Team Liquid have the best early game in North America, hands down.
Their early-game rating (EGR) of 70.7 means that they hit the 15:00 mark their games with an average win probability of 70.7%, the highest EGR among the major regions. That’s a clear improvement over Liquid’s spring regular season mark of 56.3, though with a smaller sample size, of course.
Liquid aren’t earning these leads by farming: their early lane and jungle control has actually been decidedly average. But Liquid are executing as a team and making intentional plays, which is far more valuable than mechanical laning advantages. When you take Liquid’s ~50% control of the early minions and monsters and then add an average of +1.4 kills, +0.3 towers, and +0.7 dragons, you get a team that is firmly in control as it enters the mid game.
Xmithie’s 63% First Blood rate (FB in 5 of 8 games) is definitely worth pointing out here.
Golden Guardians represent an interesting comparison point, since they have some of the highest early lane and jungle control in the league (51.7% for both) but just 54.0 EGR and +360 GD15. They’re giving up early kill deficits and going even on dragons, despite doing well in the lanes and knocking down some early towers. GGS are grabbing dragons later; in fact, they’re tied with Liquid to lead the LCS in overall drake control at 66%. Some extra priority on getting those drakes earlier in the game might be beneficial, though.