Nitr0 had some words to say about the team’s previous choking mentality, how they fixed it in game 5 of the finals and why this line-up was so special compared to others.
Firstly, congratulations on the victory, what changed for you guys in that map 5? I saw that you had a bit of a huddle. Was there anything that was said there? Did you guys put pressure on yourselves?
Nitr0: We didn’t say anything like, “we have to win this”. We really don’t put pressure on ourselves, because that’s what we did in the past. We went into that map and felt like, let’s just have fun. Let’s just have fun like we do in scrims and online leagues. Let’s play like we do when we destroying people in the server. We are all just laughing and having fun.
We all regrouped and tried to refocus for Inferno. Because in Dust 2, we had very little comms and the ideas weren’t flowing. We knew that Inferno was the last map and we just had to refocus for it.
In terms of your own personal career, I know that you have been there since the very beginning and for the 2016 Majors. Why was this lineup so special and what was the distinction for this lineup in particular that made it stand out from the others?
Nitr0: I just think that this line-up has obviously the most skill right now that we have ever had. I think that everyone can play for themselves and can adapt to the game to their role. I think this is what separates us from our old line-ups. We all have the experience now and we are all becoming more mature. And also, out of the game is a big factor. Out of the game we have a winner’s mentality and a championship mentality. We were kind of like let’s just get on and play. I think that’s what the biggest difference is right now I think. We are here to win and become the best team and everyone has that goal in mind.
Now everyone is going to be asking you this question, can you take on Astralis?
Nitr0: Yeah we are always ready to take on Astralis. Like I said in my other interview, I don’t think that Astralis is our biggest enemy. I think the finals are our biggest enemy. Overcoming the finals was the biggest thing for us, no matter who it was against. I think in our past group stages against Astralis, we were fine. We matched up pretty well with them, but when we got to the final, we just fell apart against any team.
So do you think the pressure was the main factor in falling apart in finals?
Nitr0: I don’t know exactly what it is. Obviously the pressure is a big factor because that’s what causes our mentality to weaken.
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) May 5, 2019
I know it was mentioned in previous interviews that you had an esports psychologist. How have they helped out the team?
Nitr0: He helps a lot. What he does is that he tries to keep a steady competitive performance. Like for example, there’s the A game, B game and C game. When you’re on your A game, you don’t want to be too over confident. Where you make mistakes where you are too overconfident peaking an example, for example. But you don’t want to be too scared. Say you’re on your C game, where you are playing so passive and holding an angle, waiting for the other team to play their game.
The B game is when you are in between and playing your game. That’s when you are going to perform your best and obviously if you can control your A game, that is when you are going to perform your best as a team. And that’s what we have talked through a lot.
When you are looking to your future event schedule, I know some teams are prioritizing certain events. Allowing them more time to bootcamp and prepare for tournaments. Are you looking at going to less events and adopting that mindset?
Nitr0: Last year we went to a lot of events. There was a lot of travel, like 260 something days on the road. This year when we go to a tournament, when I feel like we are going to win it. We are going there to win it. That way we can feel prepared as a team. We want to feel more prepared as a team.
I feel like that’s the biggest difference between last year and this year: We want to feel more prepared when we go to a tournament. Instead of just going because it’s a big tournament. I think we’ll have a way better chance at winning more tournaments over a long period of time, rather than just going to every single tournament hoping to win one without the right prep.
One last question, what is your favourite part of Australia as it is your first time here?
Nitr0: The fans are crazy. They are always doing something crazy. It’s just fun in games and it felt like they weren’t cheering for a specific team. Obviously, the Renegades but they went out in groups.
I feel like they came here to enjoy CS and that’s perfectly fine. It doesn’t matter if you are here to support or not, but having the fans there is amazing and they are a great crowd.
With Liquid taking out IEM Sydney 2019 they move to a share of the lead for the next IEM Grand Slam worth $1,000,000. They’ll next contest the Grand Slam at DreamHack Masters Dallas at the end of the month, but Liquid fans can see them a little earlier at cs_summit on May 23rd!
Photo credit: ESL | Helena Kristiansson