Team Liquid Honda just pulled off a reverse sweep to advance in the top 8 playoffs. At the beginning of the year, the expectation for this super team was being able to do this at Worlds 2022. Instead, TL just pulled this off in the lower bracket of the 2022 League of Legends Championship Series summer playoffs against Counter Logic Gaming. To say they haven’t met expectations so far in the season would be an understatement; their superstar top laner Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau says he understands the fans’ frustration, but for now, the team is trying to focus on what’s right in front of them.
“I think we can be a lot better, but I’m happy that it’s good enough,” Bwipo said. “It sucks that it’s just that, but ultimately you just have to be better than your competition.”
For the second series in a row, TL fell down two games to none in a best of five series but this time around, they were able to pull off the reverse sweep to move closer to a Worlds 2022 birth. Bwipo mentioned that he doesn’t know exactly why the team are slow starters but had praise for the team being able to adapt when behind.
Trying to find a universe where our team doesn't take two games to warm up before Sunday. pic.twitter.com/NimgYUNdtW
— Team Liquid Honda LoL (@TeamLiquidLoL) September 2, 2022
“Once we recognized the flaws in their play, we just adapted and did a really good job of doing that,” Bwipo said. “They had really apparent weaknesses and we fully committed to punishing those which put us over the edge to give us a reverse sweep.”
Some of those weaknesses they punished were the way Bwipo’s top lane opponent Niship “Dhokla” Doshi was playing his champions. Bwipo pointed out that Dhokla was just running head first into TL during team fights, when he should have been going for flanks. Once TL caught on to those habits, that was when Bwipo felt the series was in their favor.
We've said all split that being on TL means it is win or nothing.
We are staring "nothing" in the face, it's now or never #LetsGoLiquid
— Team Liquid Honda LoL (@TeamLiquidLoL) September 1, 2022
As for Bwipo’s role in particular, his performances on Ornn in Games 3 and 4 alongside his Aatrox in Game 5 were pivotal in TL’s success, although he said it was all thanks to his jungler Lucas “Santorin” Larsen.
“I picked something I was comfortable playing, and made sure that I wasn’t a liability in the game; which [it] almost looked like I was gonna be, but Santorin did me a solid and brought me back.” Bwipo said.
Reverse Sweep? COMPLETE ✅@TeamLiquidLoL eliminate @clgaming to keep their season alive! #LCS | #TLWIN pic.twitter.com/vmvWrxmK9E
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) September 2, 2022
Looking ahead for TL, their journey to Worlds 2022 is not over yet, they still have to win one more series to clinch that spot. They will face the winner between Evil Geniuses and TSM. Both teams Bwipo respects but also both teams Bwipo knows TL is better than.
“I think TSM is pretty solid I think individually their players play well I dont think they are a team to be ignored,” Bwipo said. “Their strongest players are where you want them to be against EG specifically.”
Bwipo mentioned that the reason why is because he believes EG to play best when their mid-laner “Jojopyun” is playing well. Which is something that Bwipo didn’t realize until EG’s match against Cloud9 in the upper bracket. He mentioned that if TSM is able to take Jojopyun out of the game, there is a decent chance for an upset. But regardless, Bwipo is confident his team will get the job done in the end. With that said, Bwipo knows the team is nowhere near its peak and that’s something that is on his mind.
“We are a really stacked team with a lot of talent, and the reality of the situation is [that] we are not by far the best team; in fact, right now we’re not the best team because we [are in the losers bracket],” Bwipo said. “But that doesn’t mean that we can’t win in the future even if the future is in a couple of days.”
Bwipo said that he is putting the work in because just being on a “super team” doesn’t mean things are easy.
“I’m grateful for the team I’m on… I’m really happy, and I try my best to get us wins,” Bwipo said. “A lot of people set expectations that talent equals success, and it’s been proven over and over that’s not necessarily true.”