nitr0 has a 1.15 rating at the Major
We spoke with Nick "nitr0" Cannella on two separate occassions: after his match against Ninjas in Pyjamas and then after his game against Astralis. He spoke about Liquid's performances during the Major, as well as the performances of the other North American teams at the event.
You and your team are currently 2-0 in the Legends stage and are looking to repeat the 3-0 score you got in the challengers stage. What is the current atmosphere in your team? Is it one where you believe you can go forward and do this or is it an apprehensive and take it one game at a time.
It's definitely take in one game at a time. We're definitely very confident no matter who we play right now. But we're definitely taking it round by round, kill by kill, we're not making any expectations of getting out or not getting out, we're just here to win every match and it goes how it goes in that sense.
Your game yesterday against Winstrike was a fairly simple game. Just quickly walk me through it, you came in as the obvious favorites and delivered.
Winstrike didn't have that much to analyze on their recent demos or anything. The last match they played was at the end of July you don't know if they changed spots, changed anything. The only thing I was certain of was they had the same roster. So we went into the match thinking that we're just going to focus on our own game. I actually watched their Mirage from the last time they played which was in late July and on the first gun round they did the same thing.
They did the same pistol that they did in that match so I was like "they are probably going to do the same stuff they're doing in this demo." I had a very good idea of how they were going to play the game and then I just called based off of that so it worked out really well.
So Winstrike were a pretty predictable team then?
Yeah they were predictable in that sense. Obviously I don't know what they're going to do in a certain round but if I saw a certain tell then I would know what they were doing. So whenever they smoked top connector on their pistol I knew there were going to be people coming out ramp. That's just like one little play that I knew and it just kept building off of that.
In the game against NiP you started very strong and then sort of tailed off in the second half but did eventually come out with the win. What was going on during the game?
The first six rounds or so we had a very good game plan and I think what had happened was that they adapted to our game plan and we changed ours. We changed the way we were playing the wrong way, so we didn't adapt the right way. We stopped following the game plan that we created and they, with their strong defense on that map, just took over. They finished the half 8-7, but it was still a good half in my eyes.
For the next round of games there is a potential North American match up and there is also a potential match up with Astralis. What are your thoughts on those two games? Are you up for them or do you want to avoid those sort of things coming up?
Like I said in the first question, we're taking it game by game so I don't care who we get. I'm going to prepare the same way I've been preparing for each team no matter who it is. I think we're going to create a game plan and follow it strictly. Other teams should just be ready because I think we're going to be ready for them no matter who it is.
North America has had an interesting time so far in the Major with yourselves and compLexity doing well and Cloud9 and MIBR not placing as highly. Do you have any thoughts on how those teams are going or are you just focusing on your team?
I've been watching their matches. In my opinion Cloud9 hasn't had enough time to prepare as they'd like. I think STYKO is a temporary fit if I'm not mistaken. He's not official on the roster but standing in. I'm not sure how it is so maybe that gives a little added pressure to STYKO, but STYKO actually played insane today so I'm not sure where they're at. Their loss today definitely probably hurt. I think they should have beaten HellRaisers.
So now they're 0-2 and on the brink of getting knocked out so even more added pressure. We'll see who they get and how they approach the game. As for MIBR, I watched the first half of the game and it looked like they were going to take it away it was like a 12-3 half or something like that. They were playing really well CT side. I didn't actually get to watch their T side so I'm not sure what happened, but I think they should have closed it out no matter what.
They're probably going to analyze the demo and fix their mistakes and hopefully come back stronger. I think they'll still make it out. compLexity - they beat G2 today. I don't think G2 has been looking that strong we played them in practice a lot and they have very good fundamentals but it seems that they're kind of streaky in their individual skill. They rely on star performances in my opinion. I'm not sure how it is but that's just how it looks from the outside.
The Fnatic match was a domination. That was really good, but I don't think Fnatic chose the right map. I think compLexity's been playing Inferno every match or something like that. So they've been playing Inferno every single match so maybe they should have chosen maybe a little weaker map. Whenever you see a weaker team on paper, you don't want to give them their best map because sometimes teams are good on only one map.
The way Fnatic approached the game was - they probably chose Inferno because they might have been doing well on it in practice, but I think they really should have second guessed it and looked at "compLexity's been beating all these teams on Inferno, maybe we should choose a little weaker map" or something like that. It's their call at the end of the day and I'm not sure what they were thinking. I'm sure they'll still get out, I think Fnatic will get out too.
Assuming everything else goes well tomorrow, you get your 3-0 game, you get a comfortable game and the playoffs - if that's such a thing. Can you see your team going all the way?
Yeah I think so for sure. I know people are giving their opinions that we're going to win the Major and whatnot, but it doesn't affect us. Like I said in the first question again just to reiterate, it's game by game. We're not setting any expectations. It doesn't add any pressure to us, it doesn't take away any pressure from us. We're just going to keep out focus and keep going on until we get knocked out or until we win it.
You've gone 3 for 0 and you had to end in quite a slug of a game to be honest. What are your initial reactions afterwards?
I'm starting to calm down now, the adrenaline kinda going away, but initial thoughts. We didn't have a solution on the CT side which really hurt us with their Banana take. I think once we got to the overtime where we had $10K - First off I'll say in the 27th round we got kind of lucky even to win that one. I was really thankful to even get to the overtime because we won the two rounds and we lost a situation that we should have won 100%.
It was the 4v2 where we had bomb, one was going in site and one was in pit stuck. Anyway, I think the solution on the CT side was we needed to think of something to do for Banana. Also, one of the solutions could have been double AWPing which during the whole entire half we didn't have the economy to double AWP, but we had one for one AWP. I took the AWP B like two times. One time I got picked by device and the other I got the opening kill.
I just think we needed the economy to be able to do what we wanted that half.
You had the fantastic start, the 13-2 half. What happened, did Astralis just start gaining their momentum or were things just not working on your team in the second half?
It's hard to tell really. Maybe we got a little overconfident and we were trying to play for ourselves rather than play for the win. That's what I felt personally. I think we weren't going for as many plays as we usually do. On Banana is usually where the first contest usually happens within the map and we didn't have a solution for that specific area. I think we were playing really slow on mid and passive. Maybe it was overconfident or we were playing not to win.
So you've got playoffs next week and one of the two 3-0 teams, the other is another North American team compLexity. With you two on other sides of the bracket, can you potentially see a scenario where you're both in the final?
That is very hard to say. I would love to see that personally, that would be really really cool, especially for the scene and how it's been two teams dominating for the past year. I would love to see it, but maybe not likely.
For your own team's chances, can you see yourselves going straight to the final? In the position you've been given now.
I don't even want to think about that right now - that's my mentality. I'm not thinking about anything beyond our next match. For the next few days we're going to try practicing a little bit maybe work on our Inferno and other maps that we haven't played yet just to keep them fresh. We're going to take it match by match and if we're in the final then we're in the final, that's the way I view it.
Liquid are qualified for the playoffs and will face one of the three teams to advance from the Swiss group 3-2 next week. This will be the third Major playoff for nitr0 and Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski, the first for Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken and Keith "NAF" Markovic, and the sisth for Epitacio "TACO" de Melo.