Photo Credit: Esports Matrix
Last week it was announced that Dardoch would not be starting in the Summer Split of the 2016 NA LCS due to personal issues with him. The statement announced by Team Liquid stated that Dardoch had been benched for “insubordination” and other behavior issues, and recent social media messages have revealed that he has had conflicts with Team Liquid’s coach, Locodoco.
Dardoch was the Rookie of the Split last season and was one of the key factors to Team Liquid’s success. His role on the team was the jungler and he used this role to control the game for his team by moving around the map and ganking lanes to help his teammates. It is also worth noting that Dardoch’s style was more of a carry-type jungler rather than a support-type and he played his role extremely well, winning many games single-handedly for his team.
This change is a huge blow to Team Liquid for several reasons. The first is that Dardoch was a huge carry player for the team and was the shot caller throughout the Spring Split. He led his team to a fourth place finish in the 2016 Spring Split and the team genuinely looked like it could be the best team in North America. Another important reason was that Dardoch was a native North American player and therefore did not take up one of the foreign import spots of Team Liquid. In accordance with Riot’s rules, each team is allowed only two foreign players. Having good domestic players to free up other roles for foreign players are a huge deal to LCS teams these days, and with Dardoch being benched, Team Liquid is left with a hard decision. Do they find another North American player who will be a downgrade from Dardoch, or do they use one of their foreign import spots to find a new jungler? Either one results in the team forcing to downgrade one of their roles.
As of now, it looks like Dardoch will not be returning to Liquid’s starting roster anytime soon with the team even looking to transfer him. Liquid have made the stand to value the team over any one individual player, but their good intentions might result in a poor showing in the LCS. What the future holds for Liquid and Dardoch remains to be seen.