EliGE is unhappy with the tournament schedule
Ahead of the ECS Season 8 Grand Final, we spoke with Liquid star Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski about their semi-final against Fnatic, the final against Astralis, the year as a whole, and more.
I'll start with the Fnatic game yesterday. Fnatic has been looking pretty strong lately, they've been playing really well. Is their form surprising to you?
I don't think it's been that surprising for me. I think the community kinda was honing in more on the fact that they tried it before and it didn't work, instead of thinking about player development and how things have changed. I don't think any team would knowingly go into a roster like that again if they didn't know it was going to work. They're all really good players, Golden is really good, flusha is really good, so I'm not really surprised by it too much.
You guys had a really slow start on the first map of that series. What do you think happened to not let you guys get into that match fully?
I don't really think it was anything that they were specifically doing. It wasn't really their aggression or anything that we were caught off by, I think it was really just a completely different team we were playing as. I felt like we weren't even playing how we normally play at all. We were playing really timid. We weren't falling back to the things we did in practice, and it felt really off.
Moving onto the other two maps, what sort of adjustment was made to then have those two more decisive wins afterwards?
It really was just us talking after the game and we were saying that we play how we practiced, not let them dictate the pace of the game, take the fights that we want to. Everything comes down to playing like how you practiced and that's why I like playing properly and practice is so important because when things do get tough and you're under the pressure, you're going to fall back to where you're comfortable with, and that's why you need to play so properly and practice and take it really seriously. So the next two maps were the maps we were really comfortable on, like our best maps, so that also really helps as well.
As we're approaching the end of the year, are there any unexpected names that you think might make their way onto the Top 20 players list at the end of the year?
I think some players that could definitely be there are like - I don't think they'd be a surprise necessarily, but I don't know if they're getting as much attention as they should be. I think Brollan could definitely be there. I think jks could definitely be there. I know that they are really good players, and everyone talks about how good they are, but I think sometimes they are a little overlooked.
There has been some discussion on which team was better this year overall, you or Astralis. You guys won more events, had the Grand Slam, but Astralis had the period at the start of the year, the Majors, and seemingly returning to that form now. Do you have any thoughts about this, and do you lean one way or the other?
I think that you can make a really good case for either one of our teams. They had the two Majors, and we had our really good run, and they played really good at the beginning of the year like you said. I think it is going to come down to who performs better at these next tournaments - ECS, BLAST, and ESL. I think it's going to be really tough for us because of how tight the schedule is, which is really ridiculous. The CS schedule is completely terrible and it seems like there's no fix in sight. I think that it's definitely going to come down to who can win these next couple tournaments. If we can get two, and they only get one I'd probably say we had a better year, but if it's the inverse I'd say that they had a better year.
There is also a more general discussion about winning a Major versus winning the Grand Slam. Which do you personally think is the more prestigious title?
That's kind of a hard question because I've never won a Major. I think maybe some of the Astralis guys would have a better opinion about it because they've won a lot of Majors already and they've won the Grand Slam. I guess for me, I would say the Major right now, just because it's the one accomplishment we don't have so I really want to get that one for me and until it's achieved, I'd put it higher than what we've already done.
They recently lowered the SG price and buffed the Galil and FAMAS. It's been a couple weeks, there was the second stage of Pro League and this tournament on the new patch. How do you think the update has been, do you think it was a good overall change?
I think the Vertigo changes were good changes, I like what they changed so far on it. It feels a little bit better moving forward as opposed to the last updates where I thought they were going back a little bit. With the FAMAS and Galil I think that they were both good changes because neither weapon was really being used at all. I would've liked if they didn't change the price of it at the same time as the gameplay mechanics because I think the economy is kind of in a weird situation right now. I think that the Ts have such a big advantage over the CTs. I think that they should have done like one at a time, and if it needed more then they could have done more, but I think doing both at the same time was a bit much. But overall, I think that they were good changes.
Yesterday, Thorin posted an article about you personally - your development over the years, and praising your consistency and all. Do you think the recognition is deserved, and does it feel good to be recognized for how well you've been playing over the years?
I think it definitely feels really good. Obviously any praise feels really good to have and Thorin has been around the scene for a really long time, so it coming from him is really nice to have. I think I have gone through a lot of development over the years personally and as a player so having that being highlighted is pretty cool for me.
To close out the year, you have Pro League and the BLAST Pro Series Finals. What is the goal for these events, considering they are one after the other. I'm assuming to win at least one of two of them?
Yeah, to win at least one, two is the goal. I don't know if we're going to be able to immediately - I think Odense is going to be really tough just because of the travel schedule, it's the exact situation going from New York to Malmo that all the teams did over there. Us as a team personally, we felt awful for five to six days. I felt super jet lagged, I ended up getting a little bit sick, and I think everyone felt really bad.
I'm not saying that's exactly what's going to happen again, but I think that the travel schedule is really really tough and unsustainable. I don't have the highest of expectations for Odense, because of that specifically, but for BLAST we should be fine enough for that tournament, that I think we should be able to win it.
gla1ve told HLTV yesterday that if this happens again with all these events right in a row, that Astralis might consider skipping one of the league finals. Is that something that your team is going to be considering going into the next year?
We've already skipped events before, but this type of league thing isn't going to happen again, just because of what's happening for 2020. It's not really that much of a change, I think people that actually know about it know that it's not that much of a change because it's the same exact shit that we already have but just a different name, more money, and trying to hype it up a bit more. You won't be able to do everything that you want to, which is kind of a good thing, but it's still kind of the same stuff. I think it's all a little over hyped with some misinformation out there, but I don't really see to much of a change between this year and the next year and the next year after that because of how the tournament circuit is.
There is you guys, Astralis, EG, and Fnatic are all kind of vying for the top spot. What do you think the end of the year ranking is going to stack up to be?
If everything goes to plan, I'd put us at number one. Probably Astralis two, and then I'd probably put EG number three. And then after that I really have no idea. I think that between us and Astralis, whoever can win two events - depending on whatever happens, whoever wins more I think is going to be number one. If we win two, I think we're going to be number one. It is really close between all of us, so if EG starts playing super well these next tournaments too, then I think they could get number one too.
Liquid eventually fell in three maps to Astralis in the grand final, and will immediately be traveling to Denmark for the ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals.
Looks like we will be landing in Odense about an hour before our match.. What could go wrong 😅— Steve Perino (@jokasteve) December 2, 2019