Andy "Smoothie" Ta has officially joined Team Liquid as the starting support player for the upcoming 2016 North American LCS Spring Split. In a humorous video announcement, Team Liquid revealed their selection of the rookie support player to replace Alex "Xpecial" Chu, who was removed from the roster in late September.
Smoothie began his competitive career as part of Team Dragon Knights, who qualified for the 2015 NA LCS Summer Split by topping Winterfox 3-1 in the Promotion Series. However, due to visa issues which left the roster in shambles, TDK was auto-relegated from the LCS after finishing the summer in last place with a record of 3-15.
"What I bring to Team Liquid is a very skilled mechanical player," Smoothie said as part of the video. "I'm most looking forward to playing with experienced veterans who can teach me a lot about the game and help me improve as a player."
Smoothie had a solid rookie season despite TDK's poor result. He ended the season with a 2.31 KDA and found most of his success on aggressive supports like Thresh, Nautilus and Alistar.
After a strong Summer Split that saw them take first overall in the regular season with a record of 13-5, Liquid finished the playoffs in a disappointing third place after losing to rival Team SoloMid in the semifinals. Qualifying for the NA Regional Finals through Championship Points, Liquid once again failed to meet expectations and missed their shot at the 2015 World Championship after falling 3-1 at the hands of Cloud9.
Smoothie will have big shoes to fill by taking over for Xpecial, but it is clear Team Liquid is hoping his new blood will help spark better results in 2016.
Nic Doucet is a News Editor for theScore eSports. His favorite smoothie? Strawberry peanut butter. You can follow him on Twitter.