Emotions ran high on the LCS Stage on Sunday, September 4, as the season for one of the two most hyped franchises in the league were going to end shy of an expected Worlds 2022 birth. As the nexus fell in Game 5 and Team Liquid Honda’s season-ending, their top laner Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau sat in his seat, stunned as the result slowly sunk in.
The most decorated group of players to ever assemble in North America have failed miserably. A roster that was expected to easily win the LCS were not even going to place on the podium. Bwipo pondered on what went wrong not only in the series but the season. Of course, he was hard on himself.
“Game 5 I felt I played okay but Game 1 to 4 I played terrible,” Bwipo said. “I think my standards are much much higher and I couldn’t live up to them. That was my biggest regret I have is that.”
In regards to what else went wrong in the series, Bwipo mentioned that EG called the team’s bluff of not playing early game champions into EG’s scaling compositions. He mentioned that EG’s compositions were “greedy” but at the end of the day, they paid off. But with that said, he kept bringing the blame onto himself.
“I think if I played better individually I could have done more even with the same play style,” Bwipo said.
Took way too long to show up in this series
Fucking blows, Impact was better and earned it for his team
— TL Honda Bwipo (@Bwipo) September 5, 2022
TL’s super team should have swept through NA but Bwipo mentioned that the team’s issues have prevented the team from hitting anywhere close to their supposed peak. The season has been one full of regrets for Bwipo — but the biggest regret that came to mind for him was not trying to instill his philosophy within the team.
“I think identifying how your team plays as early as possible is always better because then you could spend the whole year perfecting it,” Bwipo said. “You have a focus of who you’re trying to help carry the game, you have something that you will do and rely on almost every time.”
The super team experiment of bringing in the best roster on paper has ultimately failed many times around the world. This season alone, two super teams in the west failed with Team Vitality and TL both missing Worlds 2022. These rosters are expensive since the players draw big salaries — but the results also have to be just as big.
But that’s not the only thing big with these super teams. It’s not necessarily egos but when teams bring together a roster of five best-in-region players, figuring out a cohesive playstyle is very difficult. When everyone is used to being the center of attention and resources, it is hard for these teams to adapt.
Bwipo talked about this team hierarchy and how TL struggled to find its identity throughout the season.
We have been saying it was win at all costs, but the pressure we put on ourselves was ultimately too much.
Congratulations to the #LCS teams going to worlds. pic.twitter.com/18IGLCUfCa
— Team Liquid Honda LoL (@TeamLiquidLoL) September 5, 2022
“Had I had the presence of mind to just be the team we were meant to be, Hans Sama carries, I’m on weak side, we don’t waste our time in spring I think that would have gone a long way,” Bwipo said. “Had I just been honest in what I saw and what I wanted to do.”
Bwipo listed out various examples of how super teams should function. Back with G2 Esports when they assembled their super team with caPs and Perkz, Bwipo explained that while the team had stars in every role, the main carries were almost always caPs and Perkz. He mentioned that anyone could have a standout game but “when sh**t hit the fan” those were the players G2 relied on. Bwipo said that sticking to this style is the number one thing that makes teams good.
“Let’s say 70% of the time you’re playing a tank top lane, at some point you’re going to get really good at finding ways to impact the game even when your game’s f***,” Bwipo said. “If you’re always put in a position to carry, you’re going to experience the same situation many times throughout a year and you’re gonna start getting creative on how to pull back games.”
Bwipo mentioned that although TL couldn’t meet their expectations, this season has been painful, but good learning experience since he now has a clearer vision on how he would like teams to play heading into the future.
“I want to establish with my team in the coming years to build trust with each other like this is who we are from the start, this is what we commit to,” Bwipo said. “We’re not going to be a super team that’s playing every style because you can’t keep up with other teams that are doing the same thing week after week.”
Added Bwipo: “It’s a tale as old as time, a master of one craft will always be better than a jack of all trades.”
As for running it back with this particular super team, it’s out of Bwipo’s hands. He recognizes that the team might not have an opportunity to make things right as the organization is going to be forced to critically think about the future in the coming weeks and months. Bwipo doesn’t even know if he will be playing with TL next year. But no matter what happens, Bwipo is grateful for the opportunity he was given this year.
“All I want is the best for the team I’m on and I’m very grateful for Team Liquid for giving me the opportunity to be here and play,” Bwipo said. “I genuinely feel like they did everything they could to make this team succeed.”