It’s been a whirlwind few weeks for Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett, the teenage jungling prodigy for Team Liquid.
Dardoch was suspended for two weeks during the team’s boot camp in Korea and owner Steve Arhancet wrote he was open to transferring the reigning Rookie of the Split for the North American League Championship Series.
After sitting out Liquid’s first match of the summer split, he returned to the starting lineup last Sunday and will remain with Liquid for the rest of the split.
Following a 2-1 loss to Counter Logic Gaming on Saturday, Dardoch opened up about the suspension and his return to the starting lineup.
“I just had to be more mature about everything,” Dardoch said. “The suspension stemmed from problems I had with the team, and I just didn’t vocalize it to the org well. The problems showed up, and instead of telling the org and getting them solved, I just made a problem of it just by being a problem myself. It just turned really bad.”
Dardoch said the entire problem was internal, and he ultimately remained on Team Liquid because it wouldn’t have gotten any better by simply moving to another team. He needed to change.
The path back to the LCS roster included a lengthy talk with Liquid coach Choi ‘Locodoco” Yoon-sub, and Dardoch said the rest of the team welcomed him back quickly.
“When the suspension came out, and Big Steve (Arhancet) stated he was open to transfers, that wasn’t bullshit,” Dardoch said. “We were in talks with several teams, and I said no to all the offers to stay on TL. I owed it to Big Steve. I owed it to the rest of the teammates and coaching staff to put my best foot forward and just try and make it work.”
Liquid has yet to regain its momentum from the spring split that resulted in a fourth place finish. Dardoch played with Team Liquid Academy until Thursday of Week 1, which made for a difficult time getting ready for Sunday’s match against Team SoloMid, a 2-0 loss.
After a strong performance from Dardoch led to Liquid taking the first game from CLG on Saturday, the defending North American champions rebounded.
“We had a real bad draft Game 2,” Dardoch said. “Graves/Kindred is a very Kindred-sided matchup, so from the beginning it was really hard for me to play that matchup, especially with losing lanes. Game 3, Elise (beats) Kindred early game, and then toward mid game when you buy a few items, it becomes a lot easier for Kindred. But by the time that happened, it was done already.”
At 0-3, there’s still plenty of time for Liquid to turn around the split, and with a refocused Dardoch, perhaps it will start soon.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games.