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Scott Kostov | 20. September 2022

What does the future hold for Hans Sama?

As we inch closer to the World Championship, some teams have already started preparing for 2023.

Officially, the League of Legends offseason doesn’t start until November. But what’s stopping teams that have failed to qualify for the international competitions from making moves? Without the Play-In tournament that was implemented this season for the first time, LCS teams that don’t play internationally have around 30 weeks of spare time.

Roster shuffles were expected in Team Liquid

With all this time on their hands, it only made sense that Team Liquid made some moves. This iteration of the roster came into the 2022 season with reasonably high expectations. And yet, despite the weight of the names rocking the jerseys, they just fell flat. A third and fourth place finish in the spring and summer splits is unacceptable for a roster worth over eight digits. And their co-owner and co-CEO Steve Arhancet, made that abundantly clear, in a video statement released last week. We have an entire article breaking down the situation, and predicting the outcome of the roster challenges Team Liquid is facing. And today, it seems the second domino fell.

Hans Sama leaving Team Liquid

Less than a week after reports came out that the entire Team Liquid coaching staff has been let go, the team announced that they are parting ways with bot laner Steven “Hans sama” Liv. The French native moved into the starting ADC position for Team Liquid after his rights were sold to them by Rogue the previous offseason.  The announcement video mentioned an important topic: interested teams would not have to pay a buyout to acquire Steven’s services. This makes the transition easier for both sides and gives Hans Sama his first opportunity to test the free agency waters. Kudos to Team Liquid for starting a quick transition, despite leaving money on the table by making Hans Sama available for free. In the video, Hans also mentioned that he will be moving back to France in the immediate future, before heading to Korea for the offseason grind. Korean Solo Queue would serve as the best preparation heading into next season, ideally after the Eastern teams return from Worlds in the USA. 

Where does Hans Sama play in 2023

The following weeks will show us how the market for Hans Sama will shape up. The French prodigy has a highly coveted commodity going into 2022 but this year hurt his reputation. Many Team Liquid members mentioned that the performance of the team was hurt by the constant variance of playstyle. These comments fuel hope that 2022 was an off year for Hans Sama and that a change of scenery in 2023 should help him regain his form. Apart from maybe mechanical prowess, the things that made Hans Sama elite in Europe don’t erode in a year.  French fans hope Karmine Corp and Vitality will be a part of the race, with different incentives behind the acquisition. 2022 will be a big stain on his career considering Rogue finally got over the hump and became LEC champions after he left. For Team Liquid everything is up in the air. The organization is undoubtedly looking to form a competitive roster, that should get some reps in against high-quality scrim partners coming to Champions Queue in North America for Worlds. 

Header: Twitter/ Team Liquid