nitr0: "The whole team underestimated NRG; we're ready for them this time"
Liquid are ready for the semi finals at the ECS Season 5 Finals after eliminating fnatic 2-0 in the last group match. We caught up with in-game leader Nick "nitr0" Cannella to discuss the match and tomorrow's rematch between them and NRG.
This means they will be looking for revenge against the hottest team in the North American scene, NRG, who sent them packing from StarSeries i-League Season 5 in Kiev last week.
Let's start with going through the match against fnatic. what was your game plan against them?
We were actually expecting them to pick Train on us, because they picked it against Cloud9 earlier today and looked confident on it. We've been practicing Nuke a lot, focusing on that map rather than our better maps. Apparently, that paid off a lot because on that map, you need to have rotations down and really be on the same page especially since it's so sound based. You have to play Nuke a lot in order to be good at it and that's what we've been doing lately.
You definitely looked convincing on that map, where Inferno was a bit more even. Are you going to be looking to pick Nuke for your match against NRG tomorrow as well?
I know they like Nuke a lot too, so it's really up to them. We're going to be expecting a Nuke pick, or maybe Train. We're ready for them this time, so, whatever they want.
But in your last matchup you actually lost to them, at StarSeries.
I think the whole team underestimated them. They've been playing really well lately, and we had already beaten them earlier at that event, so we were very confident in our own game, but they came out and actually beat us anyway.
Yeah, I mean obviously they played so well in Kiev they ended up against Na`Vi in the final. How do you see them right now compared to you guys, who many see as the top NA team right now?
I definitely see NRG as top tier right now with Cloud9 going through changes and having internal issues. They have a lot of firepower, they're doing really well online and that's starting to translate over to LANs now, and I think as they get better and better, teams are gonna start studying them more. Whenever we get into a match, I feel like teams know what we're doing already. If I throw a certain smoke, they'll know our plan, so that gets into my head where before, when I first started as in-game leader, I could do whatever I wanted, and no-one knew what was happening.
Touching on that, the fact that people are studying you now, how does that affect you?'
Since I'm IGL'ing, that affects me, which affects the whole team, it's a trickle-down effect. The number one thing that's sucks is losing confidence in your own calls and getting lost in your own head. It's such a hard concept to grasp, you have to do it at such a high level to actually understand what's going on psychologically.
Returning to your match against NRG, do you think you have to play more freely? It seems like you have most of the tactical stuff down, but do you think you're missing some flair maybe?
I feel like every time we lose a match after a high pressure situation, it's because we're not hitting our shots. Obviously, we're also lacking bit on the tactical side, or we'd be winning every game, but I think it's more individual skill we're missing. We're a very emotional team so sometimes, the ideas aren't flowing as fast as they should. We really have to come out tomorrow hitting everything in order to beat NRG, because they're really good.