Liazz: "After our 0-2 game against AVANGAR, it was really dark"
The Australian side faced elimination early in Berlin after suffering defeats to NRG on Dust2 and AVANGAR on Vertigo in their two first games. With a confident win over DreamEaters, Renegades stayed alive at the Major and will face FaZe in round four.
The community expectation of you wasn't high based on the recent results, do you think those expectations were understandable, that they were fair?
Yeah, I think everyone's opinion was fair even though we were pretty confident coming into this tournament despite having lost something ridiculous like fifteen out of the last sixteen games. All of our games have been really close, so we think that we are still up there and we thought it was just a little mental hurdle we had to get over. Coming to the event we did a lot of mental preparation, we did a lot of the same preparation we did before Katowice, which yielded a lot of results then. (sighs) It is not working out too well just yet, but we are getting there. I think that every day everyone is getting a little bit more confident and getting back into it because we came off of the player break and we are not LAN ready, all that sort of stuff.
Tell me a bit about the preparation, you had a pretty long bootcamp. How long was it and what were the results like because people have been saying you've been doing pretty well in practice?
It was a three-week bootcamp, and even during the player break, we were all playing, making sure we stay warm. But during the three weeks, we started pretty cold but it felt exactly the same a Katowice, it was so reminiscent of it. Day by day, Aleks (kassad) and Aaron (AZR) were going over new stuff and bringing in new things to our team. We had sitdowns, big talks about which teams we wanted to bin and which we thought we needed a change or a tweak. The first week was a little bit cold because we were all warming up to each other again, and we've been putting in a lot of work to do with team synergy and team building, having breakfasts and dinners together, making sure we spend more time together. The next two weeks were pretty good, we started getting really good results against everyone. I think we were only struggling against one or two teams and were smashing everyone else. But you can't really go off of bootcamp results, right?
Touching on the first game you had here, NRG, you were underdogs but it ended up being a pretty close match, it seemed like you had it in the bag, to a degree. What went wrong in that game?
I don't know. To us, it felt like we were playing the game very, very well. We didn't feel like there were any huge issues we were running into. We felt like we had good reads and Aaron was definitely making good calls. kassad did a really good prep before the game so we knew what to expect, but there were just situations where they were hitting crazy shots or someone would get three kills when they should only really get one. The little, tiny things that got them over the edge. I think they won three our four force rounds, which is... fu**ing ridiculous.
The last two rounds, 14-14, 14-15, I think we should've won both of those rounds. One of them was a 5v3 I think, and I can't remember what happened in the 14-14...
jkaem's scroll jump, I think?
Oh yeah, his scroll. Like... what can you do?
Touching on the AVANGAR game, you ended up on Vertigo which people thought was a pretty risky move and it didn't pay off in the end. With that in mind, what did you think of the map going into it?
For Vertigo, that was actually the main map we focused on during our bootcamp, we got really, really good results on that map. I think mouz's coach Rejin has been talking a lot about how good our results have been in practice and I think that whenever we were practicing mouz it was always Vertigo. For them to be complementing us after they've gotten so much [positive] feedback on their Vertigo is a big thing, I think. They are a sick team on Vertigo.
In hindsight, maybe Vertigo wasn't the right map for us to play against AVANGAR, I think flusha made a Tweet saying that we shouldn't be playing a map we are both comfortable on because we have a better map pool, I guess that is right... I don't know, we felt so good on Vertigo, we just wanted to play it. We felt really, really confident.
Is that confidence still there after the game, are you still playing it against other teams?
Our confidence is still there, we had a few problems because after taking so many beatings, losing so many 16-14s, I think it is fair to say we all have a little bit of confidence issues in the team and things we might do in practice were not exactly translating into our games. But as we get into more and more games and we get wins on the board, like this one, we will play more as we do in practice, get more aggressive, and that is when Vertigo can slot right back in.
Playing Dreameaters, a team that beat some pretty good teams in the past. You go against them in an elimination match, so if you lose this you are going 0-3, going home. How do you go into that match seeing their history and your current form?
Well after our 0-2 game against AVANGAR, it was really dark. No one really wanted to talk to each other for a few good hours but we sat down, had a big talk, everyone is really happy and confident, everybody got each other laughing and smiling again, more team dinners, more breakfasts together, and we went into the game the same way. Everyone stayed up a bit later last night practicing, putting in a little bit more work. I watched a few demos, kassad watched tons of demos and got us really prepared for the game.
I think we have a big mental edge as well. I feel Dreameaters are the team with the backs against the wall, we went into the match as favorites and were confident, happy, we thought we were going to win from the start. But props to them, they played really good as well.
Lastly, now that you are not 0-3, if things don't change with the system you are not going back to the Minor, you are skipping that and also I guess all of the Asian teams are pretty happy you are not going back, you are giving more chances for the people back home. How much of a consideration was that, both you not going back and other teams having more of a shot to get to the Major?
We really didn't want to go back to the Minor, I think it was the only thing we were thinking about. (laughs) But I think it is really big for the Asian scene, we saw Grayhound doing a lot of damage in the last round. I'm really not sure how they are going to do without erkaSt, he was a really big part of that team, but I have confidence in the rest of those guys to step up because they are really, really good players. I don't know, I'm not 100% sure on the Asian scene, where it stands right now. I think ViCi was the last best team, from memory, but they have been having a few issues and TYLOO has been having a few issues, so I'm not sure where they all stand. But I think it is sick for the Asian scene and the whole scene in general because it brings a whole new fanbase in when another Asian team makes it to the Major.