HObbit: "I don't think we're a comfortable team for Liquid, maybe it's an illusion"

The Kazakhstani veteran hopes to claim revenge against Liquid in the semi-finals.

Cloud9 put a halt to FaZe's hopes of clinching an early Intel Grand Slam title and back-to-back ESL Pro League trophies on Thursday, defeating Finn "⁠karrigan⁠" Andersen's men in a three-map series in the quarter-finals. The victory came off the back of another stellar showing from Sergey "⁠Ax1Le⁠" Rykhtorov, who had been a thorn in the international team's side in their previous meeting at IEM Dallas and was one again this time around, averaging a 1.54 series rating and posting 106 ADR across the three maps.

HObbit is looking forward to a rematch versus Liquid

Having dispatched of the tournament favorites, Cloud9 can now turn their attention to their semi-final opponent in Liquid, who has had their number in their previous two encounters. The last meeting between the teams in the Pro League group stage had little bearing on Cloud9's playoff hopes — they were already confirmed to top the group while Liquid needed a win in order to make it through — but the North American side had still claimed a win in two maps, the same result as when they knocked Cloud9 out of the IEM Cologne group stage before the tournament break.

Revenge is now on the mind of Abay "⁠HObbit⁠" Khasenov, who shared his thoughts about the upcoming matchup with HLTV. He agreed with Keith "⁠NAF⁠" Markovic's statement that Mareks "⁠YEKINDAR⁠" Gaļinskis knows what Cloud9 are up to on the server during their matches, but disagreed with the idea that Liquid are comfortable against them, stating that he will prove them wrong in their matchup. The 28-year-old also spoke to beating FaZe once again and Ax1Le's performance in the game, and gave his thoughts on who he would like to play in the grand final if Cloud9 can make it through.

HObbit, congrats on the win, a pretty big scalp by denying FaZe a chance at the Grand Slam here and another win after Dallas. How does it feel taking them down again?

I'm very happy that we recovered, we keep improving our form. It was already close on Inferno. I'm feeling that me and my team are improving tournament by tournament, and that's a very important thing for me.

The first map was pretty close, you lost some hard rounds towards the end. What went wrong there?

We played very passive. They had forced, it was like a half-buy for them, and they just won it. On Inferno you shouldn't lose these rounds, especially versus FaZe, especially in very important tournaments.

After that force round, they adapted, they understood how to outplay us. We did some crucial mistakes on B also, some important rounds. We have a lot of things that we need to fix.

After that you came through on Ancient, which was pretty one-sided for you, and then Mirage got a little closer at the end but you were in control for most of it as well. How did it end up so much in your favor?

We improved our Ancient a lot since the last tournament. Yesterday our coach just came to us and said, 'we're going to pick Ancient. We have everything to win against them, we have good strats, we have good structure, everything, a good feeling of the map.'

So yes, it was a bit scary, just because we didn't play Ancient versus FaZe before, but things just worked for us very well and I'm very glad.

Before we started the interview, we were talking about Ax1Le's stats and you mentioned that he seems to play really well against FaZe. Is there any particular reason for that, why has he been so good against this team specifically?

He's just good. Without any reasons. If he wants to play good, he's going to play good, it depends on his motivation. Usually he is playing good every time.

Of course, he still needs some experience, but he is the best rifler in the world in my opinion. He's clean. Cleanest rifler in the world for sure, I'm pretty sure about that.

Now you're going to go into semi-final against Liquid who beat you in the group stage, though you were already locked into the playoffs at the time. Going into that rematch, how are you feeling, is there a sense of wanting to take revenge?

Of course we want to take revenge. They've beaten us twice in the last times, and it was very important games for us. I mean yes, the last game it wasn't super important, but we really wanted to win. This time it is going to be a very hard game. We're going to prepare for it 100%.

I interviewed NAF just before this, and he said they feel very confident playing against Cloud9 and that YEKINDAR is pretty knowledgeable when it comes to playing against you. Is that because he has an understanding of that regional playstyle?

We're going to see. As they said, YEKINDAR totally knows what we are doing, just because we played a lot versus him when he was playing for ex-VP, Outsiders.

Yeah of course he knows everything, that's the first thing. Second thing, we will see, I don't think that we're a comfortable team for them, maybe it's an illusion. They think like that, but I don't think so, and we're going to prove that after tomorrow.

Read more
NAF: "Any time we have to face Cloud9 I think a lot of us are very confident"

Now that you've beaten FaZe, who were considered the favorites to win, who do you see as your next biggest challenge for the rest of the tournament?

The next biggest challenge is Liquid, they just beat us two times. We're just going step-by-step. Yes, FaZe is of course the best team in the world, we beat them, now we're going to play Liquid and they beat us twice. We're going to fix our mistakes, we're going to prepare for them. We will do everything for a win.

On the other side of the bracket, there's three teams who are a bit of a toss-up as to who makes it through, not everyone is fully confident in NAVI making the final. Between NAVI, G2, and Vitality, who do you think will make it to the end of the bracket and who would you like to eventually take on if you make the finals?

It's hard to say. I respect every team who is playing in the other bracket, but the most interesting match for everyone in the world will be a match against NAVI of course, just because... I don't know, it's NAVI [smiles].

From another side, I would like to meet G2, just because we didn't play versus them in maybe one year. I miss it a lot, I like to play versus them. There's a lot of mind games there. And from another side, I have friends from Outsiders, so of course the most percentage of my heart is going to cheer for them.

[Editor's note: The last time HObbit played G2 was at IEM Cologne 2021 when they still had JACKZ, AMANEK, and nexa].

Kazakhstan Abay 'HObbit' Khasenov
Abay 'HObbit' Khasenov
Age:
28
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
1197
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.65
Canada Keith 'NAF' Markovic
Keith 'NAF' Markovic
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1599
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.63
Latvia Mareks 'YEKINDAR' Gaļinskis
Mareks 'YEKINDAR' Gaļinskis
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
1128
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.70
Russia Sergey 'Ax1Le' Rykhtorov
Sergey 'Ax1Le' Rykhtorov
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
970
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.63
Denmark Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Age:
32
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.91
Maps played:
2058
KPR:
0.62
DPR:
0.69
Hobbit the Legend
2022-09-30 12:03
1 reply
Yup, so happy that he still has a presence in Tier 1. Sometimes I wonder if the other old Gambit players could as well. Dosia is certainly trying to work his way back up.
2022-10-01 12:34
LETS GO LIQUID
2022-09-30 12:03
sus
2022-09-30 12:03
1 reply
Bilbo bolson > liquid
2022-09-30 14:49
#4
maga | 
Denmark sla1ve
will you throw for $5?
2022-09-30 12:04
1 reply
#15
 | 
United Kingdom timmlondon
ask your ma first. let me know
2022-09-30 12:23
let's go c9!
2022-09-30 12:05
2 replies
common DELUSIONAL_STEWIE2K_FAN W
2022-09-30 13:53
1 reply
+1
2022-09-30 23:21
C9 2-0 LIQUID
2022-09-30 12:05
Yes
2022-09-30 12:07
cool
2022-09-30 12:08
#9
 | 
United Kingdom SickaBoy
Gambit 1 major lulquid 0 major
2022-09-30 12:10
4 replies
Would have kinda made sense if you said C9 1 major liquid 0 major
2022-09-30 15:23
3 replies
Gambit also won major, newbie
2022-09-30 15:40
2 replies
yes but the roster was different boomer
2022-09-30 16:15
1 reply
#78
 | 
Russia HeMaFix
The talking about orgs prob
2022-10-01 08:47
Ruskis are NA bestest
2022-09-30 12:13
Famous last words
2022-09-30 12:17
2 replies
before the victory for C9
2022-09-30 12:58
1 reply
Nope
2022-10-01 20:08
#13
 | 
Russia evg1804
Expect quick 2-0, let's go HObbit and the guys!
2022-09-30 12:21
1 reply
SOGL
2022-09-30 12:27
ez4C9
2022-09-30 12:22
NA pride YEKINDAR will have to put you guys down
2022-09-30 12:28
1 reply
"NA pride" lmaoooooo
2022-09-30 15:36
#18
minet | 
North America minte
good luck c9 :)))
2022-09-30 12:38
C9 looked promising yesterday even if sh1ro was not having a god level game
2022-09-30 12:39
10 replies
definitely sh1ro won them the game it looks like ax1le did if you look at stats, but the rounds where he did multikill they pretty much overun site anyway, if its not ax1le getting kills then someone else will but if you rewatch ancient and mirage the very important game changing rounds came down to sh1ro plays on clutch rounds, he read the game so well to be honest
2022-09-30 12:44
9 replies
#30
sh1ro | 
Canada ItsPS
I have to disagree,sh1ro was a non factor,nafany and hobbit (ofc with ax1le who had 24 multikills lmao) won the game sh1ro had 0 impact with awp on any CT side.
2022-09-30 14:12
8 replies
so you didnt watch the game at all spunj and anders kept commenting about how sh1ro kept opting for rifle over awp the whole series, he even couldve picked up the awp at the end of a few rounds but shot it away instead i guess youre just reading his awp stats somehow? youtu.be/iO1IJ_yiq9s?t=518 youtu.be/qDQ8hFZhA5I?t=608
2022-09-30 14:21
5 replies
#40
 | 
Czech Republic Evis1337
Shiro opted for rifle only if he thought yhey would have low buy or eco but nt
2022-09-30 14:58
#49
sh1ro | 
Canada ItsPS
I said on CT side dude,he was mostly awping on CT while on t side he was always ak.
2022-09-30 15:38
3 replies
#53
 | 
Czech Republic Evis1337
hes getting banned
2022-09-30 15:40
2 replies
#56
sh1ro | 
Canada ItsPS
Why lol
2022-09-30 15:49
1 reply
#59
 | 
Czech Republic Evis1337
dropped the r word
2022-09-30 16:20
Completely agree here, sh1ro had an off day and ax1le played like an absolute monster.
2022-09-30 16:43
1 reply
Its not off day sh1ro In 2022 he usually garbage on CT-sides
2022-10-01 08:07
love hobbit
2022-09-30 12:55
1 reply
Hobbit loves you too
2022-09-30 14:21
nice
2022-09-30 12:56
Hobbit goat
2022-09-30 13:05
Lol. If NAF is delusional, so is he Brazil?
2022-09-30 13:05
2 replies
Best BR player os elige
2022-09-30 13:24
1 reply
s1mple*
2022-09-30 15:09
#27
 | 
India gobipaneer
woah they havent played against G2 in forever it seems
2022-09-30 13:21
need to work on b inferno defense, mb interz and nafany should swap sites, the rest is ok. good luck mens
2022-09-30 14:29
nice one lol
2022-09-30 14:35
no respect for matchfixer Abay.
2022-09-30 14:38
tbh i want to see g2 vs c9 on grand final bcs these teams still haven't faced each other this year. m0nesy vs sh1ro would be a banger, who is the best russian awper? jokes aside everyone know deko is the best russian awper
2022-09-30 14:38
PLEASE WIN C9
2022-09-30 14:55
#39
fox | 
Portugal synyp
I want to see c9 lose
2022-09-30 14:55
#43
 | 
Brazil thalesheen
ofc it's a comfortable match for liquid, even C9 players don't know what they're doing so far in this stage lol
2022-09-30 15:12
5 replies
Brazil cs is dead
2022-09-30 15:24
4 replies
He was being sarcastic bro don't be so salty xD
2022-09-30 15:38
3 replies
#57
 | 
Brazil thalesheen
HAHAHAHAHA there's always that dude..
2022-09-30 15:56
2 replies
#65
 | 
Other Perrrrkele
Even better coming from a France flag, talk about no self awareness.
2022-09-30 17:32
1 reply
Brazil cs is dead he said xD not as good as it usually is but still 10 times more alive then French cs rn and he try to use it as insult :D
2022-09-30 17:34
C9 is gonna eat Lulquid alive
2022-09-30 15:18
#47
 | 
Ukraine SwissRolls
C9 gonna destroy liquid unless yekindar 30 bomb each game
2022-09-30 15:35
#60
 | 
United States Topher
Liquid win 2-1
2022-09-30 16:30
dude whenever hobbit gives interviews saying they are confident and will win, they somehow lose, same happened at Pro league 14, then at the Major and now. I hope this time his jinx doesnt work
2022-09-30 16:48
1 reply
+1 classic interview jinx
2022-09-30 16:54
dont mind lulquid. they won ainst c9 in a game that meant nothing to c9.. lulquid almost got eliminated by Botlexity... C9 ez 2-0
2022-09-30 17:01
2 replies
Kekw potugese wrong as usual portulosers kekw
2022-10-01 16:59
1 reply
sure norway.
2022-10-01 17:04
Honestly maybe he's right when he says that Ax1Le is the best rifler in the world right now, I didn't even consider it at all. Tbh he's had slightly better stats than NiKo all year.
2022-09-30 18:02
#71
 | 
United States Illusi0n1g
Someone say illusi0n?
2022-09-30 18:48
#72
 | 
United States THEM4q4
they threw last match. Hobbot. i wish you'll down
2022-09-30 18:54
#73
 | 
Canada Femtal
the last two time they played it ended 2-0 for Liquid I think that's way Liquid felt that way honestly this is a 50/50 match for me.
2022-09-30 19:10
The only hobbit i like
2022-09-30 19:48
Liquid coming in for the 3peat. Sorry c9 fans. At least navi is looking like they’ll get through to the semis.
2022-09-30 20:56
k
2022-10-01 11:49
Didn't age well mai boi.
2022-10-01 17:23
huh?
2022-10-01 17:25
I think hobbit thinking they're a good team is an illusion LUL my guy has been shitting the bed for months.
2022-10-01 19:16
free
2022-10-01 19:22
#87
 | 
United States GiantDays
sorry hobbit
2022-10-01 19:24
Think again
2022-10-01 19:37
kid face is right about the delusional part, being delusional thinking they can win lmao
2022-10-01 19:50
Kek dub
2022-10-01 20:08
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