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Team Liquid bench Alphari following LCS opening loss

Team Liquid bench Alphari following LCS opening loss

British toplaner Barney "Alphari" Morris has been replaced by academy player Thomas "Jenkins" Tran after Liquid's LCS Summer Split opening day loss to TSM.

Team Liquid bench Alphari following LCS opening loss

Alphari's first game of the North American League of Legends wasn't bad by all means, but now Team Liquid have decided to bench the toplaner, at least for the rest of the weekend.

The toplaner went 2-3-9 on Lee Sin, but ultimately his team fell to TSM in a 44-minute encounter. Following the loss, head coach Joshua "Jatt" Leesman posted a video to social media explaining the decision.

Describing the investment Team Liquid had made in academy player Jenkins over the last three years, including taking him to Worlds as a substitute, Jatt went on to explain that the young star deserved his shot at the LCS.

"As for the details, that I'm sure a bunch of people are looking for, unfortunately there's just a lot of context that's really hard to understand from the outside -- and I think it's unfortunately unfair to share publicly."

"What I will say is that this is not a decision that is made flippantly or lightly, and it is a decision we think is in the best interests of the team."

Former Liquid star Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng - along with several others on social media - suggested internal issues were the reason for Alphari's benching. LCS caster Isaac "Azael" Cummings-Bentley echoed the theory, while highlighting Alphari being named 1st team All-Pro and 2nd in MVP voting for Spring.

Just a few days ago Jatt appeared to sing the praises of Alphari in an interview with Inven Global, saying the toplaner was one of the best he'd ever seen in the laning phase and that he'd played well in the Mid-Season Showdown final loss to Cloud9.

This isn't the first surprising move to come out of the LCS this split, with Cloud9 choosing to bench European ADC Jesper "Zven" Svenningsen.

With the loss, Team Liquid lie fourth in the table with a 12-7 record - as Spring results carry over this season - tied with Dignitas and just one game behind Cloud9 and TSM.

Cloud9 demote Zven for upcoming LCS Summer Split

The North American organization is promoting Calvin "K1ng" Truong to its LCS starting lineup from C9's Academy team, while Head Coach

Header image: Riot Games

David Duffy
David W. Duffy

Editor in Chief, MGG EN | Repatriated Geordie, former teacher, grammarian. Editor of many things for a decade and a half, most of which you've probably never heard of.

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