Rainwaker on adapting to Liquid: "It's hard; I've never played in international rosters so I will need time"
The Bulgarian rifler says speaking English in-game is "doable" but he's not 100% comfortable just yet.
Aleks "Rainwaker" Petrov was the unknown quantity for Liquid's European revolution. Like he had with Tsvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov, Damian "daps" Steele has once again turned to Bulgaria for a hidden gem and Rainwaker is the result.
Signed to replace Nick "nitr0" Cannella, he has been put in plenty of anchor positions on CT side. Given it is his first international team as well, there is lots to learn for Rainwaker at the start of his time in tier one as Liquid begin their continental rebuild.
We spoke with the soft-spoken lurker after Liquid's win over BIG, finding out his thoughts on his new roles as well as what it is like to play at one of the "most prestigious" CS:GO tournaments in IEM Cologne.
Good win there, tell me how you're feeling about the team's form in Cologne so far.
We are feeling good, especially for a new team, we could have won the match yesterday against Astralis but we lost like four or five clutches, they won rounds with one alive so.. it could have gone both ways. Today we played great I would say. On Mirage we made some crucial mistakes so they managed to come back but it is what it is, we managed to close Overpass out.
How's the mood in the camp? You started off strong with wins over G2 and FaZe, but it's been a little bit tougher since then. Is it still positive inside the team?
Yeah, the mood is pretty good. Everyone is stepping up — me, not that much, I'm a calm and quiet person — but everyone else is doing an insane job to hype everyone up.
Just on your own spots. You were a bit of a star lurker in tier two, signed here as a replacement for nitr0 so obviously a bit less room. How are you finding it so far, plenty of new CT positions and things like that?
Let me think... [pauses] I mean it's not that hard. I've got some of my CT positions also but I mean... I can't describe it. It's always good to try something new, it's not that I think I don't like it, it's good for me so I would say I will need time to get used to it and to play more anchor positions.
What about T side? NAF has moved a little bit so you've got more comfortable and familiar positions. Is that a boost? Was it important to you joining?
I wouldn't say I get a boost from it but I feel more comfortable when I'm playing sure, because I'm doing the stuff I did in the other teams. So it's kind of easier for me, I don't think too much what to do, I just know what's good for me, what plays are good for me and what to do and yeah.. that's it.
What's it like being in an international team now? Obviously it takes a while — are you doing things like thinking in English mid-game or are you having to translate? How are you finding it?
I would say it's hard. It's hard. I never played in international rosters so I will need time. I would say I take time when I need to say fast info, I will take let's say a second or two just to make a sentence you know? It's not that easy for me still. But it's not that hard also, I mean it's doable for now.
What's the team's goal for this season? Where would you be happy to be at by the end of the year?
We don't have set goals for this year, CS2 is coming by the end of this year even if we don't know exactly when but it should come this year. So we set some expectations for tournaments, not especially for let's say to end top five, top three in the world in the end of the year. For the tournaments just to try be competitive in the beginning and after two or three months when we get used to each other try to get to playoffs more.
What's it like for you to be at this type of Big Event? How does it feel to be at a proper tier one event? Do you feel like you're in the big time?
I can't describe it, it's insane. Also I've never played a lot of LAN tournaments, I've played five or six that are good tournaments but that's it. Playing especially [IEM] Cologne, that's one of the most prestigious tournaments in CS:GO.