Welsh League of Legends player Barney ‘Alphari’ Morris is back in the Team Liquid first team – and returned in emphatic fashion.
He started in Liquid’s match versus Dignitas in the North American LCS today and went 3/1/8 in the top-lane as Gangplank, helping his side win 12-8 at just past the half-hour mark.
Alphari was benched in early June ‘for performance and attitude reasons, which were concerns that started during the practice leading to Summer Split’, Team Liquid said, and that the issues ‘revolve around private reasons involving his personal life’. There was also said to be disagreements between him and coach Jatt, who resigned from Team Liquid in late June.
Jenkins was called up to replace Alphari in the top-lane after the Welshman was benched, but now he’s back.
After the win versus Dignitas today, Alphari said: “There was some changes made in the coaching staff and interim head coach Jonas ‘Kold’ Andersen decided now was the right time [for me to come back]. I took some time off, some of it reluctantly, but in the end I think it was good for me. I had some time to reflect. And I’m working with Jenkins a lot now back at the office.
“So it was the right week to return, I suppose. And playing against Dignitas, [Liquid] wanted me to win, it would’ve been a disaster for me to come back and lose my first game [back], so putting me against Dignitas meant I could do it.
“Up until the last few weeks, I didn’t know what was going on and wasn’t interacting much with the team. It was very peculiar for everyone involved. I feel ready now, I feel confident, the plan is to win the split and do well at Worlds. We have to get to playoffs, and all the other good teams are gonna lose.”
Alphari also joked further, saying him and mid-laner Jensen [aka J Money] are working on a mix-tape.
Before Jatt left Liquid, he said the decision to bench Alphari “wasn’t a spur of the moment decision, it was something that was made with a lot of care over the last month”.
Alphari made fun of this comment about his benching in a tweet, saying his choice to order Chipotle fast food ‘wasn’t spur of the moment’, but ‘calculated a month in advance’.
Team Liquid recently published a light-hearted video of Alphari saying he was wrong to pick Chipotle, and that he should have eaten a sandwich from Jersey Mike’s, Liquid sponsor.
Team Liquid face Immortals and Golden Guardians in their remaining LCS matches this weekend.
For more insight into the team set up at the moment, Travis Gafford interviewed interim head coach Kold here.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.