shox departs Liquid for Apeks
It was officially announced today that Richard "shox" Papillion has departed Liquid for Apeks by signing a one-year deal. His time on the Liquid active roster lasted only six months, with the player noting that he asked to step down after several complications related to family and travel as being part of a North American team.
Throughout shox's public statement, he reiterated that he felt burnt out and that the quality of training in North America was only hurting the team, not helping. With his family remaining in France, the combination of working for an American org while trying to travel constantly back and forth was simply too much for him to bear.
While it is an easy narrative to assign blame to shox for Liquid's underperformance in the first half of the year, it is only one piece of a puzzle in a lineup that cratered in Antwerp after showing promise earlier in the year. During the Legends Stage, Keith "NAF" Markovic seemed to be the only player firing on all cylinders while Liquid's crown jewel, Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski, had his worst-rated event in nearly five years.
Along with the stats line being abysmal, Liquid's coach, Eric "adreN" Hoag, painted a picture of a dysfunctional team that needed to "go back to the drawing board before Dallas" in an interview with Dust2.us. Somewhat ironically, adreN was one of the pieces that Liquid parted ways with before IEM Cologne in an effort to revamp the squad. Regardless of your opinion of the Frenchman, this will go down as an expensive blunder for Liquid after acquiring shox from Vitality at the end of 2021.