On July 28th, Epitacio 'TACO' de Melo became the 4th Team Liquid player across CSGO and LoL in the last year to learn of the death of one of their parents. The unfortunate six month span started with the tragic murder of the mother of their League of Legends ADC, Yiliang 'Doublelift' Peng.
Doublelift announced in a Twitlonger, written on April 2nd, that he had received the news over the weekend that his brother had attacked both of his parents with a knife resulting in the death of his mother and his father in the hospital in critical condition.
Team Liquid had to play a best of five NA LCS Spring Split semifinals match against Echo Fox that same day, which they won 3-1 with some outstanding performances from Doublelift, who over 4 games, only died twice.
After he released his statement on Twitter on the 2nd, Team Liquid then had to turn around on the 8th and play another best of five in the Grand Finals against 100 Thieves. The team swept three straight games to take the Finals and become North American champion. Doublelift again showed up big for the team through all three games, only dying once, while thoroughly handling his lane opponents.
Later that month, on the 22nd, Counter-Strike player Lucas 'steel' Lopes announced the passing of his mother on Instagram. He had taken a leave of absence from the team in early April, being replaced by TACO, so he could spend time with his mother who had been fighting cancer off and on for some time.
The blows continued to come fast, less than two weeks later on May 4th, former Team Liquid Counter-Strike player and streamer(now with Dignitas) Jacob 'Pimp' Winneche sent out a tweet revealing that his father had passed away in his sleep the day before. While not unexpected, it was yet another loss for the Team Liquid family to endure.
Finally, and most recently, Counter-Strike player Epitacio 'TACO' de Melo was told of his father's passing the morning of July 28th, only hours before he was to play in the semifinals of ELEAGUE Premier 2018, a million dollar prize pool tournament, against Natus Vincere, one of the top two teams in the world at the time. They swept the best of 3 in two games, and in the second game, TACO showed his mettle with some inspired play. The next day was the Grand Final against the best team in the world, Astralis, in a best of 3. Unfortunately for Liquid, Astralis was their biggest rivals, and kryptonite for the year. They couldn't keep the magic going, falling in two straight games.
While Team Liquid has accomplished a lot over the course of the year, many fans should remember the play of these players when they were at their lowest emotional points, and the strength that they showed to continue playing. That strength has done a great job of endearing this organization to esports fans of many different nationalities and gaming backgrounds. We can only hope that the organization has a 2019 filled with more celebration, and less heartbreak.