Team Liquid have announced on June 4 that they were benching top laner Barney "Alphari" Morris for the remainder of the summer split's first week. Head coach Joshua "Jatt" Leesman addressed the community on Twitter, noting that the decision was "not made lightly."
Weekend Roster Update: pic.twitter.com/X1S5KEiBRt— Team Liquid LoL (@TeamLiquidLoL) June 5, 2021
The decision comes after Team Liquid's loss against direct competitors TSM on the first game of the summer split. During the game, the top laner's performance was out of sorts near the end as his macro movements and team fight decisions were debatable, contributing but not being the main reason for TL's loss.
The North American franchise has decided to start academy top laner Thomas "Jenkins" Tran, a player who has been part of the organization since 2019 and who has been to the World Championship as a substitute in 2020.
Jenkins' skill in the academy team has been proven, but his entry to the LCS will provide a significant jump in difficulty. Although the top laner's proficiency on tanks and carries alike mirrors that of Alphari, and although the same macro concepts are taught across the organization's League of Legends teams, his lack of experience—especially against stronger competitors—may turn him into a liability.