NAF: "We had the Miami loss in the back of our heads, but now we feel like we are above and beyond every other team"
To finalize our on-site coverage of BLAST Pro Series Los Angeles, we spoke to the tournament's Most Valuable Player, Keith "NAF" Markovic.
The Canadian star spoke to his supreme form throughout the entire tournament, which earned him his first MVP medal since iBUYPOWER Masters at the start of the year, after some of his teammates outshone him in Liquid's earlier triumphs of their fantastic run over the last three months.
As showcased by the MVP, this has been one of your career-best tournaments, what do you think was behind this kind of form?
Obviously, with the teams here, some teams may not have been in the best form, especially MIBR who have their coach, so there are some things that kind of take away from the MVP itself, but overall I felt really confident at this LAN compared to others. There were times where I was even just entry fragging, running in, I was feeling it. Mentally, I felt really good for this event and I guess it paid off, I'm here (laughs).
Earlier in Liquid you were statistically the team's best player, but lately the spotlight has been more on EliGE and Twistzz, is it harder to shine consistently with this much talent on the team?
Yeah, honestly, I think it's completely impossible for me to be consistent when we have such a strong frontline in terms of EliGE, Twistzz, Stewie, and nitr0. There's no way I can be consistent throughout my play through all of these events. It's obviously difficult, but at the end of the day, I'm playing for trophies, that's the main thing I care about, so if everyone can pop off, that's amazing, I love it.
Previously you've had some problems against FaZe, losing to them in the Miami final and also having a tough series against them in Dallas, this time it was a lot more convincing outside of that one half on Nuke. Has the matchup changed, or is it just down to your overall improvement?
Obviously, going into the match we kind of had that thought in the back of our head about the Miami loss, but now we feel like a way different team, we feel like we are above and beyond every other team. Going into this one, we were just confident, we knew that we'd play our A game based on our previous game, so we were just confident that we'd win. We just have a different mentality compared to even just a few months ago at BLAST Miami, for sure.
With the Intel Grand Slam victory and now adding another trophy to that, this level of domination has caused people to start talking about an era, what do you think when you see them associate you with that status?
Yeah, I hear people saying that it's going to be an era, but personally, I don't care. I don't think about that type of stuff, I just think about what's ahead of me, the trophies that are ahead of me, that we've just got to keep going and non-stop practice, keep grinding. We're a young team, all of us are hungry, a lot of us haven't even won as much before this year, so we have so much hunger and drive compared to any other team, in my opinion, so that just helps us and that's why we're here right now for sure.
Lastly, since there are a couple of your former teammates there, I wanted to ask you about this Cloud9 team, what do you make of them after playing them earlier?
I think what they did was great, going back to an NA foundation I guess you could say. Bringing in mixwell is honestly not a big issue because he's been here before, he's done it before, he knows what to expect and what he needs to avoid. With their lineup, I think it's great, with TenZ they've got the young gun and autimatic and all that, daps as an IGL. daps is very good at building teams from the ground up, so overall I'm excited for the new lineup, I think they have a bright future, they've just got to work hard and they'll get there for sure.