EliGE says the team has been comfortable changing roles since adding YEKINDAR

EliGE: “We do need a lot of work on just revamping our stratbook"

The American rifler is excited to play in front of a Brazilian crowd once again.

Following Liquid's close win over domestic rivals Evil Geniuses, longtime Liquid player Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski sat down with Dust2.us' Dafydd Gwynn to discuss the match against Evil Geniuses, the importance of qualifying for the Legends Stage here, and how the team intends to prepare with the three weeks or so they have available to them.

You've just qualified for the Legends Stage. How important was it for you guys to qualify for this stage?

It was definitely really really important, even before we started EPL our biggest goal was to get Legends Stage. It's the most important tournament of the year, it's gonna be super hype, we're really excited to be going, and it gives us an extra week of practice where we can see what's going on in the first stage. We do need a lot of work on just revamping our stratbook, because as things keep developing throughout the season it gets harder and harder because everyone is studying you and watching you, and that's something that we're gonna have to be focusing on during that time, so it was definitely really needed.

What is the plan for that extra week?

Right now we're pretty much planning to take a couple days off when we come home in NA, not too long. Then I think we're gonna be doing about two weeks of bootcamp or something like that. We're planning to get there a day earlier than what's necessary just to adjust for jetlag and that type of stuff. Overall, we have a pretty good schedule coming into the Major.

I think a lot of people were impressed with Evil Geniuses here at the RMR. How did you feel about their style? Were you impressed by what you saw?

They're very improved from the last tournaments. You can definitely see the difference of how they're playing, they have a more cohesive game plan throughout all the matches. I don't feel like they're as behind as the meta as they were earlier in the year and everything. So they've been doing a great job, it's really awesome to see.

There were a few overtimes across the two maps you guys played against Evil Geniuses. How draining is that mentally, and when you won the first map how hard was it to go into the next map?

Honestly, it wasn't that draining for me. I felt pretty fine just playing the matches. We've pretty much been doing these same types of games pretty much every day for the past month and a half, and we just got back from doing a BO5 at EPL; that was definitely draining because that was many many many hours long and it was pretty difficult. I didn't feel super drained from this one, I felt pretty decent overall. Definitely feeling a bit more stressed in these moments, but I think a good reset after this tournament is going to help.

Are you looking forward to the crowds and atmosphere of IEM Rio?

Yeah, I think it's going to be awesome. The Brazilian crowd is crazy, we know that from being at Belo [Horizonte], and being at Sao Paulo. I'm super excited, I think it's gonna be a lot of fun. There's so many teams that are so close together, there's no clear favorite, in my opinion. We obviously have the heavy hitters that we all expect, but anyone can come into this Major swinging and it's going to be very difficult for anyone. Those types of environments bring really good games, so I'm super excited.

Would you like to play against a Brazilian team in Brazil?

I don't think that I really mind, I think it's gonna be fun no matter what. Whether the crowd is for or against, we know that it's going to be wild. I know that they're a crowd that's going to be getting hyped for the moments, anything crazy that's going on, so it's just gonna be a good tournament overall crowd-wise.

You had a two-day break between your 2-0 game against Complexity and the first-place decider against Evil Geniuses. What do you do during those two days?

We've had a very intense schedule this second half of the season. We took the first day off just to give us a little bit of breathing room, just to relax a little bit. The second day is when we did some scrims, we did prep work, got ready for this match, and that was pretty much it.

Do you have any thoughts on Complexity versus Imperial for the last spot?

That is such a tough one. You can honestly go either way with that. I feel like Complexity... it's kinda crazy that they're even in that situation where they're in the decider because they've had such good form recently that I would've expected them to have already been through. With Imperial, they are just the faces of this Major, so it would be such a sadness for them not to make it, so I'm pretty torn between both of them. It's going to be brutal for whoever loses.

We had a decent amount of North American teams here, and some did quite well, including Nouns who went 2-3 when many expected them to do worse. Have you been keeping up on these games, and if so, were you impressed by your fellow North Americans?

I haven't had time to really watch those games yet, but it's definitely very impressive results. Like you said I think most people would have expected all the other NA teams to bomb out 0-3, so I'm happy that they did as well as they could, and they were able to get more experience seeing how all the other teams are playing because you don't get access to playing all these teams normally when you're in NA.

The addition of YEKINDAR has caused some role changes for you. Is everyone accustomed to their new roles at this point?

I mean, not completely comfortable. There are some things that I'm still not very comfortable with, but it's whatever really. We're playing well, we're winning, and I'm just doing whatever I can to the best of my ability. I think that everyone has been playing pretty well in their roles, so overall we're happy.

From now to the Major, what is the biggest thing you guys need to improve to take your game to the next level?

Right now it's definitely just going to be us revamping our stratbook because it's been a decent amount of time since we went over the foundation of everything, and how we want to structure our game, and how our game plan is, and we have to really focus on adjusting that across all the maps, especially on our weaker ones that everybody's picking against us. Us probably working on our two weakest maps, that's pretty much gonna be the game plan. Just revamping the stratbook, making sure we're not as easily read, get some different types of gameplay in there on the T side. I think our CT side has been pretty solid overall. That's it, then we'll be ready for the Major.

Thanks to Liquid's victory over Evil Geniuses, the top North American side has bought themselves some time before their next outing, with the team not set to play again until the beginning of IEM Rio's Legends Stage on November 5th.

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