nitr0: "Our biggest problem right now is the finals, I don't think it really matters who it is against"

Liquid's in-game leader Nick "nitr0" Cannella spoke out about the team's map pool, Vertigo, and the lack of big tournament wins in our interview ahead of their semi-final at IEM Sydney.

The North American side topped group A by defeating BOOT-d[S], BIG, and NiP, and did so without dropping a map. Liquid therefore confirmed their tournament favorite status, and are hoping to finally break their Big event deadlock by lifting the IEM Sydney plate on Sunday.

nitr0 is confident Liquid will take their first big event

To do so, Liquid will have to deal with their issues closing out, which we saw come into play at BLAST Pro Series Miami, where they lost to FaZe. nitr0 touched on that game, as well as how Vertigo affected their map pool, in our latest interview.

You've been to six events this year if we include EPL, fairly busy, one of the busier teams it feels like. How has it been for you guys in terms of traveling and attending a lot of events? Is it well balanced out this year?

We're definitely trying to take this year a little bit lighter in terms of traveling so we can focus more on the bigger tournaments and preparing for them. Similar to what Astralis is doing now, but we are not trying to skip as many as Astralis, I think they are doing it a lot more than us, but for each tournament, we want to feel like we are going there prepared enough to win it. So far we've made two finals at BLAST, we won iBUYPOWER and topped the groups at EPL. So it is going pretty well so far this year, but we are hoping for a bigger win in Sydney.

One of the things NAF touched on in a recent interview is your map pool, he said that people think you have a good map pool but he isn't really that confident in it, except Dust2. How has that developed in the past few weeks?

I think Overpass is our best map currently and we've been working on our lower-tier maps, trying to not focus too much on our better maps. So we've been focusing more on Mirage, Inferno, Cache, they are getting rid of Cache though so that is kind of a weird scenario. We're trying to play it here and there so we feel prepared, but not worry too much about it because I think we are still a good team on that map. We haven't played Vertigo yet just because Sydney is the last event without it. Really, we have just been trying to focus more on our middle of the pool maps.

With Vertigo already introduced in some competitions, was it possible to get good scrims on Cache leading up to this event? No one played it at IEM Sydney yet...

Cache was our third map versus NiP actually, it was there but we didn't get to a third map, obviously, but we got a couple of scrims on Cache going into Sydney. It is not like it is a bad map for us at all, we were still able to get scrims against compLexity and some other NA teams because we are all in NA. They were preparing for EPL and stuff like that because Cache was still there. I think that is the last tournament that has Cache for most teams. After Sydney, I'm pretty sure we'll be seeing a lot of Vertigo.

What are your thoughts, not as a part of Liquid, but just as a CS player, having Cache removed and Vertigo coming in?

I think it is a good and bad thing. I think for a casual player and a spectator it is pretty cool that they are going to see a new map and they are going to learn stuff from the pros, just like it was back in the day when they introduced Overpass and Cobblestone. It will be cool to see what kind of strats are invented, all this kind of stuff because it has never been a competitive map. I think Cache is in the reworks right now so I'm also excited to see what they do with that and what map they will remove for Cache if they do it, I'm pretty sure they will.

It is a good and bad thing, it is kind of bad because, for a team like us, Cache is one of our better map and at one point it was our best map. I think it kind of hinders our map pool a little bit and we will have to refocus on Vertigo, maybe one of our better maps is going to get weaker because we are focusing more on Vertigo. It is kind of interesting to see. Astralis also didn't play Cache that much, it was their permaveto against most teams and now they got it removed. They could be one of the teams on Vertigo. It is a good and bad thing for the pro scene and we will just have to see how it pans out.

Touching on IEM Sydney, you are already in the semis, you obviously looked good so far and considering the other teams that are here, you are probably the biggest favorites to win this an event like this that you've ever been. Obviously, there is the whole thing that you didn't win a big event yet, so is there added pressure for you to finally do it now?

There is always a little bit of pressure added just because we've been in so many finals and came in second so many times. We just really want to win a big tournament, whether Astralis is here or not, it doesn't really matter to us. I think that our biggest problem right now is the finals, I don't think it really matters who it is against necessarily, I just think our team crushes under the pressure in the finals a little bit, and we've been working on that with our sports psychologist. We've just been trying to identify problems that we encounter in every final, because every time it is different. We've just been trying to work on that and I think that if we hit the final here, we can take it, finally. So time will tell and hopefully, we will take it.

You said you identified a different problem every time, what was the issue last time against FaZe at BLAST?

I think we went into the map pool wrongly, I think we should've picked Overpass, that was our first issue, and instead we took one of their best maps, Dust2, and looking back at it we should've picked Overpass. But that is hindsight, obviously. I think that we started our maps pretty slowly and pretty scared and I think that if we play in the final again here, we will have a different approach to the map, no matter what map it is. We will have a different approach to the final and a more aggressive style I think.

United States Nick 'nitr0' Cannella
Nick 'nitr0' Cannella
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Brazil igster 
chokequid still won more events than BUG LUL
2019-05-03 21:45
Croatia TricKED 
lol nitro choker
2019-05-03 21:42
Brazil igster 
2019-05-03 21:44
smooya | 
Austria shaakeh 
2019-05-03 21:45
Brazil igster 
wtf men))))))))))))))))
2019-05-03 21:46
kennyS | 
United States @rex 
Nitr0 doesn't choke anymore. He only has really low lows becuase he is igl. His ceiling is nuts.
2019-05-04 01:03
Brazil Whillpull 
2019-05-03 21:42
nah sorry dude they only choke in grand finals, in terms of semi finals get ready for a sweep
2019-05-04 00:18
Brazil Whillpull 
Guess you wasn't here in 2k16
2019-05-04 00:48
they only choke like that in majors, besides that its grand finals
2019-05-04 00:49
Guess you still live in 2k16. xaxaxaxaxaxaxaxxax liquid aint on ea tier won event in decades.
2019-05-04 03:50
France Axpie 
Guess you still live in 2k16
2019-05-04 01:01
Brazil Whillpull 
Guess you didn't interpret his comment
2019-05-11 16:14
France Axpie 
Guess I don't need to
2019-05-11 16:41
Guess you still alive in 2016
2019-05-04 02:13
Brazil candymau 
+1 lmao
2019-05-04 02:37
Brazil Whillpull 
2019-05-11 16:14
United States FaZe_Burger 
Comment did not age well OMEGALUL
2019-05-04 19:48
Sweden Unluko 
2019-05-03 21:43
Brazil igster 
2019-05-03 21:43
2019-05-03 22:00
2019-05-03 22:35
Spain MeBeingAClown 
2019-05-03 21:41
just dont choke :D ez
2019-05-03 21:41
Brazil Whillpull 
That's too much for them
2019-05-03 21:43
Netherlands ZoMilan 
Too bad MIBR never gets to choke a big match
2019-05-03 22:01
Brazil Lemonitos 
I like this, Mr. VeryNiceDutchGuy.
2019-05-04 01:00
Favorite team and flag doesn't check out
2019-05-04 02:44
apEX | 
Europe Dax1e 
2019-05-03 21:41
Hungary mEZENCEphalon 
2019-05-03 21:41
Europe gayzera 
2019-05-03 21:41
Everyone knows that
2019-05-03 21:42
ckN | 
India SinghSir 
2019-05-03 21:42
2019-05-03 21:42
we know
2019-05-03 21:42
Really? Didnt know this detal.
2019-05-03 21:43
Kinda true
2019-05-03 21:43
It's my | 
Europe R2D2s 
2019-05-03 21:43
flusha | 
Norway dr_fiji 
Finally an interview with Nitr0
2019-05-03 21:43
Typical arrogant ass facade thinks his team is #1 world already.
2019-05-03 21:47
Imagine being shox fan in 2019 LUL
2019-05-03 22:51
i just want to bang his brains out i don't know what ur talking about blyat
2019-05-03 22:53
fan of sh0x omegalul
2019-05-04 00:23
name checks out omegalul
2019-05-04 00:24
2019-05-04 00:24
Very arrogant indeed l lost all respect
2019-05-03 23:00
Netherlands YaBoyKermit 
2019-05-04 00:08
It's the confidence that u must have in a competitive world.
2019-05-04 01:11
confidence and respect can walk together my friend.
2019-05-04 03:07
United States DervGuy 
How lol?????
2019-05-04 00:12
United States brentliu9 
If Astralis didn't exist Liquid would be #1 and it wouldn't be close
2019-05-04 01:18
can't go by what if's, go with reality. That's why it's arrogant.
2019-05-04 01:27
Astralis doesn't go to any real events so Liquid may as well be the #1 team in the world
2019-05-04 02:30
i mean, like i said before, it's not a reality just yet so i wouldn't be too complacent
2019-05-04 03:58
fan of shox HYPERLUL
2019-05-04 11:53
fan of liquid OMEGALUL
2019-05-04 20:05
Looool...shox fan lecturing about arrogance....made my day
2019-05-04 16:27
India strikes again with their differing beliefs, omegalul
2019-05-04 20:07
Spain elskio 
Very true
2019-05-03 21:47
Singapore FallBlade 
if they choke finals again
2019-05-03 21:49
United States jay_320 
I also think that this is the tournament where Liquid breaks through. I mean looking at it from just a human perspective you at some point have look at your dominant performances in group stages and just say fuck it once you get to a finals right? I'm not trying to overlook the MIBR game either. I'm sure Fallen will come ready to play but come on Liquid. At least they've ID'd the problem. They play SUPER timid in finals and everywhere else they look like they are trying to tear people's nuts off.
2019-05-03 21:49
2019-05-03 22:51
Brazil yalamix 
2019-05-04 00:48
2019-05-04 02:17
fnx | 
Europe Taehyung 
Very arrogant
2019-05-03 21:50
I think you didn't understand what he said... he was talking about they always being second, kind of choking in every final, like, no matter if their opponent is better or worse than them they'll lose because they choke in the finals.
2019-05-03 22:05
Wow pointing out that they suck in finals how arrogant.
2019-05-03 22:09
"The opponent we face doesn't matter"
2019-05-04 00:13
Yeah and if you learned to read, what he means is that it doesn't matter what opponents they face in finals they will always suck in finals. He's not saying that they will win regardless of whoever is in the final.
2019-05-04 01:09
He literally said it's because of mental problems, and if they get past that then the finals are ez.
2019-05-04 01:14
Ok I still don't see how that's arrogant? It's just the truth.
2019-05-04 01:14
If that's not arrogant then i don't know what to tell you. Might as well crown Liquid as the winners right now, don't even need the semi's or finals.
2019-05-04 01:15
Something's wrong with u bud
2019-05-04 01:16
Can't be more wrong than somebody who doesn't respect his opponents. You're just the same way.
2019-05-04 01:17
The problem is they always losing in the finals with every team. Even lose with mousesports
2019-05-04 02:15
Yeah that's what I'm trying to say but he doesn't understand
2019-05-04 03:06
They won ibp masters, I don't see how you can possibly say they always lose the finals. To think that you just have to be less mentally stressed out and you'll beat your opponents is arrogant. bdead
2019-05-04 04:04
Not when you've proven that there is literally no match for them besides astrLis and besides when they are in the finals
2019-05-04 05:37
Rankings change all the time, how many times has the top 10 changed in only a few months? Liquid as themselves just replaced a couple players and it wouldn't be surprising to see a different iteration by the end of the year
2019-05-04 05:43
What does that have to do with what I said? They consistently throughout this year and last year as well have dominated every team except for when it comes to finals or unless it's Astralis. Ence is the one time that hasn't been the case.
2019-05-04 05:46
Is it the same team when the players change? No. They've already taken a finals this year and it was AGAINST astralis.
2019-05-04 05:47
It's not the same team, but 4 of the players are the same and they personally feel like they are a strong unit. Changing one player doesn't break a team, and so far with Stewie, Liquid has not looked worse than the team from last year, so how exactly is it arrogant that they feel their mentality is what loses them finals? Have you even analysed their gameplay before? If you knew anything about team CS and actually analysed their demos, you would see how much more timid and scared they play in finals, and how their communication breaks down there as well.
2019-05-04 05:50
You would think after so many lan events and majors after so many YEARS of playing that they blame their mental status entirely on their losses against teams. It's just another game of csgo but in a different setting, they have a psychologist n shit already for it. You don't believe that its the players not stepping up? It has nothing to do with their actions but it's all mental strain? Nah.
2019-05-04 05:55
No, I don't believe that, because I watch their demos multiple times from different players povs and the way they play in finals is different and they are less confident in some of their plays.
2019-05-04 05:56
Why is it only liquid that seems to have this enormous game costing problem? Unfortunately you can't read their minds. I wouldn't call them the best team if this is an actual problem because that is too serious of an issue, and who says it's just finals?
2019-05-04 05:58
I can't answer the first question. No one can. Also I am not reading their minds, I'm simply watching their demos and analysing their gameplay. I also don't mean it only happens in finals, but it rarely every happens outside of finals. The only notable ones I can think of are when they lost to FaZe at EPICENTER last year, when they lost in groups at ECS S6 Finals, and this past major.
2019-05-04 06:12
Welp, if they lose to MIBR ill just come back to talk trash. I'll see you later.
2019-05-04 06:18
I don't care if you talk trash. Won't affect me even if they lose, but they most likely won't lose. Judging on how MIBR were winning rounds last night vs mousesports and the amount of mistakes mouz made, I don't see them winning vs Liquid in a Bo3.
2019-05-04 06:32
I never asked if you care, I'm just doing what I said ill do, that's all. Liquid to lose 1-2
2019-05-04 06:44
Sorry bud, but this is the true power of a team with such insane individuals. Even when they are losing 3/4 pistols and in such dire situations, they can pull anything out like that from any one of their 5 players and close it out. Second half and overtime of that nuke game, every single player had single individual hero plays to win them some crucial rounds while having great teamplay winning the rest.
2019-05-04 09:28
Although I will give credit where credit is due, MIBR played really well and they're actually looking like a solid roster now.
2019-05-04 09:35
United States brentliu9 
If Liquid were to play at their full potential and not choke in the final they can stomp any team except Astralis in the final; and that's not to say they can't beat Astralis either.
2019-05-04 01:20
Potential and ceiling are all matters that vary immensely, just because they can doesn't mean they WILL do so. So to just blatantly say so this early on is just arrogance, which i wouldn't say is a rarity in sports
2019-05-04 01:26
Same for Faze, Mibr and even Navi
2019-05-04 06:11
United States brentliu9 
We've seen what those teams have to offer and they have shined at times and not so much at other times. Outside of the grand final, Liquid dominate every other team except Astralis. If they played the same way they do in the group stage it wouldn't even be close if the opponent was anybody except Astralis.
2019-05-04 21:28
I don't deny that. I am just saying that Faze, MIBR and Navi playing on full potential can beat Liquid.
2019-05-04 22:18
How is that arrogant? He's just saying that no matter who they face in the finals they suck...
2019-05-04 14:14
Brazil blankenstein 
I guess people understood it wrong, but they way he said, it can be understood like that. You do not say "our problem is the final, no matter who face", when you still have an opponent to beat at semi. Sounds very arrogant, like the semi is just another game.
2019-05-04 01:05
I mean it is tbh. If you see them play before the finals, 90% of the time they destroy every team up until the finals.
2019-05-04 01:08
Brazil blankenstein 
Yeah, I agree with this, and also I am 100% sure they will beat MIBR today, and they know that too, since MIBR's confidence is below zero and Liquid has been performing real good for a time good now, but you cannot deny that sounds arrogand - or cocky - at least. You never wanna boost your oponent - in this case MIBR - by discussing who you will face or not in finals. But what should I know, I am just regular dude, not a pro.
2019-05-04 01:11
Confidence plays a large role in whether you win or lose a match.
2019-05-04 01:12
Brazil blankenstein 
It sure does, that's what I meant by "you never wanna boost your oponent". By saying that their biggest problem right now is the finals, he is kind of ignoring the fact that they are not in the finals yet. Their biggest problem should be beating MIBR. But, like I said, I understood what he meant, I just think that saying like that, can make people consider it arrogance.
2019-05-04 01:17
ez 2x0 liquid
2019-05-03 21:51
Sweden Trkmag 
no shit
2019-05-03 21:52
So they will choke in the finals every time, no matter who they play against? Interesting.
2019-05-03 21:54
Brazil yalamix 
2019-05-04 00:49
Finland Smoonah 
Focusing on cache getting rid of cache ???
2019-05-03 21:55
Myanmar xdcc 
What do you mean? Valve is removing cache for vertigo but there were still some tournaments that used cache (probably even better to be strong at it if other teams are dropping it).
2019-05-03 22:08
Finland Smoonah 
I thought they were removing it from the active pool.
2019-05-03 23:12
Myanmar xdcc 
They did but tournaments can do whatever they want if they're not valve sponsored. Cache was in blast miami, now in sydney. Probably next ones will be replaced when teams are ready
2019-05-04 10:32
chokequid axaxaxa
2019-05-03 22:05
2019-05-03 22:07
United States Trump2020KAG 
U got this nitro. Elige gona drop 30bombs
2019-05-03 22:08
United States stephcurry30 
finally takin my advice to be more aggressive. only took 475839265 2nd places to realize that
2019-05-03 22:15
2019-05-03 22:52
Xizt | 
Italy HeSY 
Lol Ez choke 4 liquid
2019-05-03 22:28
Brazil |Coldzera| 
2019-05-03 22:33
g0d | 
Brazil L4x @.@ 
mibr will solve your problems so i dont need to play on finals
2019-05-03 22:51
Aleksib | 
Finland f1nch 
Don’t worry nitr0, I’m also worried about my finals. But as long as you study, I’m sure you’ll pass.
2019-05-03 23:09
United States DervGuy 
I believe
2019-05-04 00:13
Ukraine s1v9mple 
It's ok, NiKo is alwys with you my friend
2019-05-04 00:16
Even your ex-teammate s1mple is there for you anytime.
2019-05-04 16:33
Ukraine s1v9mple 
Ok and now in English, please
2019-05-04 16:34
Serbia SHk3 
2019-05-04 00:23
ableJ | 
Bangladesh DisableJ 
"I don't think it really matters who it is against, I just think our team will choke anyways" - Nick 'Nitr0' Canella, 2019
2019-05-04 02:32
2019-05-04 03:45
Not even in the Finals CHoke
2019-05-04 03:46
Korea OKOptimistic 
Brazilians already talking shit LOL
2019-05-04 05:59
India P1^t0N 
NRG is taking Sydney this is seem in final with liquid
2019-05-04 09:28
1 tap god
2019-05-04 09:28
This is so depressing. Astralis only won so many tournaments because they went up against final chokers all the time
2019-05-05 08:05
2019-05-05 08:43
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