NAF: "I think the break knocked us down a lot"

Keith "NAF" Markovic spoke to HLTV.org about the issues Liquid have been having at the StarLadder Major so far.

The No.1 team in the world coming into the tournament in Berlin opened up the Major with a win over CR4ZY but struggled after that, losing to NRG and AVANGAR in best-of-one matches to face the prospect of elimination.

The skill and the teamplay is "not there" at the moment, NAF says

In our interview with NAF, the 21-year-old player explained Liquid's drop-off, the matches they have lost at the tournament so far, and what needs to happen for them to regain their level and have a good result at the Major.

You just beat North so you are still in the tournament, but why is Liquid even in this situation, playing for survival at the Major?

As you can clearly see, I think the break knocked us down a lot. In terms of skill, our skill is obviously gone compared to where it was before and then even our teamplay and our fundamentals are just not there at all as well. So right now it is going pretty bad, but before the North game we talked a lot of things that we need to fix, so going into the North game we just prepared, made sure we are not messing up, doing all that stupid stuff, we just cleaned it up. I think we expected to beat North, for sure, but we just got to be really rock-solid if we even want to make it to the bracket stage.

Why do you think it happened? You had a bootcamp, some people played during the break, what caused the issue you are now struggling with?

I obviously don't know what it is, it is a mix of teams getting a break, getting to reform themselves, come up with new strategies, and there is also just us falling off, I don't think it has anything with us being lazy. We worked hard on our bootcamp, even during the break we were practicing, I was playing FPLs with Stewie2K, staying up late and doing all of that. I saw Twistzz DMing all the time. Of course, I know that the other guys were doing the same. I don't know, it honestly doesn't really make sense to me right now why we are struggling so bad, to be honest. We just got to figure out why.

What do you make of the comment that ImAPet made regarding the game against your team, that playing against you in practice a lot kind of killed that idea of you being the super-best team?

I think I can understand that because I remember when Astralis were number one and we were number two, I'm not entirely sure why but we never scrimmed them. But I feel like maybe it was that Astralis never wanted to play us, we were close to them, we were number two, they did not want to show any tactics or even basic defaults. I think it was not smart of us [laughs] to scrim some NA teams during the bootcamp, but I don't know. To the original question, I can understand that, for sure.

So you lost to NRG, the local NA rival. Do you think they would be able to repeat that?

Yeah, I think they are an insane team, their lineup almost reminds me of our OpTic lineup, of course, they already have tarik and stanislaw, but even the roles, Brehze somewhat reminds me of RUSH, Ethan somewhat reminds me of myself, and they have CeRq, who is their mixwell, I guess you can say. So when I see that team it always reminds me of the young OpTic team. They have a lot of correct roles, they all get along very well so I think NRG can be a top team for sure, top 5, top 3.

You mentioned you are not at the level you want to be, people have been saying that this isn't the Liquid that is going to win the Major. What do you think you need to do to become that team?

Right now it is just knowing what we need to do. Even now, I feel like we make mistakes, there are gaps, even in the North game, they were flanking us when we were on the T-side, constantly. I just didn't understand why it was happening [laughs].

I don't know, we just need to play more. The more we played, especially before the break, back-to-back-to-back with LANs, constantly, that just helped us so much. I think we just need to get into our groove, we just need time, but unfortunately, we are at the Major and there is no time, the time is now and we need to strike. We really need to give it our all if we want to win, or else I honestly don't see us winning if we don't improve.

You won the Intel Grand Slam in season two. People have been comparing that with the Major, with some saying that winning the Grand Slam is the bigger feat. Do you feel that any part of the struggles right now are tied to maybe the Major not having that much prestige, not being that important to you?

No, not at all. Except for Stewie2K, we obviously haven't won a Major. The Grand Slam was a bigger thing than winning the Major in my opinion, so people have obviously talked about the pressure to win the Major. If you want to win a Grand Slam... well we had to win three best-of-fives and a best-of-three at four different tournaments, so I see the Grand Slam as being more prestigious than a Major, but then again the Major is a separate thing that you would love to win, I would love to win it and I'm trying my best out here. So we just have to keep giving it our all if we want to take it home and obviously we are not treating this like it doesn't matter, "oooh, we already won tournaments in the past, who cares". We are trying our best and as I said before, we just need time, but obviously there is no time left, the time is right now.

Canada Keith 'NAF' Markovic
Keith 'NAF' Markovic
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1110
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.16
#1
 | 
United Kingdom SickaBoy 
yes
2019-09-01 10:34
i AREN'T THINK THATs
2019-09-01 10:35
#17
NiKo | 
Croatia mimi031 
I AREN'T THINK THISs
2019-09-01 10:41
#20
 | 
United Kingdom SickaBoy 
give me kebab to eat
2019-09-01 10:42
#27
 | 
Finland Lehtori 
No shit, it costed you major, not like you get many shots at winning one
2019-09-01 10:51
"costed" nice englando
2019-09-01 12:58
#28
NiKo | 
Croatia mimi031 
Take it bisch
2019-09-01 10:51
Get back up King NAF! The entire continent of NA is behind you!
2019-09-01 10:41
Liquid tier 2 team beclmming top 1 coz winning a couple of tier 5 events haha
2019-09-01 11:17
#65
 | 
Sweden snowy4k 
Tier 5?
2019-09-01 12:39
#72
 | 
Portugal ez4zewsxD 
-Continent -Na Choose one...
2019-09-01 13:19
#74
 | 
United States IWASRUNNING 
NA is a continent... Lol Baiting hard?
2019-09-01 13:43
Some people consider the America’s as one continent, some consider NA and SA as 2 separate continents
2019-09-01 15:13
There's a Central America either.
2019-09-01 15:53
Don’t make fun of people who are intellectually disabled. Apparently it’s frowned upon.
2019-09-02 03:58
wtf do you have burger blood?
2019-09-01 15:15
#2
 | 
Australia JAY_DAWG 
nice
2019-09-01 10:35
nt
2019-09-01 10:42
oK
2019-09-01 10:35
#4
COCAINE | 
United Kingdom Kansur 
ez
2019-09-01 10:35
i agrey
2019-09-01 10:35
#6
 | 
France pilou52700 
NA excuses
2019-09-01 10:35
#16
s1mple | 
Europe Sam2k 
+1
2019-09-01 10:41
It’s true though, only explanation for top 1 dropping off.
2019-09-01 10:46
#36
 | 
France pilou52700 
there is no explainations for not working when you're making a damn good life out of your job
2019-09-01 11:15
So people who make money playing video games are not allowed to go on vacation and spend time with family?
2019-09-01 11:22
#47
 | 
United States Ash171 
+1 hes just a jealous idiot
2019-09-01 11:30
#60
 | 
France pilou52700 
where have i said that ? other team like vita astralis and ENCE worked their asses of after they came back so...
2019-09-01 12:14
#68
 | 
United States jaeger_steam 
Using astralis in this example shows your clear bias... astralis are literally the definitive example of getting complacent and willingly giving up on the greatest dynasty the game has ever seen... Vitality are having plenty of their own issues at the moment, ence had plenty of problems before the break. A lot of it is directly on valve for absolutely terrible timings of the major.
2019-09-01 12:59
lol at Frenchy telling Americans to work harder.
2019-09-02 13:51
2-3 incoming
2019-09-01 10:35
Inb4 2-3
2019-09-01 10:36
#76
 | 
Bulgaria No_1One 
Vamouz
2019-09-01 14:16
Yes
2019-09-01 10:37
#11
 | 
Belgium Ex6TenZz 
444
2019-09-01 10:37
Fluke era just like c9 major win
2019-09-01 10:38
"My local internet cafe LAN tournament is more prestigious than a MAJOR" - NAF, 2019
2019-09-01 10:39
#14
s1mple | 
Europe Sam2k 
and now mouz will knock you out of the major
2019-09-01 10:40
You just sck NA CS 2-3 INC
2019-09-01 10:41
I don't know why but somehow I hate seeing Liquid top 1, I want to see Astralis or NAVI instead
2019-09-01 10:43
Astralis was the most boring era of all time
2019-09-01 10:47
#33
 | 
Canada herocoolzzz 
+1
2019-09-01 11:08
#77
 | 
Bulgaria No_1One 
Flag and flair checks out
2019-09-01 14:17
`Cuz everyone else was so bad in comparison. Watching Astralis towards the end of 2018 and now is exciting cuz they have gotten worse so the games are very close xd
2019-09-01 11:23
#78
 | 
Bulgaria No_1One 
+1
2019-09-01 14:17
Who says? And why? Because they were the best team of all time and they kept destroying every team a year in a row?
2019-09-01 11:28
Yeas and Because nobody was even close to their level and every series they played was a blowout. Even the no. 2 team at the time Liquid was getting blown out by Astralis. Every tournament was the same shit, “Who’s gonna dethrone Astralis.” Edit: Also this is not a shot against Astralis either. They were the best team at the time, maybe even all time and just utterly dominated the scene to the point of boredom.
2019-09-01 12:06
#50
 | 
Switzerland Jeded 
Any era is boring, but yeah Astralis was the most boring, and liquid's period of dominance was also pretty boring to watch especially for an ENCE fan.
2019-09-01 11:36
Na'Vi Top 1 would be fun to watch
2019-09-01 10:54
MAJOR> winning 3 grand slams
2019-09-01 10:43
if the break kicked you down why did you take a break and stop playing??
2019-09-01 10:44
+1
2019-09-01 10:56
He said they played in break and even had a bootcamp.
2019-09-01 11:07
Excuses. They are discovering that what defibes an "era" is actually a prolonged time, and that maintaining the excellence levels for more than a few monthes is actually the most diffcult part. That's why to me anything below 6 monthes including a major can't be an era. It's just a streak of very good results.
2019-09-01 11:14
What do you mean? There's no tier S tournament for like a month before the major
2019-09-01 11:19
#55
 | 
Greece Michaelides 
Burnout? Nitr0 and Stewie have said that they were definitely feeling burnout from grinding before the player break. Of course they needed a break.
2019-09-01 11:58
bro can you read? he said that they kept scrimming and playing fpl.
2019-09-01 23:34
i only read the titles
2019-09-02 15:49
Oof
2019-09-01 10:50
Only a lot ?
2019-09-01 11:03
I was expecting this. Excuses already piling up, and saying this sounds like they already accepted their fate. I doubt they'll win the major. And don't like " coulda, shoulda, woulda ". Why would anyone relax before reaching the main career goal of a csgo player and the biggest event of the year...?
2019-09-01 11:10
#40
 | 
Germany naeqode 
I dont think you understand what excuses are m8 If he was saying "My house burned down and I couldnt play for 2 months.." that would be excuses. Hes just analyzing the situation. Hes explaing why he thinks theyre playing bad. Analysis =! Excuses
2019-09-01 11:19
#46
 | 
United Kingdom n33b 
He's not mentioning the fact that while they were on top most other teams were in pretty bad shape due to recent changes, requiring changes or just not playing with the case of Astralis. Now so many of those teams are back to form and it shows liquid weren't as far ahead as the results indicted and their 'era' is no where near the level of any other. He barely mentions the other teams all being back to form (putting liquid back in their place). I just read a whole load of excuses not analysis.
2019-09-01 11:28
#70
 | 
Germany naeqode 
yea buts thats mainly because you cant read, not because of what NAF is saying. "I obviously don't know what it is, it is a mix of teams getting a break, getting to reform themselves, come up with new strategies, and there is also just us falling off.." Are you going to deny that Liquid fell off ? Have you seen their aim before the break and now ? Twistzz missed like 10 free trades vs Avangar, where, before the break he wouldve gotten two or 3. NAF went 8-20 vs NRG and died on cat every round where before the break he wouldve gotten 3 with an Awp. Theyre playing bad. Thats not an excuse, its the truth. Liquid has been top2 for way over a year now. What do you even mean by "putting them back in their place" lmao. Stop hating on them and dont act like a bunch of teams should be rightfully overtaking them now. Theyve been beating these teams for ages.
2019-09-01 13:08
+1
2019-09-01 13:18
#88
 | 
United Kingdom n33b 
Sorry must've missed the one mention of other teams and he didn't link the 2 together anyway. One has contributed to the other. He isn't giving the other teams as much credit as they deserve for Liquid dropping off so much is what I was saying.
2019-09-01 19:40
#87
 | 
United States stephcurry30 
seems like ur the one making excuses here not naf
2019-09-01 19:16
#89
 | 
United Kingdom n33b 
I'm making excuses for what? :S
2019-09-01 19:42
#90
 | 
United States stephcurry30 
"Now so many of those teams are back to form and it shows liquid weren't as far ahead as the results indicted and their 'era' is no where near the level of any other. He barely mentions the other teams all being back to form (putting liquid back in their place)." #70 has already corrected u and adding on to wat he said, naf is only talking from his own and his teams perspective since its quite clear to anyone who watched how liquid played before the break that their coordination, confidence, and aim has been lacking. its more that theyre losing to themselves than they r to other teams. other teams improving isnt the reason for twistzz, naf, and stewie to whiff shots they would usually hit and i shouldnt have to point that out to u
2019-09-01 19:58
#91
 | 
United Kingdom n33b 
OK NA nothing but excuses, 2 team region, 1 of those teams carried by a bulgarian. Worst (and least contested for all the wrong reasons) era in cs history soon over. Other teams are back and that's why liquid have struggled.
2019-09-01 20:29
#92
 | 
United States stephcurry30 
well deluded urself with all the best excuses u can come up with since u've been living the past few months feeling threatened by liquid's performance. i dont think ill waste anymore time correcting u as others have done before and trying to keep u straight since ur coping mechanisms r running on full effect. dont let wat happens in CS give u reasons to lie to urself, in the end, watever results ur fav teams accomplish have nothing to do w/ u
2019-09-01 20:42
#93
 | 
United Kingdom n33b 
Why the fuck would I feel threatened by what a csgo team does in any fucking way? Wow you're seriously mentally retarded what are you even fucking talking about? Feeling threatened is what you dumb yanks do whenever you go to a crowded public place. I don't feel threatened over video games sorry fuckwit.
2019-09-01 22:08
#94
 | 
United States stephcurry30 
theres no other way to explain ur rejection of objective facts eg. u refuse to acknowledge the liquid players r missing shots that they usually hit. ur, by definition, delusional.
2019-09-01 22:17
#95
 | 
United Kingdom n33b 
When did I say they're not missing shots they usually hit? I simply said NAF didn't acknowledge, as you seem to fail to, that it has at least something to do with the pressure caused by the other teams performances against them. Fuckwit confirmed. Please go on some ramble about me lying to myself or something again that shit was hilarious.
2019-09-01 23:24
#96
 | 
United States stephcurry30 
u fail to read and make sense of even ur own statements and other ppls as #70 has already pointed out. im not going to entertain ur delusions any longer if u refuse to apply skills that u should have learned in ur teenage yrs
2019-09-01 23:32
#100
 | 
United Kingdom n33b 
I never refused to acknowledge liquid missing shots. I never said liquid were not missng shots. I said he is not giving any credit to the other teams, he seems to think it's all down to liquid. Narcissistic American-like POV from the Canadian. Been adopted nicely into the fold. You're inventing things that I've said or done but I'm the delusional one? Also you still keep saying I'm making excuses but I don't even have anything to make excuses for. You're seriously mentally disabled or something
2019-09-02 10:13
#101
 | 
United Kingdom n33b 
That might be harsh so let me just break it down for you and maybe you'll finally understand (doubtful). Other teams performing better than expected coming in to the tourney and doing unexpected things lead to a lot more pressure on liquid which then lead to some of the bad play from liquid. I'm not saying it's all down to the other teams but some of it is and if you reckon it isn't then you're definitely the delusional one. NAF even mentions it but he starts 'I obviously don't know what it is' cos he won't admit it or actually give the other teams credit. (My main point) In no way am I saying they didn't whiff shots that they would've hit before.
2019-09-02 10:45
#105
 | 
United States stephcurry30 
well then how about u provide some specific examples of things other teams r doing that r causing liquid players to whiff shots that LEMs wouldve hit. sounds ridiculous doesnt it since a team known for their trade-fragging r suddenly missing timings and whiffing in aim duels which have little to do w/ watever strategy or tactics the other team is running. hard to do since its mostly speculation and u probably wont be able to find any clear-cut examples eh? it definitely has more to do with liquids own coordination and not performing to their past standards. elige mentioned in the recent interview about how they werent communicating/less talkative than they were before the break and theyre making similar mistakes often. sure some of this is due to the pressure from opposing teams but it would be only a small part and the main problems r from the liquid players themselves. naf perhaps shouldve elaborated more on how the play from the other teams r affecting them but it seems more as if naf believes its an internal problem within their own team and that much is apparent as seen from the game where he had like 8 kills or something. one thing he can be sure of is his and his team's underperformance whiich may be why he doesnt give much credit to the other team
2019-09-03 20:01
#37
liTTle | 
CIS Dowa) 
excuses looooooooooooool
2019-09-01 11:15
#41
NBK- | 
China Gnikiv 
Alex Genius ALEX: "THE ONLY THING THAT'S GOING TO STOP LIQUID IS THE PLAYER BREAK, HOPE THEY DROP OFF A BIT BECAUSE IT'S RIDICULOUS" ‪ hltv.org/news/27445/alex-the-only-thing-..
2019-09-01 11:24
#66
 | 
Morocco de_cpl_mill 
200 iq
2019-09-01 12:42
#42
VINI | 
Brazil logzera 
Mibr n. 2
2019-09-01 11:22
First Astralis - Now Liquid!!
2019-09-01 11:31
#49
 | 
Belgium ZxTox 
Tbh you should be better after a break.
2019-09-01 11:32
#56
 | 
Greece Michaelides 
You can lose a lot of momentum after a break, and they had a lot of momentum coming off multiple tournaments wins in a row.
2019-09-01 12:02
#85
 | 
United States omEon 
+1
2019-09-01 17:05
excuses
2019-09-01 11:36
#52
 | 
United States JustBitsy 
I feel like if they can take the mouz match they can keep moving back into their own game and out of their heads.
2019-09-01 11:42
#53
 | 
United Kingdom n33b 
Many other teams are back to form FINALLY. I doubt liquid will ever top 1 for an extended period again even at their best, unless every other team drops off (or stops playing like Blastralis) for a few months again. I don't see that happening. Don't give the other teams any credit NAF (except for the other NA team NRG) Entire interview about yourself and liquid pretty much. So american. (I know that's what the interview was about but he could at least mention other teams cos let's face it a huge part of them sucking is the other teams stepping it up and putting more pressure on)
2019-09-01 12:00
Hopefully they won't back.
2019-09-01 11:56
#57
sodaH | 
Estonia rafio 
not a solid team, 2-3
2019-09-01 12:01
#59
 | 
Latvia tibr0 
lmao nice speach at major XDD
2019-09-01 12:09
sloth
2019-09-01 12:24
Basically this article confirmed ezmajor4ence. Thank mr. nahf
2019-09-01 12:26
#63
 | 
Greece Michaelides 
Also granted ALEX's wish
2019-09-01 12:28
#64
 | 
Denmark Jonasnhj 
The same happened to AStralis
2019-09-01 12:37
0/8
2019-09-01 13:01
I only hear incomming excuses No major No era period
2019-09-01 13:33
Fluke
2019-09-01 14:21
ALEX saw the future of Liquid , player break nerfed them lol
2019-09-01 15:05
Reinstall.
2019-09-01 15:19
tik tok
2019-09-01 18:24
Lmao I love how everyone's saying excuses cus it's NA but when Astralis said the same thing when they fell off after a long break, all EU fans said otherwise. Love this NA vs WORLD thing. NA truly the best country.
2019-09-01 23:55
#102
 | 
United Kingdom n33b 
Pretty sure many of us still call them blastralis but whatever moron.
2019-09-02 11:05
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