EliGE: "We actually scrapped everything that we had from before [IEM Cologne]"

After Liquid's elimination at the hands of Movistar Riders, we caught up with Jonathan "⁠EliGE⁠" Jablonowski to talk about the first half of the year.

Liquid went into 2022 with a new-look roster and hopes of a return to pre-pandemic form, but a tough start to the year has already resulted in a roster move in the form of Eric "⁠adreN⁠" Hoag and Richard "⁠shox⁠" Papillon's departure. At IEM Cologne, though, the majority-American squad recorded their best result of the season so far, defeating Cloud9, FURIA, and 00NATION in groups before falling at the hands of the charging Movistar Riders in the LANXESS arena.

EliGE and Liquid go into the player break rejuvenated after a tough start to 2022

And, with Mareks "⁠YEKINDAR⁠" Gaļinskis keen on making his stand-in situation permanent, EliGE was full of praise for the Latvian and his impact on Liquid both inside-and-out of the game. He also commented on Liquid's season generally, speaking about Josh "⁠oSee⁠" Ohm's development, Nick "⁠nitr0⁠" Cannella's comfort levels with the CS:GO meta, as well as his thoughts on returning to less aggressive roles in the wake of YEKINDAR's arrival.

Just to start, how was the first half of the season for you? Are you generally happy going into the break after peaking at Cologne?

Yeah, I think that we've had very good progress, especially in the last month. I think that ending the season here [with a playoff run] is definitely on a really good note. I think that we've advanced very quickly in this last month and a half so I'm very happy with that. Especially going from the Dallas results to this result is obviously super good and with so little time that we've had to practise and get the structure we wanted. I think that it looks very good for us coming in after this player break.

How true was YEKINDAR's 150-hour comment?

We were definitely playing a lot, like at minimum we were playing about 10 or 11 hours a day and then very early Nick [nitr0], YEKINDAR and daps would stay after and help get the structure ready for an extra, an additional three hours a day on average after that already like 10-11 hour day for about the 10 days that we are practising. So we were putting in a ton of time to make sure that we had everything that we could come into it all, the different tools that we needed to have a successful event.

One thing about nitr0's calling because obviously he had quite a long time out of the meta — do you feel like this season he's progressed in a way where he's sort of back into it now for the second half of the year?

Yeah, I think that it's been a lot to learn especially for everyone really because it's been very difficult for us in the latter parts of last year and there's been just a ton of learning and especially YEKINDAR has helped a lot with that by helping us with the reads of different types of teams. I think that he's very well versed in how they like to structure their rounds that we weren't able to see as well, and I think that it's just been able to help a lot to get our macro back on the same page.

Is it the same for oSee? Do you think he's showing a steady progression and adapting well to tier one?

I think that it was just a matter of time for oSee, he plays a super good event, this one. People were just thinking that it was just the hype for a teammate but the level that I've seen from him just consistently, over time in practise, in these tournaments, I just think that it's very obvious to me that he's a really good player and has a lot of potential and he had a lot of huge rounds and huge moments this tournament. So I'm happy for him.

n0rb3r7 recently said how difficult it was for them to adapt to Jame's style because it's so complicated. What's that been like for YEKINDAR sort of doing the opposite, coming out of Jame's system after so long?

Well, he's definitely mentioned that there's a lot of structure on the Outsiders part of it and from our side we actually scrapped everything that we had before from the struggles that we had and I think that there's been a lot of positives and they have a lot of good reads from Outsiders that YEKINDAR's been able to bring over to our team, all the little micro details that you have in how you want to take map control, how you want to structure, the rounds, how you want to end them? How you're going to know, what type of late-round options that you'll have?

And, you know, that sounds... It's just very detailed, the way that is because it's obvious that you're gonna have those things, but just the way that you get them from the rounds, it just has a lot of detail to it and it's been a lot for everyone to learn and remember for sure that's why we started having printouts of all the calls, all the strategies, that we've had and it's been actually really nice if anyone needs to look at something real quick that they can and it's just been good for everyone, there's been a lot to learn from everyone's side.

Finally, one thing on your own role. For the start of this year, obviously you were much more aggressive compared to past years when you have someone like Stewie2k or TACO so do you think that even if it's not YEKINDAR long-term are you going to look for someone who's a bit more aggressive than shox to free you back into those old roles?

Yeah, I think that having an aggressive rifler definitely frees me up a lot on the T side of things, CT side as well, but I haven't really changed that many spots [on CT]. YEKINDAR pretty much slotted into every single spot that we needed on our CT side. But on T side it's definitely a weight lifted knowing that I don't have to make something happen every time. And YEKINDAR has a lot of good reads for what the defence of the CTs are and exactly what he wants and what needs to happen in those rounds. So having that voice especially helps a lot, not just being an aggressive rifler but having those reads that helps free up everyone. Mentally he's been a huge help.

United States Josh 'oSee' Ohm
Josh 'oSee' Ohm
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.11
Maps played:
1103
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.62
United States Jonathan 'EliGE' Jablonowski
Jonathan 'EliGE' Jablonowski
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1614
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.68
United States Nick 'nitr0' Cannella
Nick 'nitr0' Cannella
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
1401
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.66
France Richard 'shox' Papillon
Richard 'shox' Papillon
Age:
30
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
2018
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.66
United States Eric 'adreN' Hoag
Eric 'adreN' Hoag
Age:
32
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
697
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.65
Latvia Mareks 'YEKINDAR' Gaļinskis
Mareks 'YEKINDAR' Gaļinskis
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
1104
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.70
yes, wise words from our sensei EliGE!
2022-07-19 23:49
5 replies
+1 GOAT aggressive rifler spraymaster
2022-07-20 04:59
3 replies
+1
2022-07-20 05:15
+1
2022-07-20 08:07
+1
2022-07-20 11:31
ukrainian sensei better!
2022-07-20 11:56
Elige god when using yeki as his bait
2022-07-19 23:49
19 replies
No he is just a top 3 rifler all time. 1. niko 2. electronic 3. elige
2022-07-20 05:04
18 replies
Autimatic exists
2022-07-20 06:24
11 replies
#56
 | 
Romania Pecea
automatic is automatically going towards A, nothing else is going on
2022-07-20 07:33
10 replies
He's gotta go back!
2022-07-20 10:11
9 replies
#68
NAF | 
United States Krivix
stewies on his own!
2022-07-20 10:45
8 replies
BUT LOOK AT THE TIME
2022-07-20 11:46
5 replies
#78
 | 
Romania Pecea
LOOK AT THE TIME THERES 7 SECONDS TO PLANT THE BOMB
2022-07-20 13:53
4 replies
THEYRE TRYING TO GO FOR IT BUT THERES NO MORE PLAY
2022-07-21 10:37
3 replies
#98
 | 
Romania Pecea
STEWIE WON THE ROUND, WE RE GOING TO OVERTIME !
2022-07-21 10:38
*they are trying to build a pyramid but there is no more clay*
2022-07-24 10:27
1 reply
oh
2022-07-24 10:35
stewie big gay and ur even more gay for mentioning him
2022-07-21 22:14
1 reply
#110
NAF | 
United States Krivix
ok
2022-07-30 02:43
#69
 | 
Russia P0vTr
0/8, elulge top 3 of the worst riflers oat
2022-07-20 10:46
Olofmeister and coldzera say hello
2022-07-20 11:18
2 replies
funny that both of them said that NiKo is the best rifer. If u wanna look it up u have on one of the blast tournaments when they asked players about it...Oh yea and nobody mentioned olof or coldzera
2022-07-20 17:45
1 reply
??? I’m saying they are both better than elige not Niko, how tf did you even get to that assumption?????
2022-07-20 19:26
cold and f0rest play valorant?
2022-07-20 15:11
factual
2022-07-21 11:41
eligegegee
2022-07-19 23:50
#4
NAF | 
United States Jasper2K
Please sign yekindar now
2022-07-19 23:52
4 replies
#9
 | 
Chile 1cristiaan
7/8
2022-07-20 00:05
please G2 sign YEKINDAR!!!
2022-07-20 01:51
1 reply
#36
 | 
Latvia kvasinsh
I dont think G2 would be a good fit for yekindar, he would definitelyhave more "bitch" roles on G2 than lulquid, so i think liquid would be a better fit for his career
2022-07-20 03:50
+1
2022-07-21 16:02
yeki has to stay
2022-07-19 23:54
4 replies
To ruin his career?
2022-07-20 09:27
3 replies
#89
 | 
United States evanc
He has a good chance to solidify himself as a GOAT if he can come to lulquid and actually make them good, his stock will go way up....if he goes to G2 he'll just be Niko's b*tch, won't have much say in the team, and his stock will go down when that roster falls apart. Kinda surprised other European teams like Vitality aren't going after him tho..
2022-07-20 20:34
2 replies
+1 if he goes to g2, which he wont, hell get slotted in bitch roles with nioks massive ego and g2 wont do anything...again
2022-07-20 20:53
#103
 | 
Canada 6witts
+1
2022-07-21 21:13
#6
 | 
Hungary szia
So yet again, scrappy liquid on the edge of implosion >>> CIS's best
2022-07-19 23:59
Yekindar seems like a Good fit.
2022-07-20 00:01
Great news. You have to be more active to post, so here I am being active.
2022-07-20 00:03
10 replies
Same
2022-07-20 03:53
7 replies
Same
2022-07-20 06:55
6 replies
#54
 | 
Finland bliplbob
I’ll do it just in case
2022-07-20 07:04
2 replies
Fine, me too
2022-07-20 07:31
1 reply
same
2022-07-20 18:27
Same
2022-07-20 08:37
1 reply
I wont post anything
2022-07-20 09:12
Same
2022-07-20 11:15
Agreed.
2022-07-20 11:16
Honestly stupid
2022-07-22 05:15
elige is my daddy
2022-07-20 00:11
But still... Nitr0 still needs to get to a decent level. Whenever you watch him in a high preassure situation, where he is ancoring a bombsite he fails to do his job. He doesnt need to be old nitr0 but at least be an average pro. Right now I would easily consider him to be the worst player in Tier 1 space, just from eye test alone. Even Karrigan brings out huge impact rounds and he is obviously the best IGL rn.
2022-07-20 00:16
10 replies
You have the likes of AleksiB tho...
2022-07-20 00:29
6 replies
Yea he is been in bad form recently... Often has games where he just disappears.
2022-07-20 00:30
5 replies
Not just recently, overrated is to say the least. Doesn't bring any structure to the teams he's leading and definitely not the most vocal player either as unable to tell Niko to stfu
2022-07-20 00:33
4 replies
I would say he failed at G2 but I believe he still has lots to give.
2022-07-20 00:37
1 reply
#44
Juli | 
Canada Yaokon
Not really.. he sucked with og.. he's overated i hope havu picks him up id love to see the old ence reunion
2022-07-20 05:11
yeah only issue for liquid is that they obv want to mainly be NA and Idk anyone better than nitro as an igl and player at the same time, although from how it seems I dont think hes doing much calling as he used to and now its more structed because of daps
2022-07-20 00:38
Dude, you really think aleskib doesn't bring in any structure? He's an amazing IGL but it takes a lot of time for players to get used to his style and his structure. I'd rather say noone gives him enough time to make things work
2022-07-22 11:38
Based on eye test nitro is decent, he’s good enough for the most part. Now somebody like apEX on the other hand, he can’t call well at all these days and his individual form is definitely not tier 1.
2022-07-20 00:38
I agree with you. He looks overwhelmed in some crucial rounds. His calls are a bit off too. He clearly improves thought.
2022-07-20 01:03
1 reply
#63
 | 
Singapore 7un
He shows up in some games but just like ghost the rest. See the Astralis-Liquid game he gave like 4 clutches in 1 map.
2022-07-20 09:54
amazing
2022-07-20 00:25
#15
 | 
North America NoReply
sign yekindar now
2022-07-20 00:33
Bruh interviewer stop bringing up stewie2k, it likely brings up traumatic memories for liquid players. He held them back so bad for years!
2022-07-20 00:35
5 replies
#31
 | 
Canada MiLkBaGzz
joke or bait either way 0/8
2022-07-20 02:02
1 reply
#41
 | 
United States Topher
+1
2022-07-20 04:53
They literally won intel grand slam with stewie in an Astralis era. Tf u on about!!
2022-07-20 10:18
2 replies
Bot2k is bad cope
2022-07-20 15:32
1 reply
0/8
2022-07-21 09:22
Elige..! What an elite player for sure. One of the most mature and wise in all the scene...
2022-07-20 00:48
people acting like liquid had a magical run when they beat a c9 that lost to astralis and a furia that lost to sprout
2022-07-20 01:08
4 replies
Literally no one thinks it was a magical run. People think it's encouraging that the new lineup made playoffs and they could go further with more time together. Not surprising really. Three top 20 players together usually brings good results. Ropz to Faze pretty decent recent example.
2022-07-20 02:42
#48
 | 
North America minte
You are up there for top worst baiters on this site
2022-07-20 05:32
2 replies
Lmao
2022-07-20 10:19
u2
2022-07-20 13:55
Sign yekindar <3
2022-07-20 01:10
Yekindar u better stay
2022-07-20 01:11
Now they have just got to sign Yekindar
2022-07-20 01:17
lets get that bag yekindar💰💰
2022-07-20 01:32
2 replies
#28
 | 
Egypt BomberMan_
get that bread
2022-07-20 01:36
1 reply
that FAT CASH CHEQUE BABYYYY!!!
2022-07-20 01:47
dad
2022-07-20 02:37
Please sign Yekindar. He’s the Berserker/Zealot , we want to see his aggressive play! Thanks, WanJiQi please say something . Thanks,
2022-07-20 02:47
#35
 | 
Germany 4ntoN
who cars
2022-07-20 03:32
he really should join
2022-07-20 03:52
Sounds like he would be a great fit
2022-07-20 04:28
#40
 | 
Philippines laiff
YEKINDAR, if you join liquid you will be getting that league of legends type salary
2022-07-20 04:43
#46
 | 
Switzerland nierg
YEKINDAR literally a mini jame lmao
2022-07-20 05:29
5 replies
Yekindar the Jame Jr.
2022-07-20 05:31
#52
 | 
Indonesia segopecel
Does anyone knows whether yekindar was like this even before joining vp, or is this the influence of vp/outsiders style?
2022-07-20 06:55
3 replies
#53
 | 
Indonesia segopecel
If it the latter, picking buster as a coach is very worth it, as a strategic coach of course, not the motivate/hype one. He was one of the core of avangar/vp, and in quite long time(5 years). Should be as well versed or better than yekindar on these things.
2022-07-20 07:01
I think it's the second. YEKINDAR was all aim no brain before from what I know, I might be wrong tho.
2022-07-20 09:15
It's defininetly second option - he already said in one of the interviews, that he learned a LOT after joining VP. He was amazed how detailed aproach to the game in tier 1 can be!
2022-07-20 21:43
I hope a team like Fnatic can pick up yekindar
2022-07-20 05:56
6 replies
fnatic looks like a mix why
2022-07-20 08:18
Fnatic is dead bro. Dont waste yekindar's career in that team.
2022-07-20 10:20
4 replies
Still better than TL though and will be EU based
2022-07-20 12:47
3 replies
Nah liquid is making playoffs. Fnatic is not even in big tournaments anymore. Stop capping
2022-07-21 09:22
2 replies
Fnatic just changed roster, wait until next season u will see… yekindar only reason TL made playoffs
2022-07-21 11:57
1 reply
Yekindar only reason why elige popped off. Sure!! Let's see what fnatic does in few months.
2022-07-22 05:13
#77
 | 
Ukraine S1nse
nice
2022-07-20 13:30
#80
 | 
Australia imissdevvy
With all respect, YEKI looks worse in Liquid than in VP. Maybe it's about time, idk.
2022-07-20 13:56
3 replies
Totally differenr systems, tho. This is one of those cases in which "the project needs more time" is not an empty excuse.
2022-07-20 16:46
They literally practiced for only 10 days.
2022-07-20 18:41
1 reply
I guess also long time without real matches played a role. Training isn't the same as the real tournament. So YEKINDAR just needs time to adjust to new system and get his tournament rythm back.
2022-07-20 20:35
Still wish stewie2k wouldn't have kept clashing with FalleN all of their tenure together... FalleN, would be filling nitr0's role equally well or better nowadays.
2022-07-20 16:45
1 reply
#96
 | 
Brazil NiceFox7
Fallen already said what was the real problem at Liquid, Liquid promised that they would hire Fer after 2 months that Fallen was on the team, which did not happen and made Fallen get discouraged with the team and already started planning The last dance.
2022-07-21 10:21
#93
 | 
Netherlands Mauu
Great interview with the Liquid co-owner +1
2022-07-20 23:34
I hope he stays in Liquid. He is a real good fit in the team, I hope he won't go G2 because that is more a sinking ship then Liquid
2022-07-21 11:48
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