steel: "It's an experience for my entire life to play in an NA [team]"
In our next interview from ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals, Lucas "steel" Lopes talked about his experience as a temporary coach, Liquid's group stage exit, and expectations for ECS Season 4 Finals.
In the end, the North American squad only clinched one win in five matches and exited the event in last place. Liquid then came by for their media obligations on the semi-finals day, so we got a chance to discuss various topics with steel:
As you weren't allowed to play, what was it like standing behind the team for the first time?
To be honest, I didn't coach at all, I was coaching because I was behind them with the headphones, talking about timeouts, but I didn't prepare at all. I just found out that I was able to coach on the morning of the match, so I hadn't prepared anything, but it was a good experience and a fun experience for sure.
The results weren't really there, one win in five matches, do you really feel disappointed about it considering the circumstances, or do you just see it as a learning experience and moved on?
I didn't feel like it was a bad thing for us at all, I'm not feeling sad or demotivated or anything like that, because we were playing with a stand-in at the finals of Pro League. The better teams of both regions were here, so we knew it was going to be hard to play.
It was our coach, he knows everything about us, but he's not a player, so talking about skill and technique, he's little bit different from pro players. It was a good experience for ECS, we're going to be more prepared for ECS, I don't know if we're going to be 100%, but we're going to be close to that.
What are going to be the expectations for ECS, then?
Talking about myself, my expectation is to go to the playoffs and to do my best, for sure. It's going to be a tough tournament, we have all the best teams, we do not have some of them, of course, we do not have SK for example. I hope to be in the playoffs, because playing playoffs is different, it's a different feeling.
I'd like to go back to the Immortals situation. After all, it all worked out pretty well for you as you got an offer quite quickly, but tell me about the first weeks when you realized the team was breaking up, before you got the offer from Liquid.
It was super bad when we found out that Immortals wasn't working at all. When I first received the news that Liquid wants to play with me, I was so happy, I cannot describe it in words.
It's not only an experience for my CS career, but it has been an experience for my entire life, to play in the North American scene, talking in English, different cultures, different playstyles, because they think about Counter-Strike in such different ways than we as Brazilians. It has been an awesome experience.
How are things in Liquid now, then, getting used to talking in English and the playstyle difference like you said, do you feel like you're already there or are you still in the adjusting period?
No, I still need a little bit of learning and adjustment. I'm feeling a lot more comfortable now than when we were playing in Oakland, but sometimes, talking about in-game, I do not do anything, because I'm thinking about talking in English and listening to the team. This is something that's going to become more natural in the next few months, I'm sure I'm going to be a lot better in the next few months.