Expectations are always sky-high for a team like Liquid. In recent times, the CS:GO roster has struggled, and its recent move out of NA has sparked some criticism. Before the team debuted at ESL Pro League Season 18 Group D with coach daps standing in for Patsi, we spoke with the team’s AWPer, oSee, to get his thoughts on the team’s chances in Malta.
With Patsi missing for the first game at ESL Pro League and potentially beyond, how do you guys adapt on the fly to situations like this?
It’s definitely tough. It makes it easier since we have YEKINDAR who’s played in many different roles, so he can slot in. We can’t really put daps in for Patsi because they have different playstyles. We’re trying to shift daps into YEKINDAR’s roles at the moment, and then YEKINDAR goes back to his old roles. It’s definitely still tough since we’ve been practicing for a couple of weeks with the roles that we had – we only knew about the visa issue about two or three days before we left. Basically, most of our practice was with these roles, but as long as the other players were in their normal roles, performing how they usually do. You know, daps has been a player before, he’s still been with the team and understands how we like to play and our system. I don’t think it’s going to be too bad.
It’s been over a month since you guys were last on LAN. What were the main lessons learned from Gamers8 and IEM Cologne’s Play-In?
One thing that we noticed was that our individual form hasn’t been the best. We’re still a fairly new roster with two new additions. It’s hard to implement two players into a roster that quickly. You saw that in our first couple of games, we were able to beat some really good teams. It shows that we have the potential there but to have a consistent base for beating these kinds of teams, it takes a lot of time to implement them. With time, I think we’re going to be better as a team. But also, we’ve shown that our individual form hasn’t been on par with the other teams, so a lot of us have been taking more time to make sure we’re playing the game more – deathmatching, aim training, or whatever it is that helps you stay in form.
You guys have Virtus.pro up first. How have you guys prepared for a team with such a unique style of play?
We’ve prepared for them, but it’s not too different to other teams. I think YEKINDAR definitely has a big voice in preparing against VP since he’s played with a lot of the players, he understands how they think. Jame is the IGL, and he’s played under him as IGL, as well, so… It’s not too different from any other team.
If you make it through, you get to jump straight into the Playoffs. With the other three Groups having a little break in between, do you think this benefits you guys at all?
Honestly, there’s pros and cons to it. I think Group C, it kinda sucks for them because you don’t have time to really change stuff. You have to play kinda soon so you’re just waiting I feel like. But for Group A and Group B I think an advantage they have is that they can look at their games and how they played in the Group Stage, see things they messed up on, see what they want to change, add new stuff. A con of it is that players will be less warmed up, not be in that match state. Like, for Group D, for us, we won’t have much time to change stuff, but I think we’re gonna be feeling very warmed up for the match environments. It’s a whole different environment being in a match than like, scrims, so being able to play right after a Group Stage keeps you mentally ‘in it’ and mechanically at your best. I think for our team it’s actually a benefit.
What would you describe as a good showing for Liquid coming into Season 18 of ESL Pro League?
It’s tough to say now, since we have the stand-in. Making Playoffs and winning at least one game in Playoffs, I’d say. At the least, it’s something we’d be kinda okay with. Obviously, our goal is to still win the whole thing – we’ve been practicing for a while, but I think like I said with the stand-in and stuff… that’s what we should at least getting to in my opinion.