oSee: "I'm going to do whatever I can to get back on the stage"
Heading into IEM Cologne, Liquid were a tough team to evaluate. The team had to make use of a stand-in, normally a detriment to a team, but their stand-in of choice was Latvian star Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis, whose presence very clearly bolstered the North American side. In the end, Liquid impressed in Cologne, taking down 00 Nation, Cloud9, and FURIA all in the lower bracket en route to the quarterfinals.
Although Liquid were unable to best Movistar Riders, falling to the Spaniards in a hotly contested series, there is no doubt that Liquid are pleased with their showing at IEM Cologne. The day after the squad's loss to the Riders, Josh "oSee" Ohm sat down with Dust2.us' Liam "Slevo" Slevin to talk about his first time in the arena, the value YEKINDAR has brought to the team, and the team's hopes for the rest of the 2022 season.
oSee, you just had your first big stage experience here with Liquid at IEM Cologne. How did it feel to step out on stage yesterday?
It was definitely an experience. It's been a dream of mine ever since I started playing to play in front of a crowd in like a big arena, so that was super exciting. Honestly, I was a little nervous going out there, but as soon as I stepped out it kinda set in, and then I was fine. Definitely something I won't forget.
It was a long series against Movistar Riders, it went all three maps. Tell me about that experience, and the stage nerves that you might have had.
I'd say the stage nerves weren't really a thing, to be honest. As soon as we got onto the server, you really can't hear much, you can't really see much either because you're focused on your screen, so the only thing I could really tell the difference is when the crowd screams or the bomb explodes and the stage rumbles. Other than that, I didn't honestly feel too out of my comfort zone.
You obviously had that crazy 1v3 on Inferno. Tell me a bit about that moment and how you were feeling when you were put into that situation.
Dude, the rush of adrenaline when I got that last kill.... yeah I don't know, I've never really experienced something like that where you win a clutch and you just hear the crowd go 'WOOOO" you know? It was honestly one of the best moments; something that I won't forget is winning that clutch and hearing the crowd. I wanna experience that more often, so I'm going to do whatever I can to get back on the stage and try and reproduce something like that.
We spoke to YEKINDAR in the group stage. When I asked him about who had the best work ethic and who impressed him the most, he said you. What can you say about YEKINDAR as a teammate since he's come into the team?
Oh, he's the hardest worker I've ever played with. Even after an 8-10 hour long practice day, right after he's like, "Alright what map are we gonna talk about, what do we need to improve on". He's always innovating, bringing stuff up. He has the best work ethic, and you can just tell he really cares about the game, and so yeah he's been super great to work with so far.
That's your season done for now, you're now going into the player break. Tell me about your plans for the player break and the preparation going into next season.
We don't know for sure yet, obviously [YEKINDAR's] still a stand-in, so we don't know exactly what direction we're going with, but we're definitely all gonna take a little bit of a break since these last couple of weeks have been super stressful. We've been putting in a lot of work, so I think it's good that we take a little break and come back refreshed, but yeah, I guess only time will tell when we figure something out, then we'll see where we go with that.
One final question. Looking towards the end of the year and the events lined up, what are the realistic goals for you guys now after an impressive performance here?
I don't think we were too upset with how we performed at this event. Obviously, we're still down that we lost in the quarterfinals, but we can't be too upset about it. Going to the next tournaments, just trying to do our best, maybe make like top four at events, made top six here, so making top four and keep working our way up until we get to that point where we're consistent enough to be at the top winning events and stuff. It's tough to say at the moment; like I said we don't have a set fifth yet, so we'll have to figure that part out, but I still think that whoever we get, as long as we put in the work, we have a lot of potential to get to that level again.
oSee and the rest of Liquid have now begun their break, not set to return to the server until the BLAST Premier Fall Groups in mid-August.