nitr0: "I want to focus on getting our map pool back"

We sat down with Liquid's IGL and AWPer, Nick "nitr0" Cannella, after his team's run at ESL One Belo Horizonte.

In Brazil, Liquid were unable to seal the deal and take the trophy as FaZe knocked nitr0 & co. out during the semi-finals of the tournament in a three-map series. Before that, Liquid also lost to the other finalists, mousesports, in their group's winners' match, but took two BO3s against BIG to make it to the playoffs.

nitr0 believes Liquid has become stale after too many back-to-back tournaments

nitr0 shared his thoughts on what Liquid needs to finally reach the top and lift a tournament trophy, how his team is going to try and freshen up their map pool before Cologne, and what has made his side a top contender in the past months.

Looking back at the recent history of the team, you've been going deep in a lot of tournaments, with semi-finals, second places... what do you think you need to finally lift the trophy?

We were actually prepared for Dallas, but we faced a really hard Astralis. In StarSeries we underestimated NRG and lost, and by the time ECS came around, I feel like we were starting to get a little stale. We had a strong finish but ultimately lost the event. It feels like we're stale because of the back-to-back tournaments. Obviously, we chose to come here, so it's not an excuse, but it's very hard to create new things while on the road because you're pretty much either traveling, preparing for your next opponent, or going over your own demos. Hopefully, during this twelve-day break between Brazil and Cologne, we can fix some problems. I think going forward we're going to be better because we'll actually have time to create new stuff and be innovative again.

What is it you're going to do to prepare for Cologne? Will you bootcamp or go home and play online?

We actually have a few visa problems, so we're going to take like a four-day break before we get going again, but mainly what I want to do, or focus on, is getting our map pool back, because as you play so many back-to-back tournaments its hard to keep certain maps strong. I think the only map we were able to keep strong during this whole tournament circuit was Inferno. We were super shaky on Mirage, whereas before we were really good on it. We definitely lost confidence. By the time we got to this tournament, we didn't even know our own map pool. We just need to talk more and figure out what is going on in certain maps.

In regards to your leading, are you an IGL that sets everything up solid at the beginning of the round, or do you like to play a bit more dynamic and rely more on mid-round calling?

The way I call really depends on the map. On maps such as Inferno, Cache, or Train, I like to have a hard default, a really strong foundation, because you can't really go with set strats on those maps. The dynamic of those maps is different. You need to take map control, basically. If you're on Inferno, for example, and they have Banana, they're going to play with three already in A, so if you do an A execute then you're going to be going into four CTs, right? So you want to have a strong foundation and certain protocols such as if they take Banana, you want to have certain flashes you want to throw and certain people going certain places, so it really depends on the maps. Some are good for set strats, but I like to call a bit differently on certain maps.

Talking about Inferno, the first thing that pops into my mind was the mousesports match, where it was kind of expected that you'd have a good Inferno. What happened in that series?

It's actually, in my opinion, harder to play... I mean, not harder, but you don't know what you're going to go into when you play against a team with a stand-in. FaZe and mousesports both came in with stand-ins so you don't really know what kind of style they're going to have, necessarily. We kind of relied on our own game, but they were all hitting their shots that day, especially chrisJ. He was on fire. It's no excuse, I think we should have won the game because we're a five-man team and they're four and a stand-in who hasn't played in a long time. I mean, n0thing played insane, so credit to him, but I don't know. I think we were just off our game that day and we weren't hitting our shots like we usually are.

There's a lot of firepower in the team, you're all very talented players. When you split roles, is everybody happy, are a lot of concessions made? How do you get everybody happy?

I don't know. Our roles are kind of weird at the moment because, obviously, I'm AWPing, which I had never done in the past until this iteration of our lineup. I don't know, TACO is a bit more of a lurker on the team than NAF was. In my eyes, I feel like TACO and I should entry, but it's a weird dynamic right now. As I said, our map pool is a bit weird, and we're trying to figure things out. TACO is doing good with lurking, but I think he's going to be at his best when he's entrying, proper support. I don't know, the lineup is weird (laughs). We're going to have to figure that out.

What do you think has been the key to this core's rise, becoming as good as it has and getting into that Top 5. What did it take you and what did you go through?

I feel like we were creating our team chemistry when we had steel on the team, and I guess the hardest thing to overcome with these lineups is innovating. steel knew English, but he didn't know the callouts, how we call, or how I wanted to call, because he was only in Brazilian teams before. When we added NAF he brought a lot of firepower and intuition. I think what it boils down to right now is having a lot of firepower. I think we're kind of lacking on the tactical side because we're stale from so many tournaments, and obviously, the AWP-factor is kind of weak right now, but I'm working on that.

United States Nick 'nitr0' Cannella
Nick 'nitr0' Cannella
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Russia Baitzera_SK 
Liquid > SK Taco > Baitzera
2018-06-19 21:37
China o_O 
2018-06-19 21:38
smooya | 
Austria shaakeh 
2018-06-19 21:38
Brazil vinnyzeraNTC 
2018-06-19 21:38
Russia Baitzera_SK 
2018-06-19 21:39
Brazil vinnyzeraNTC 
2018-06-19 21:42
2018-06-19 21:41
0/8 coLULmbia
2018-06-19 21:48
Kkkkk, steelega >taco
2018-06-20 14:57
rain | 
Brazil Jovani 
Any team > SK 2k18
2018-06-20 16:34
2018-06-19 21:37
Portugal zordaN911 
2018-06-19 21:37
Netherlands Schumacher 
2018-06-19 21:37
they need to kick taco for fox
2018-06-19 21:38
Austria frazn 
2018-06-19 23:15
They need a consistent primary awper so nitr0 can focus more on calling. Sadly there is no clear choice. NA awpers are not consistent enough. Maybe ska but he also struggles with constNtly performing.
2018-06-19 23:22
SK won a lot of throphies with anexo IGL Awper. He just needs to practice more.
2018-06-20 01:13
United States MyerHappyBoys 
you cant compare SK and Liquid's awpers. Fallen has always been a primary AWP, nitr0 had to pick the role up out of the blue because nobody else would play the AWP role.
2018-06-20 09:46
2018-06-21 01:08
autimatic | 
United States Bioax 
hi #3 bois
2018-06-19 21:38
2018-06-19 21:38
2018-06-19 21:38
2018-06-19 21:38
Sweden Unluko 
yep lol thats why c9 won vs faze in the major
2018-06-19 21:38
and lost every other series =D C9 nowhere to be seen after the major
2018-06-19 21:42
omg hahaha +1000
2018-06-19 21:50
at least they won the major , unlike faze who choked vs tier 2 team in the finals xDDDDD
2018-06-19 22:21
indeed, at least they ain't nV
2018-06-21 09:48
yeah we fell off but your suppose to bring your a game to a major, and at the time g2, sk, and faze didn't, so accept it you guys fucking choked a major championship and led the way to the first NA major championship, so thank you for choking when you could have easily closed out a game at 15-11, c9 may be trash now but cmon. 15-11! you guys basically threw
2018-06-21 01:06
rather choke a major final and win many other championships than win a fluke major and be useless after that, stay salty ;>
2018-06-21 09:47
Clown9, 1 week era OMEGALUL
2018-06-19 21:42
Sweden Unluko 
what is clown9?
2018-06-19 21:42
To be fair they got really unlucky with stewie leaving. Similar to the optic run where they were doing super well and then lost Stan and fell apart.
2018-06-19 23:23
2018-06-20 08:46
You never had a map pool
2018-06-19 21:38
They always pick inferno and constantly struggle on their t-side against basically every team. Even the first match against big they started really far down on t-side.
2018-06-19 23:24
Proving my point ?
2018-06-19 23:24
United States G0LDEAR 
They had a strong map pool earlier in the year. Losing cobble hurt liquid because it was one of their better maps.
2018-06-20 00:27
Guatemala KlassiKer 
2018-06-20 07:42
Sweden Unluko 
2018-06-19 21:38
s1 | 
Armenia gr1nch 
gl to him
2018-06-19 21:43
lolquid still finding their map pool and excuses whereas teams with standings winning tournaments, NA CS xdd
2018-06-19 21:46
They are still tier 1 and better than every Brazilian team currently
2018-06-19 23:24
'nice name' tho. lolquid representative
2018-06-19 23:56
Finland Smoonah 
never had none map pools especially with Epictaco
2018-06-19 21:46
2018-06-19 21:55
2018-06-19 22:44
Europe tweekzter 
Sympathic lineup. My second favorite right now after mouz.
2018-06-19 22:56
South Africa nimmaJ 
Yeah this lineup is super weird with roles you essentially have 3 entries and 2 lurkers squeezed into a team. I think twistzz needs to play a more passive role and support elige like a krimz olof duo with taco playmaking and naf lurking and closing out rounds
2018-06-20 01:59
NA CS OMEGALUL xD mibr is back bb
2018-06-20 02:26
f0rest | 
Mexico bfish8 
Surprised they didn’t think of trying jdm again once they got NAF. I feel like theyd have the fire power and roles completely covered with that lineup. Sure he was kind of a bot at times, but good morale and as an AWPer with naf, elige, twistzz and nitro behind him..was worth a shot imo And I don’t like jdm
2018-06-20 04:02
-BOTACO +jdm64 Liquid Top 1
2018-06-20 10:41
Kick Taco plox
2018-06-20 10:42
30 iq detected
2018-06-20 13:08
United States Trump2020KAG 
Rip every team but -55 to +63 gay1ve and ast
2018-06-20 13:11
Denmark EasyFragger 
you can't get something back, you never had bro :(
2018-06-20 20:23
Indonesia Exodd 
Why you keep whining nitr0? Astralis too strong, NRG this, mousesports that...
2018-06-22 07:03
Hi man, sorry i would like to say that your English is so poor, i mean u better just read out the news and translate it on google rather than typing those silly or even funny setence at here.
2018-06-27 06:23
Indonesia Exodd 
I can do whatever I want ok smart guy?
2018-06-27 11:16
Expected from an under-development country
2018-06-27 14:09
Indonesia Exodd 
Expected smug attitude from a UK guy like you
2018-06-27 14:18
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