EliGE: "We pretty much scrapped everything that we had before on every single map"
Liquid started their run through IEM Cologne with a gruelling best-of-three against Spirit, with the North Americans, unfortunately, falling in double overtime in the final map to be sent down to the lower-bracket.
After this gut-wrenching loss, Dust2.us' Liam "Slevo" Slevin was able to sit down with Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski where the pair touched on Liquid's opening series at IEM Cologne, how accommodating Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis has been, and what newly-signed coach Damien "daps" Steele brings to the squad.
So, long day at the office, long series to finish it out. Tell me, how are you feeling after Spirit?
Yeah, I mean it was really rough, we definitely should have won. I think that we were the better team, we just weren't able to pull through in tough moments. But, I mean, overall, you can take good from it, at the end of the day. We can still come out ahead in this tournament, it's just going to be a lot longer now.
You guys obviously added YEKINDAR as a stand-in before this tournament, he's a big personality and an outgoing guy, what kind of vibe has he brought to the team?
He's definitely brought that, being really outgoing. He likes making jokes a lot, a lot of Dad jokes so I vibe with that a lot. And just overall, he's helping a lot with bringing in-game stuff, different protocols and how the meta is being played right now. So, it's been a lot of learning to do and he's been really helpful.
We talked with nitr0 as well and he said that with the role clash that you two have, you've taken a few steps back. How has that been for you personally as a player trying to adjust to these new positions and roles?
Yeah, it's been a little bit difficult on some of the maps that I've had to play a completely different style than I'm used to. But, I think that YEKINDAR is playing the roles that I was playing really well and for me, I just have to get used to being able to do stuff at the later parts of the round and playing more to live. But, overall, we're not having many of those rounds right now.
I think the team has been really helpful in accommodating me because, on defaults, I'll be playing in a more wing position, but then I'll be grouping up at the end of the round. At the end of the day, that's fine for me like I don't really mind because I think that YEKINDAR has a really good mind for the game and he's reading the opponents really well and it's been helpful.
YEKINDAR came in to replace shox, you're kind of an aggressive player, YEKINDAR too, who has been filling the hole that shox left and the roles that he was taking?
Well, it kind of depends on the map for CT-sides, because I'm pretty much playing all the same spots except for Vertigo - I've shifted a little bit. But, T-sides, he's kind of taken more of my spots. There's obviously been some of the spots that I've stayed on T-side, I haven't changed all of my spots on T-side - just some of them.
And I think that he's been really helpful because he [YEKINDAR] is really comfortable IGLing and reading the opponents and understanding the meta really well of where people are. He's really well read on different teams, of how people like to play, like their psychology of how they like to play different situations. So, I think that he's been doing an awesome job.
You guys also added daps recently as well, we've seen him standing behind you with a few sheets, how good is his system that he's managed to put in and how much has he managed to get done with you guys?
We pretty much had like ten days but we had twelve hour days within those, so we pretty much got like three weeks of work done within, like, those nine days - so it was really intense and I actually think we got a lot out of it. And, overall, like, most of the stuff that we brought in has been completely new and revamped from before, we pretty much scrapped everything that we had before on every single map, on every single side.
Obviously, we're going to play certain situations the same or start the round the same for the meta, but we're a lot more structured and it's a lot less free than we were before - which isn't a bad thing. I think that it's actually pretty nice to have everyone know what we're going to be doing on certain calls and strats, and that's what the papers are for. It's really just having all of our strats there and if anyone forgets anything - because there is a lot - then they can quickly go to it and remind themselves because there are a lot of micro details that we have to remember.
Just to quickly go back to YEKINDAR, he's down as a stand-in but what can you tell us about that whole situation, is this like a trial run or is he strictly a stand-in for IEM Cologne?
It is just being a stand-in for Cologne right now, that's all it is right now.
After their opening defeat to Spirit, Liquid will now be preparing for their do-or-die matchup against the loser of FaZe versus 00 Nation, with this game scheduled for tomorrow at 06:30AM.