Team Liquid Academy has replaced four of its starting members with three familiar faces to those who follow the Challenger scene, and one former League Championship Series player. It's new members include three members of the defunct Team Ember squad, top laner Colin "Solo" Earnest, mid laner Greyson "Goldenglue" Gilmer, and support William "Stunt" Chen. Rounding out the squad is former NRG Esports jungler Galen "Moon" Holgate.
The team only retained starting AD carry Jovani "fabbbyyy" Guillen, who has recently been praised as one of the best mechanical up-and-comers in North America.
"I chose to assemble this roster because of their cohesion, great deal of experience, and their drive to win," Team Liquid assistant coach David Lim told ESPN. "A lot of these players are driven to succeed and it shows. I have no doubts these players all have something to prove and Team Liquid will be a great platform for them to display that."
The team recently parted ways with three of its previous lineup. First it split with mid laner Jung "Youngbin" Young-bin on April 21, followed by jungler Matthew "Akaadian" Higginbotham a day later. Finally, the team replaced Andy "Smoothie" Ta, who was signed on in October 2015 to start on its main squad, but later replaced with Matthew "Matt" Elento.
The signings of Solo, Goldenglue and Stunt come just over a month after those players were dropped from Team Ember following an investor backout from the team's parent organization, as reported by the Daily Dot. That prompted each player to seek out new opportunities, with Goldenglue and Stunt quickly finding their place in Team Liquid Academy. Solo, however, originally linked up with Cloud9's Challenger team, but has instead signed with Team Liquid Academy.
Unlike his new teammates, Moon was replaced on NRG Esports by former Team Huma and Team Ember jungler Lucas "Santorin" Tao Kilmer Larsen. Once notified, Moon and NRG sought out a new home for his talent. He signed with Team Liquid Academy on April 30.
The new Team Liquid Academy squad will compete in the upcoming Challenger Series summer split versus the likes of Team Nova, Team Dragon Knights and Apex Gaming's second team, which has reportedly purchased Team Dignitas's Challenger spot. The remaining two teams of that series will be determined in a qualifier, which will pit Cloud9 Challenger against Destined for Glory, and Dream Team versus NA Players.