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Origin Stories – TL Tactical

The 2020 League of Legends World Championship is starting soon and with such a tumultuous time for competitive League of Legends, expectations only continue to grow for each national representative. There’s a lot of fresh blood this year, with fifty-one players entering the international stage for the first time. Throughout the event, we’ll be looking at some of the new names joining the list of prestigious players and their road to this year’s World Championship. This week we have the North American amateur scene poster boy, Team Liquid’s very own Edward “Tactical” Ra.

As the North American third seed at the World Championship, Team Liquid seeks to continue building on their international success. New players have galloped into the stable to help claim victory, with Broxah joining after some visa delays and Tactical quickly rose through NA Academy to the LCS and now international stage. Tactical’s story is intrinsically tied to the North American amateur scene, coming from one of the most well-known organizations for the region. During his time, Tactical took part in Supernova rosters that garnered massive success in just the last six months of 2018.

Supernova’s marksman becomes a rising star in his first year

“Tactical would beat himself up over the results of entire matches even if they were out of his control. He would find a reason every time that he could’ve done better and possibly changed the result of the game. At the same time Tactical balanced a ton, his family works very hard and he always held a respect to them for that. Tactical made sure to always give 110% and as a team owner and friend I’m so proud to really see him take off.”

Tyler Combz, CEO of Supernova

Tactical grew into a highly praised player in the amateur scene: a consistent, homegrown marksman who has the mechanics to match and is one of the best North America has to offer. Each time he has risen to a new stage of competition, Tactical has been matched with a great support that can supplement his laning phase. Clyde on Supernova, Treatz on Team Solomid Academy, CoreJJ now – all players who are known for dominant laning phases. He left everyone asking the same question: when will Tactical play in NA Academy? The 2018 Scouting Grounds boasted names that would permeate through LCS Academy, and Tactical’s was no different; signing soon after with TSM Academy. Cloud 9’s current support Vulcan worked with the Mountain Division and had this to say about the Infernal Division ADC:

“Actually, I played some scrims recently with Tactical, and I think he is probably the best ADC coming to Scouting Grounds. His communication is very good for a rookie because he hasn’t played any what I would call “real competitive matches” or anything like that. So yeah, he was really good at communication. His laning phase was pretty good and mechanically he is very good as well. So he is probably the best ADC.” 

Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme, about Tactical’s prospects during Scouting Grounds
A patient Killer Instinct from Tactical turns the game in his favor

After 2019 Summer, Tactical signed with Team Liquid Academy. A sixth place finish in NA Academy was hard to swallow but Tactical still received stage time in the form of three matches. At the time, Doublelift was benched for motivation leaving the four-time LCS Champion squad that could barely scrape together a single win each week on stage. In each of the three matches, Tactical not only impressed those on the broadcast, but all the viewers watching CoreJJ’s pupil from home as well. With a non-salvageable 9th place in LCS Spring 2020, Tactical and the squad needed more than Liquid courage to stay banded together. Starting fresh in Summer 2020, Team Liquid rallied behind their rookie ADC who led them back to a first place finish in the regular season. Garnering a spot on the second All-Pro team as well as the Rookie of the Year, Tactical is coming into Worlds as the strongest mechanical marksman from NA.

In his first LCS playoffs, Tactical single-handedly brings his team to game five

We’ve seen the development of North American grassroots talent improve more and more over the years – you only need to take a look at C9’s focus on rookie talent and the success of the 100 Thieves Next lineup. Semi-professional organizations like Challengers Uprising continue to showcase the up-and-coming talent to NA Academy and the LCS stage. Tactical is no exception and if there is anything we’ve learned from his career, this year’s World Championship will be the first of many for this promising rookie.

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