have a lot of history behind them, and a big task ahead of them. Their start in RLCS X wasn’t what they’d hoped for, but it’s not too late to turn things around for Team Liquid.
The story of Team Liquid’s Rocket League team starts with FlipSid3 Tactics. When the organisation left the Rocket League scene in February of 2019, the roster wasn’t the same legendary dynasty it once was. Only Francesco "kuxir97" Cinquemani remained on the team through all these years. But just a month before the organisation left, a new player came in. FlipSid3 Tactics needed a third to compete in WSOE 4: The Rocket League Showdown, and they got Speed on loan from Red Reserve. Beyond anyone’s expectations, Speed helped them win at WSOE. This roster, with Kuxir97, Speed, and David "miztik" Lawrie, showed they can compete at the highest level, even with rather poor preparation. They decided to stick together, and formed The Bricks.
Such a great offseason had many people believe that The Bricks could place high in Season 7 of the RLCS, but their aspirations didn’t come to fruition that season. In the very last series of the regular season, The Bricks couldn’t secure a spot in the next season, but they managed to make it into RLCS Season 8 through the Promotion Playoffs.
When the mousesports roster disbanded after Season 7, Kuxir97 and Speed got signed to the German organisation, along with Linus "al0t" Möllergren, who had been on mousesports before. A few roster changes saw al0t and Kyle "Scrub Killa" Robertson come and go, but Kuxir97 and Speed stuck together, even when mouseports released the roster almost a year later.
This was the chance Team Liquid had been waiting for. At a time when Psyonix was making big improvements to the scene, sponsoring community tournaments and shaping up RLCS X, Team Liquid saw potential in these talented veterans. Kuxir97, Speed, and fruity were facing a big challenge.
The Fall Split of RLCS X didn’t go as planned for Team Liquid. One second place and two top-four finishes in The Grid, but nothing more. They never really looked like a super strong team, and they didn’t once make it to the top ten in a Regional Event. Something needed to change, and what a change it was. For the first time since the beginning of the RLCS, Kuxir97 got released from his team. His replacement was fruity’s fellow countryman, Ronaky. The Danish newcomer to Team Liquid previously played for Triple Trouble, Red Reserve, and FC Barcelona. Now it was up to him to find better results than Team Liquid had managed so far.
The Winter Split started out in a similar fashion to the Fall Split for Team Liquid, as they got shut out early in the first Regional Event. Regional Event 2 went a little bit better, but it wasn’t the clear push into the top ten they were looking for. Now, with Regional Event 3 underway, things are looking up. They beat Fadeaway and swept Top Blokes convincingly to get to the Winners Quarterfinals.
Team Liquid has now equalled their best performance in a Regional Event. One more win to improve, and they’re looking like a better team already. Speed and fruity put in some good work, but it is Ronaky who shines. He’s showing everyone he can be a top tier striker. He’s quick and nimble in the air, and scores from any angle. Maybe the team needed some time to get used to the new roster, and now they’re finally able to perform how they want to.
They desperately need some better results, rather sooner than later. Right now, they are tied for 16th place in the RLCS Winter Ranking, and 15th place overall. Getting more points means a better chance of competing at a Major, or even the World Championship. Team Liquid’s start in RLCS X was far from ideal, and it’s not yet clear whether they can come back from that. But things are looking up, if Ronaky keeps popping off like this.
Image via ZeeboDesigns