NAF was a consistent force for his team in Malta, finishing only one map with a sub 1.00 rating, was overall the second highest player at the tournament and was the hardest one to kill, dying in only every other round. All of that combined netted him the MVP award by HLTV and betway.
The obvious question, of course. This is your first tournament win with lineup of Liquid, it must be good to finally have that off of your back?
Yeah, of course, we had issues getting over the hurdle, getting a trophy, kind of just that mental block in our head. It feels great, I think it will help us at future tournaments, help us get wins. I'm excited.
The veto in the grand final was the same as in the group stage against NRG. It seemed like you were much better prepared this time, especially on Overpass, how did that play out?
When we played them the first time, we prepared for them and it backfired a little bit, but this time we rewatched it again, we just constantly watched their stuff, nitr0, zews, and EliGE, literally all of them, the rest of my team watched the demos, I was just sitting there doing nothing. (laughs) But yeah, we had to prepare again and this time it paid off, because we kind of saw that they were still playing the same way, even after the first time we played them. So we were like "ok, we have to keep doing what we are doing, focus on our preparation". We just stuck to our game plan and a little bit of anti-strat.
So you are not the guy that likes to watch too much demos of the opponents?
Yeah, I don't really like watching demos that much, I remember that in the past I would do it and I would get in my own head. For example, I'd see something coming and think in my head "oh, they are doing that, so I need to do..." - and in that moment they come out to the site and they kill me. So yeah, I'm just that kind of a guy, I prefer to play my own game, do my own thing.
Tell me about Inferno, it started pretty rough for you, but it feels like that round where nitr0 saved the AWP and passed it on to you and you got the triple kill, that kind of unlocked everything. Can you tell me about getting the AWP and actually playing the AWP on the T side?
I remember that literally what I said was "Nick give me the AWP, you play aggressive and I'll play with the AWP and try to get picks". That is literally all I said and it seemed to have worked out.
Usually, you don't play the AWP that much, after that round I guess you just decided you want to continue with the AWP on the T side? Because you got a bunch of kills with it after that as well?
Yeah, on Inferno I play very supportively, I'm usually in the back, throwing flashes for everyone. This time, with the AWP, I played way more aggressive, I was trying to look for kills as much as I could it obviously seems to have paid off. I kind of took a shot at a different playstyle that game.
After everything finished, you lifted the trophy, what were the first words you said to your teammates?
Honestly? "Damn dude we fucking won". (laughs) But yeah, it was funny, even going up to the trophy I was kind of afraid, like "What do you do? I guess you go up there and raise it, right?" I just didn't know what to do. (laughs) But of course, zews and TACO showed us the way.
Anything else to add to finish it off? ESL Pro League is coming up next...
Yeah, of course, we have Pro League after this and obviously, the top competition is there. This gave us a little bit of a confidence booster going into ESL Pro League, but I think there is still a lot of stuff we need to fix. It is obviously not going to be a breeze at Pro League.
But other than that, thanks to the people that watched the game, thanks to the Malta fans and cheer for us in the future.