nitr0: "The Intel Grand Slam is a big thing, but we are not trying to add any extra pressure"
Liquid continue their strong run, picking up two wins in Germany, albeit strongly contested ones. Underdogs MVP PK pushed them to a 16-14 on Nuke, while the game against the Russian-Ukranian side went three maps with Liquid barely stealing away the first one, Dust2.
We spoke to the team's in-game leader following the latter game, and quizzed him about what stopped them from having a more convincing performance, extending their strong record against Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev and co., and their issues with pistol rounds.
The first game you had here against MVP PK ended up being pretty tight. How did that game go from your perspective?
MVP was actually a pretty hard match, I think their T side was pretty good. They had a cool smoke which landed in front of the Vent and then they mollied top Hut so they would deny information on whether or not they went down the vent. I haven't seen that in a really long time actually, so and it was messing with our rotations a little bit. I think they were kind of obvious when they were doing an upper execution but it was still hard to stop because they had mollies in random places. One was in front of Hut, one was Site... it was just something we never experienced before. I actually think their T side was pretty hard to play against, it was obviously a hard match, we had a slow start, we always have slow starts to tournaments, but I'm just happy we won it compared to losing to North in Montpellier.
Moving from that, you played Na`Vi next and obviously you have a great record against them. You go into Dust2 and it ends up being a very long game, overtime, you are becoming overtime specialists now with how much of them you are winning... Is the history you have there something that allows you to come back more easily?
Obviously there is a good history between us and s1mple, there is a little rivalry because he is our ex-teammate. I know we have a super good record against them, we are very confident just playing against them in general, even though they have the best player, but this time it was more difficult than in the past because they picked up the new player and I don't think if they had any officials in a month or two. It was kind of hard to do any preparation for them so we decided to focus on ourselves and base it off of scrims that we had in the past with them. It was definitely more difficult than past iterations.
Tell me about Overpass, you had a solid T side, 7-8, and then moving to CT you would usually expect that to be a done game. It didn't go that way this time - does it have something with the AUG being nerfed, do you think that played into how that match went?
I don't necessarily think it is because of the AUG nerf, I think, first of all, we lost both pistols so that really guttered us in the beginning. Going into their T side they got the momentum... I think they are kind of obvious on what they were doing, their gameplan, they would just go wherever they threw utility. So when they were going A, they were throwing utility A until the very last round where they faked us, it was 15-14, they faked A and went B. Other than that, I think they were kind of obvious on their T side but they had a lot of good individual plays and that is really what it came down to on Overpass - and losing both pistols.
You touched on the pistols, at the last event as well that was your weak spot. Pistols are kind of difficult to nail down in CS:GO, so what is your approach towards fixing it?
Our pistols right now are a work in progress [laughs]. I don't think we are bad pistol players, individually, by any means. I think we have some of the best pistol players in the world. But I think, for our last bootcamp, we really took a different approach to pistols and we've actually been winning more than at the last tournament, at the last tournament it was really bad for us, but here it has been ok so far. We are going back to more basic stuff with pistols, we are not trying to overcomplicate anything and just try to hit more shots I guess.
Obviously this is the tournament where you could go 4/4 in Big Events and win the Intel Grand Slam, just like that. How does that play into everything you've been doing here? You are already in the playoffs, so half of the work is already done but the harder part is still left...
Just like any other tournament, we are trying to take it match by match, so far so good, we aren't trying to put any extra pressure on ourselves, we know that the Intel Grand Slam is a big thing, it is very prestigious, but we are not trying to add any extra pressure. We already had a discussion about the Intel Grand Slam and obviously, we are going to attend tournaments to try and get it, but we are trying to not focus too much on that and take it round by round, win every tournament we can possibly win. So far we are 3 for 4 with the Major loss, so it is looking good. We just have to see how this tournament pans out.