In 2017, former world champion and meta-defining jungler Choi "DanDy" In-kyu ran into a high-elo player he hadn’t encountered before. That wasn’t unusual, given Worlds would soon begin and plenty of players were boot-camping in Korea or at least practicing on the server. What was unusual was that this player was so good DanDy felt certain he had to be Korean - a local talent DanDy somehow hadn’t heard of.
Reaching out to analyst Nick “LS” De Cesare, DanDy learned that this was no Korean. This was a 17 year old from the United Kingdom. It was Barney “Alphari” Morris who, at the time, was the top laner for the Misfits team that would nearly upset SKT in quarterfinals. In the future, he’d be the most lane-dominant top in the entire west, headed to Team Liquid for the 2021 Spring Split.
Alphari is now the newest member of an already stacked Team Liquid lineup. The recently ascendant super team scouted him for that incredible lane dominance, seeking the final piece that could turn TL into a lane kingdom juggernaut capable of winning from any position on the map.
Even still, his time in Origen and on so many powerful rosters made it clear to him that there are no givens in League of Legends. More importantly, he’s found his own style and vision for the game, centered around “taking:” Taking advantage of mistakes, taking leads from those advantages, and ultimately taking away any chance the opponent has of victory.
With Alphari coming to Team Liquid, we are seeing the arrival not just of one of the West’s best laners but of one of the West’s smartest players and sharpest talents. Over his 8 splits in Europe, he has set the bar for the region’s top lane over many different metas, with many different teammates, and in many different scenarios.
As a competitor, he is young, shrewd, level-headed, and already incredibly successful. Now, he’s joining perhaps the most talented lineup he’s ever been a part of - a lineup that can enable him to carry and DPS or to tank and create space on the map. In 2017, DanDy mistook Alphari for a young LCK talent and LS had to introduce him. In 2020, Alphari needs no introduction.