A decision about Team Liquid’s AD Carry position is expected to be made soon between Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin and Jovani “fabbbyyy” Guillen.
In interviews with fabbbyyy, jungler Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett and coach Choi “Locodoco” Yoon-sub over the weekend, nobody said explicitly who will start going forward in the North American League Championship Series, but it would not be surprising to see fabbbyyy remain in the starting role.
“In a bit there is a roster lock,” Loco said after Friday’s 2-0 win against Apex. “If you play nine sets of matches in the LCS, it makes it really hard for you to play in Challenger. So we will have a final decision pretty soon.”
Fabbbyyy started Weeks 3 and 4 of the LCS as Liquid has continued to try and find its footing in the summer split, as it sits in fifth place at 4-4. In the meantime, Piglet has been playing with Team Liquid Academy, which is in second place in the North American Challenger Series.
Piglet has been a part of Team Liquid since the spring 2015 split and came over as a world champion from SK Telecom T1 in his native Korea. But Fabbbyyy said Piglet might be suffering from burnout, which might have caused the change in the first place.
“We’re pretty much trying to get Piglet a break because he’s burned out from the game for now, from what I understand,” Fabbbyyy said Saturday.
Piglet also appears to butt heads with Dardoch, the team’s at times fiery jungler. Dardoch said he and Piglet are close friends away from the game but do sometimes clash.
“Piglet is nearing the end of his career, and you can tell he’s pretty tired of playing competitively and trying so hard 100 percent of the time,” Dardoch said. “I think Piglet has a really good fit on the Challenger team because every person and the coach respects him. That’s a good environment for him because there’s no clash.
“I have really strong opinions. Piglet has really strong opinions. Loco does too. If we disagree on something, it turns into a clash, and it takes a while for that issue to get solved.”
Dardoch also said Piglet is enjoying his time on the Challenger team, where he garners universal respect and also has a bit less of a burden, which might help alleviate any possible burnout. Piglet did say last week, though, that he still has the passion to be a pro gamer.
One of the biggest challenges for Loco has been getting Liquid to be a cohesive group, he said. If Piglet were to play on the Challenger team, there would be one fewer dominant voice — albeit a talented one — in the mix.
“I think Fenix, Dardoch and Piglet are incredibly strong players mechanically and individually, and usually players that are really strong mechanically and individually and have game knowledge, they’ll be really stubborn on their part,” Loco said. “So it’s just getting all the pieces to fit together in a good way and thinking about what’s the most optimal roster to play game-wise, synergy-wise, chemistry-wise. It’s a lot of work, and we’re trying a lot of things.”
Dardoch has endured criticism of his own during the summer split, as the reigning Rookie of the Split was suspended for two weeks between splits and was shopped to other teams for a potential transfer. Alas, as Liquid progresses through the summer split, it has plenty to figure out, though it appears a decision is on the horizon.
“We’re gonna make the decision after this week, so I think we’re gonna have a lot of team talks,” Dardoch said. “But I think it’s probably the better choice to keep fabbbyyy on. Piglet is much happier on TLA, so this way it’s beneficial for both. The Challenger team gets an upgrade and a team leader and someone they can rely on, and they can probably get into LCS really easily. We have a slight downgrade, but in time it’ll be an upgrade.”
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games.