You’ve been on Liquid for almost a year now. How do you think you’ve adapted to the team and its environment?
Yeah, I’ve been on the team for about a year now and I would say it’s coming along for me. It’s been kind of a little rough year for me, I would say. This year, we’ve had so many changes and different environments within the team… I would love to go further into certain things have affected me… but I’d prefer to leave some stuff out. Other than that though, I feel like right now, we have the best environment we’ve ever had for the team, since I’ve joined. I think it’s just gonna get better from now on, as I look forward. I think… I really do believe this squad is going to step it up and bring it to the next level.
Recently, the NA scene underwent another series of shuffles (Slemmy to coL, Selfless disbanding, devodudek to Misfits, Splyce rebuilding, Stanislaw leaving OpTic). What teams have really impressed you with their new roster?
With all the NA shuffle, I think our team definitely got the best out of it. I really value stan – he hates being called Stan, so I guess I’ll call him Peter – he’s such a great IGL and leader. He brings such a good environment to the team. I think that was probably the best move out of the whole NA shuffle. Right now, I don’t there’s any otherroster moves that have intrigued me, or made me think that that team is gonna get even bigger. I’m still wondering what OpTic is gonna do with their fifth – whether or not they’re going to stay with JasonR, or if they’re gonna find someone else. They’re at Sydnet right now, so we’ll see how they do with HazeD, who’s stepping in. But yeah, as for the NA Shuffle, I think we had the best moves, for sure.
On the subject of transfers, Liquid picked up Twistzz two weeks ago. What attracted the team to him and how has the transition been so far?
Picking up Twistzz was a huge move for us, speaking of roster moves. He is such a young, talented player. He’s so skilled! Watching him play is just like… Zews even brought this up with me, he reminds him of a young Coldzera, with the potential that he has. I think he definitely needs guidance and role models, you know he’s young, he’s 17. I think he’s gonna be really, really good. If he can stay positive and keep a good mindset, like I said, he’s going to evolve into one of the best players in the world.
Coming off of cs_summit, how did you feel about the double elimination format? Would you like to see it utilized by more organizers in the future?
Ummm… After cs_summit, I don’t really know too much how I feel about double elimination. It’s just kind of like whatever. We’ve been through Swiss format, we’ve been through this, all of it to me is pretty much the same, I guess. I do like the fact that we played best of threes. I like playing Bo3s more, but Swiss formats are just Bo1s. That just becomes a little bit annoying, maybe you get caught off on one of your weaker maps or something. Even though, yeah, it’s not supposed to be like that, because you’re supposed to be banning maps that you’re weaker on, still it’s just all just for one map. Anything can happen on one map. Maybe you’re not warmed up or you made mistakes, and you can’t fix those and work on the next map. That’s it. But yeah, I do like Bo3s better, so double elimination definitely helped that way.
With Stanislaw at the helm, and zews as the new coach, how has the mindset of the team changed during matches?
During matches, like I said, since we got Peter, our environment has been so much better. Zews helps a lot too, zews is just like… he’s a good friend of mine, but he also just does so much for the team, mentally, he helps prepare us for the games, he gets us hyped, he keeps us in it when we’re out of it. I think that’s something that I really thrive on too, is that I try to keep a positive environment. So when the team is losing or whatever, just keep reminding our teammates that we’re still in it, that anything can happen. I think this squad is the best environment that we’ve ever had.
Has bringing on Zews changed how you prepare for tournaments?
Since we’ve had Zews, preparing for tournaments has been different with him. We’ve really focused a lot on trying to criticize each other in the right way and just talking about stuff, like our problems and mistakes. I think that’s something that players really need to allow and Zews is strong about this, because this is what SK does. He used to do the SK environment and what they did, with preparing and all of that. If you can never talk about your mistakes or what needs to be fixed with one another, it’s just not going to be a healthy environment and you’re not going to improve. Mistakes are still going to happen. That’s something that we started getting done a lot more. You know we just come together, watch demos, our matches, and talk about “Oh yeah, you shouldn’t be doing this, you should be doing that” or things that we should be doing, adapting, reacting to different scenarios. It’s… it’s coming along. It’s a little rough sometimes. Obviously, people aren’t gonna agree on certain things, but that’s the whole point of talking about it and talking it over, is making sure you stay levelheaded and let it go. Don’t take it personally, everyone is trying to improve as a team. That’s the goal.
As the summer approaches, LANs are going to be happening more and more frequently. How are you and the team preparing for this rushed schedule? Do you plan to skip tournaments to ensure that you’ll be well rested and playing at 100% at every event, or are you going to try to attend as many events as possible?
This summer is packed with a lot of tournaments, yeah. I think our plan is to … I think the next tournament for us is Pro League, which – knock on wood – we should be making. We just need to win one more. So I think that’s the end of May… And then from the end of May until September, it’s just going to be tournaments after tournaments. I don’t think we’re going to skip any, it’s just going to be practice. Obviously, we want to try our best at each event, so it’s just making ourselves comfortable at each event as this five. We’re just gonna get more reps against the best teams in the world. We’re not gonna skip anything because we’re just looking forward to every event. Every event is big and means a lot.
What are the team’s goals for the rest of the year?
Team’s goals for the rest of the year would probably have to be… First you have to start with small goals. You can’t just set that big goal and make that what you want to do, you have to improve over time. Right now, it’s just that we have these little goals. One is that we need to develop a larger map pool. Maybe another goal would be to develop two or three really strong maps that we can always go to and that’s going to be our go to map where we can get a win. Especially in a Bo3, where we know that that’s going to be in it. Right now, we’ve only been practicing with Russ – Twistzz – for two weeks, so now that we finally have our five, we can start to work on things and go from there.