Team Liquid Academy has a new top laner. Niship "Dhokla" Doshi has been signed by Team Liquid and will make his first start for Team Liquid Academy against FlyQuest today in the 2021 League of Legends Championship Series Academy League Summer Split.
This will mark Dhokla's return to the Academy League for the first time in 2021. After playing for TSM Academy in the 2020 season, Dhokla was let go by the team and played for star-studded amateur team SolaFide Esports before financial issues led to the organization ceasing operations.
Last month, Dhokla was signed by amateur League of Legends team Wildcard Gaming, but due to the benching of Team Liquid top laner Barney "Alphari" Morris and the subsequent promotion of Thomas "Jenkins" Tran from TL Academy to the LCS, Dhokla has been signed out of necessity. Alphari has not been playing for TL Academy, which has led to Jenkins starting for both teams in blue and white for the past week.
According to Team Liquid, Alphari is expected to return to competitive play on Saturday, June 26. The length of Dhokla's contract to play for Team Liquid Academy is currently unknown, as is TL's top lane situation upon Alphari's return.
Dhokla's burst onto the North American competitive scene in 2018 on OpTic Gaming Academy, but after top laner Derek "zig" Shao struggled individually, Dhokla was called up in week 6 of the Spring Split to make his NA LCS debut. Dhokla started for OPT for the rest of the 2018 and 2019 seasons, but after Immortals purchased the franchise spot of OpTic Gaming, Dhokla's contract was not renewed, which led to his joining of TSM Academy before the 2020 season.
Dhokla is not guaranteed a return to the LCS by signing with Team Liquid Academy, especially with both Jenkins and Alphari ahead of him on the depth chart, but after competing in the amateur scene for the entirety of 2021 up until this point, he's one step closer to returning to the LCS for the first time since 2019.