steel: "When I was leading, yeL and NEKIZ weren't playing at their best, so we decided to change"
Luminosity had a tough draw in their opening match at IEM Chicago, as they had to play Liquid. The Brazilian squad managed to take 11 rounds despite losing both pistol rounds, but eventually fell to the North American powerhouse. Today, Luminosity were able to get a win, beating AVANGAR in two maps to survive another day.
We talked to steel about Luminosity's ailments online, being back at a Big Event, the struggles this lineup is having despite practicing more than previous iterations which were more successful, the matches played in Chicago, and how the team is feeling moving forward.
The last time I saw you guys was in Valencia, for DreamHack, and then you played one in Montreal, so it's been a while since you were out and about. How are you feeling about making it here?
It's awesome, man. Everyone knows playing at an IEM event is awesome because if you can make it to the stadium it's going to be a great experience for you. It's always good to play against the best teams, and all of the best teams are here, so it's good in every aspect.
How ready are you to play on this level, right now? You played Liquid yesterday, it wasn't a bad match despite losing, and today you got a 2-0 against AVANGAR...
To be honest, our confidence isn't that high because we've been struggling a lot during the online season. We've been having the worst season of all of our careers, individually, but we did have a good match against Liquid. We lost both pistols, so it could have been better, even a win, and the AVANGAR 2-0 is super good because they have been playing really well lately in the past few tournaments against good teams, so it's good for us.
Talking about AVANGAR, they've been playing really well, as you said. They broke into the top 20, but in the grand scheme of things, they could be seen as a team with a similar level to yours. You had never played each other, and it was a bit of a brawl at times, so tell me a bit about how you went into the match.
Here, with the practice rooms, we can study the opponent as well as our own game. Personally, I like to study the opponents. We knew AVANGAR are one of the best tier 2 teams in the world, so we knew it was going to be hard, but we also knew we could win. It was going to be hard against Liquid, but we knew we'd have a higher chance against AVANGAR.
When you were playing them, did your expectations of them and the reality of the match line up?
It's never easy, but when you study the opponent and they do exactly what you've seen them do before, it becomes clear in your mind, and they were doing exactly the same things as on the demos. Some teams adapt to you when they are losing, but AVANGAR didn't, they were playing the same as I had watched. Because of that, our chances got higher, since they didn't adapt at all to our game.
You said you like to study other teams, but it's yeL who is calling now. Walk me a bit through the process of having him leading, how does it all work?
Before coming here we were talking about the fact that when I was leading, yeL and NEKIZ weren't playing their best, so we decided to change things. I feel like they play more freely, now. I was putting too much pressure on them when we were practicing and during the online season, so changing the leadership to yeL took some pressure away from my teammates and they became more free, which changed us a lot. And of course, having an AWPer like yeL being impactful is better for us.
Something else you touched upon was the online struggles. Why do you think that is, and what impact has it had on the team?
To be honest, I don't know what's happening. We have practiced the most with this lineup, even when we were doing well while we were in Immortals, we weren't practicing as much, not even close to how much we're practicing now, so we don't know what's going on. Maybe it's because I was putting too much pressure on some of the players and they couldn't play their own game. I also feel like we play better on LAN, in Valencia we did so good, and after that, we've just been struggling against every single team.
Any idea why that could be?
As I said, I have no clue. I don't know if we play better on LAN or people play better online. I'm not going to take credit away from what we did, though, because winning against AVANGAR was super good.
To close it out, how are you feeling moving on?
I'm not sure who we'll play yet, but personally, I just like to go match by match. I'll see who we'll play against, then we'll study them, and we'll do our best. There's no secret, we won't do anything different than what any other team would do.