Team Liquid will field a six-man roster after Barney “Alphari” Morris returns from his leave of absence, the organizations Co-CEO and Co-owner Steve Arhancet said in a press conference about the team’s recent decisions. The organization announced on June 11 that Alphari would move to the bench and Academy top laner Thomas “Jenkins” Tran would replace him on the starting roster.
LCS Roster Update: pic.twitter.com/laPeqhY5Ud
— Team Liquid LoL (@TeamLiquidLoL) June 11, 2021
The team stated that Alphari’s leave of absence was for performance and attitude issues. Arhancet also highlighted another reason as unspecified personal issues that the player has been going through. The European player was set to return on June 27. Now, Arhancet shared that this date is when the team will evaluate whether Alphari is ready to return.
“It’s not going to be a unilateral decision down from myself, or the coaching staff,” Arhancet said. “It will be a group decision. We will basically go into a room and we’ll talk about this, and it will all come to what we think is best for our chances to win. And we’ll discuss that as a group. But, that won’t happen until the 27th.”
Team Liquid’s potential six-man roster
Team Liquid currently have three top laners under contract: Alphari, Jenkins and former Immortals starter Niship “Dhokla” Doshi. The organization’s General Manager Jun Kang said that Dhokla will remain in Academy, as they will potentially utilize both Jenkins and Alphari once he makes his return.
“We are confident in rostering a six man roster,” Kang said, “and basically getting the full potential of both players because I think both players have good strength, and I think we can utilize them to our advantage.”
But there is no set date for Alphari’s return. According to Arhancet, bringing him back on the team could mean a few things.
“The decision on how Barney comes back to the team in some manner — whether that’s coming to the office participating in scrims partly or fully, competing in LCS…all of those — while unsatisfying for this group and our fans, we don’t have the answer on that,” Arhancet said.
For the upcoming week of the League of Legends Championship Series, Jenkins will remain the team’s starting top laner. Fans will have to wait for Week 5 for any news on Alphari’s return to the team.