North America is officially out of the 2019 League of Legends World Championship after Team Liquid was defeated by defending champions Invictus Gaming.
Drawn in Group D alongside Korean outfit Damwon Gaming, Chinese franchise Invictus, and ahq e-Sports Club of Taiwan, Team Liquid was the last North American team remaining in the group stage following the eliminations of Clutch Gaming and Cloud 9 earlier in the week. Liquid failed to show any sort of form, however, tieing 1–1 with Damon before a damaging 2–0 loss to Invictus. Victory over ahq e-Sports wasn’t enough to salvage Liquid’s pursuit of the World Championship in Berlin.
Elimination at the group stage marks the fourth year in a row that Team Liquid’s star AD carry, Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, has fallen short of the quarter-final stage at the final hurdle. Despite Liquid defeating Invictus at the semi-final stage of the Mid-Season Invitational earlier this year, this year ultimately marks one of failure for a player of Doublelift’s caliber.
Doublelift himself was quick to stave off any criticism of his teammates after top-laner Jeong “Impact” Eon-yeong and mid-laner Nicolaj Jensen were the target of fan fury. In a video posted to Twitter last night, Doublelift said, “I feel like Jensen and Impact get a huge proportion of the blame, but I f**ing hate that and I feel like it’s really destructive for a team. When I was on TSM (Team Solo Mid), I wish my teammates stood up for me. So I feel like I should stand up for my teammates when they get unfairly blamed and just say we all f***ed up a lot in many games.” The quarterfinals of the World Championship will commence without Team Liquid from October 26.
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