After Liquid clinched their first win at the Main Qualifier following a 16-10 scoreline on Cobblestone against FlipSid3, we sat down with Wilton "zews" Prada, Liquid's coach-turned-stand-in.
In the bottom pool, they met FlipSid3 earlier today and clinched their first win following a comfortable Terrorist side on Cobblestone.
We have to begin with the situation that Liquid has found themselves in again, with you having to step in as a player. How has the team dealt with that in terms of preparation and how have you personally been feeling with your individual preparation and form?
My individual thoughts, while I'm happy that I get to play a Major which is every player's dream, I'm really sad for steel and for our team and I think that is the biggest part of my emotions right now, as I wish we'd be playing with our full roster. As for preparation, I had to stay in Brazil resolving some visa issues, which got resolved at the very last second, I came in one day before the Major.
With that, I was practicing with 200 ping, my individual preparation again after Immortals it has been another year and something off, so it's not amazing. I've just been trying to play as selfless as I can for my team, I've been trying to in-game lead with a lot of help from everyone on the team, and I've been trying to just entry-frag and drop them guns even if they have it, because the guys on my team are amazing and I know they can do the job if they just have someone there sacrificing for them. That's what I've been trying to do this tournament.
I'm guessing you don't have the same level of expectations as you would with the full roster, can you tell me about what has changed, what your goals will be for the entire Major?
Expectations are rough because we know we have so much potential and skill on this team that we should be making it out of this at least, so our initial goal is to make it out of this and a really optimistic one would be to make the top eight, but that's super optimistic, we have to be realistic with a stand-in and the Majors being just the highest level of competition there is. So if we make it out of this new challengers phase, we should already be happy with what we're doing.
It was quite a surprise to see you guys do so well against FaZe in the first match, being able to get to 14 rounds, although you weren't able to close it out in the end on Overpass despite having a good chance, what happened?
That FaZe match was rough in so many ways, because we lost both pistols, we lost ecos, we won a lot of clutches 1v1 but our economy was really close the whole match. I still feel we had the match in our control on that 14-14 eco where we carelessly went into connector and got caught off-guard by something stupid, which wasn't the plan but it's a mid-round call and you have to do it and that's how it goes.
Against FaZe, they're an amazing team, we didn't know what to expect, last time I filled in at ESL Pro League it was 16-14 as well, so it kind of hurt to see it go in the same aspect again in a match that we felt we could have won. But still, they're an amazing team and in a way we have to be proud of what we accomplished.
Going over to FlipSid3, have you been able to prepare for them at all considering they haven't played anything for such a long time, even changed lineups a couple of months ago, was there any preparation towards them at all?
I put a lot of preparation into Mirage at least, yesterday night I couldn't sleep so I stayed up until 3 AM just trying to do it on the laptop. And they went with Cobblestone in the last second, so the preparation went kind of all out the window, and they didn't go for Overpass either which was the other map we prepped for, so it was kind of rough. But we respect every opponent, we will always do our due dilligence when it comes them.
Tell me about the match itself, what were the key points that helped you take the win?
We started off as CT, which is the less favored side, we got enough rounds in there but we still lost an anti-eco because of me in this case. We could have gotten more, but we had enough comfort and enough of a buffer, and then we got that T pistol, I knew we'd have a pretty good chance of winning.
I know the way they like to work, they put a lot of preparation into their T sides and our T sides as well, we are super smart about how we play, we try to mess with their minds a lot, and pound-for-pound and frags, I trust my team more.
Looking forward, are there any teams you'd particularly like to play or avoid?
Avoid, I think I'd want to avoid G2 because they just have a rough style to play against. I know people would criticise me for this but I look forward to playing against Cloud9 as I always like having that American rivalry.
That rivalry hasn't been to favorable for you, though...
That's exactly why I want to face them, I want to change that.