oSee on joining Liquid: "there's definitely added pressure, but I enjoy that pressure"
Continuing Dust2.us' series of interviews at the PGL Antwerp Major, Dust2.us' Ryan Friend snatched Josh "oSee" Ohm to ask him a few questions. The two discussed where Liquid currently stand in the Legends stage, his thoughts on Nick "nitr0" Canella's return to Counter-Strike, and the communication in the squad, amongst a wide range of other topics.
Shox didn't have a fantastic game, he was 1-14 at halftime, what's the mentality coming out of that slow first half?
Honestly we weren't like focused on him or anything, we were still thinking about what we should be doing as a team no matter how bad a player is playing, if he is underperforming we are still going to execute the plan. So we weren't thinking about it too much, and off-games happen so you can't think too much about it, you just have to move on.
You guys had a slow start in the last stage as well, going 0-2 and then coming back to advance. Is the momentum still going from your three wins in a row?
Yeah I think, obviously it sucks going 0-1, this win would have been really important because if we did win we would play Copenhagen Flames or the other team they played against (Bad News Eagles) but since we lost we play the loser of G2 and NAVI. So that's going to be a lot tougher of a match, but you know we have to beat everybody to make it through, at this point that's what we got to do. So yeah not too focused on what our record is, and our stage or whatever, just taking it game by game.
You've had a meteoric rise up to this level, from the former Cloud9 to Extra Salt, and now are here playing in your first Major, not many people have really seen you play on LAN, or at big stages. So what's the experience of now being almost the focus of a lot of the North American fans?
Honestly, it feels good, there's definitely added pressure but I enjoy that pressure. I'm not saying I thrive in that pressure because I am still inexperienced, I'd say, in these situations. So nerves do come into play a little bit but I wouldn't say it's too bad for me, I feel like I'm just making small mistakes that do end up in me dying or us losing the round. I don't think it comes down to nerves it's just my decision making.
How do you improve that decision making?
A lot of my teammates do try and help me as I am the most inexperienced so I do ask them for a lot of help, I do also like to watch my own POVs back and see what I did good and what I did bad and try to pick up things that I could learn from that match. But other than that it's a whole different experience actually playing in the match, you can prepare as much as you want but if you are not mentally there for the match or your shots just aren't hitting then, in the end, it doesn't really matter. I'm not sure, it's just grinding and grinding, watching back stuff, and learning from my teammates.
How much are you watching stuff back? Is it something after a loss like this that you go right back and try to rewatch and see what goes wrong?
Yeah I mean I'm more the type of person to take a little break after these matches just to chill, get a mental reset, and then I'll come back and watch shit back. But yeah there's no easy way about improving you know, so you've got to take it day by day like I said.
We were talking about how this is definitely going to be a tougher match-up, this is the most hotly contested Major we've seen in a long time. You have 13 out of the top 16 teams in the world in this stage. Does that intimidate you at all or are you guys confident that you can beat anyone at any time?
I personally don't think we are quite there at that level yet where we are consistently performing against the top teams, but you can see we have glimpses. I think it's still gonna take some time for us to get to that level, like the NAVI level or Faze level where they are consistently beating all these teams. But we still definitely have upset potential and I think if we just come in with a great mental and we come prepared then anything can happen.
I want to talk a little bit about what you've been going through in terms of the way you got up here. Cloud9 and that situation ending was tough, and then Extra Salt where you were kind of grinding it out. Did you feel like there was light at the end of the tunnel in the middle of COVID with that Extra Salt team?
I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't thinking about if Liquid would pick me up or not while I was under that team. At a certain point, everyone was saying "Liquid oSee, join Liquid". When everyone's saying it, it's hard not to think about it, but it's not like I let it affect our team back then. I just tried to do whatever I could to my best ability to perform on that team, to help my teammates. I just thought, if the offer comes it comes. I don't wanna stress about it, there's no point. But I do think that if I did stay on the roster we could've had some potential for sure. They are still very inexperienced and young players; there's no saying what could've happened but I think I would have still taken the opportunity back then even in my shoes right now, I'd still say yes.
Was there any point you were considering switching games and going to VALORANT and following that trend?
Yeah, there was a short period where teams like 100 Thieves, like nitr0 for example, there was a tweet that came out saying he wanted to recruit me for the 100 Thieves roster, and that was something that I was talking to him about but it wasn't like... in the end, I told him CS is the game I really enjoy so I'd rather play CS, after sitting on it for a while. I think that also made him want to come back as well.
How do you think nitr0 coming back has been for the scene? Have you been surprised by how well he's done coming back from VALORANT after a year?
I'm not surprised man, this guy's been a god forever. People saw him underperforming in the first couple of games and were typing dumb shit in the chat, and it's like, dude just give him a couple months, you know exactly how good he can be. You saw it today too, he was owning, so I'm not surprised at all, to be honest. I thought it was only a matter of time before he started showing up and being a fragging IGL, so it's super nice to see.
How important is that to have that fragging IGL to keep pushing the team forward?
There are teams where they don't have a fragging IGL and they're still very good. It's still really important at the top level because if you have a dude just fragging more it can't hurt. If your IGL is having big rounds and getting important kills that can swing one, two, or three rounds, and that can spiral into eco rounds or whatever. It's definitely a big thing, and it's not something that I expect out of an IGL because it is super hard to be fragging, calling for the team, thinking about the whole plan and stuff, so it's not like it's super easy and consistent to do, as you can see from any of the other tier one teams. It's just impossible to be that consistent as an IGL and still frag. But he's still doing the best to his ability and he's doing a great job in my opinion so I'm really proud of him.
With that kind of experience and that kind of leader, you can see that you guys are very methodical and very smart about the way you're approaching it. Sometimes, it seems that when you're executing onto these sites things get a little hectic. Does that come from the team not being fully together yet or do you think that maybe the tactics need to change?
I wouldn't say it's really our tactics, I think it's just us being on the same page. I think there was a couple rounds in that game where we would get an opening pick and we would start doing individual stuff. It wasn't the reason why we lost in my opinion, but sometimes we just weren't on the same page and it seemed like when we were on the same page it was already too late during the rounds. I don't know what the reasoning was, but we just gotta make sure that we are communicating with each other and just making sure everyone knows what's going on.
Communication is obviously a key factor there. We were seeing before that Heroic do their little team huddle before, where they get together and start shouting and screaming, but you guys don't seem to really do that. Do you think that it's just because you're all much calmer people, or do you think someone on your team does need to yell to get the hype started?
I think most of us are just chill people. We did do a little huddle and a Liquid shout, but it was nothing like they do, that felt like a war cry. It's nothing like that, but I think just, as people, with our personalities, we're just more on the calm, chill side. We aren't too much of a hype team, but I have been trying to make an effort to be the hype man since nobody else can... well shox can do it sometimes, but it's super hard when he's the only one doing it so I've been trying to help out. I think it's been helping but still, I wouldn't say it makes us lose games but it could definitely help us if we got some momentum going with cheering everyone up and hyping people up.
Looking forward to the next round, you obviously have a couple of teams you want to face. There's a couple of players that are legendary that I don't think you've ever really gone up against before. Is there anyone that you would be excited to go toe-to-toe with?
I mean, obviously, there's s1mple, ZywOo, but I actually don't know. I have played against s1mple before, I've played against ZywOo before in matches, and my first time playing them I was like "Damn, I'm here", but now it's just like, I know he's a god but I can't treat him like a god in the game. I can't just respect him because of who he is, I gotta still do what I would usually do. It's still really fun to play against them and I'm looking forward to it. There's a chance we play NAVI if G2 win, and I don't know, I think it'll be fun playing against them for sure. Hopefully fun.
Liquid matched up against fellow Americas squad FURIA for their 0-1 match and were defeated on Ancient. The American side will be looking to play their do-or-die elimination match tomorrow and await their opponent.