EliGE: "we were never doing a seven-map pool. We trolled from the very beginning"
Following their exciting win over former rivals Astralis, Liquid members Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski and Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis sat down on the couch with Freya "Freya" Spiers, Janko "YNk" Paunović, and Jack "Jacky" Peters to discuss Liquid's win over Astralis, the team's efforts to regain their confidence, and the supposed seven-map pool that has been much talked about.
Freya: Gentlemen congratulations, that was looking confident and you make it through to playoffs, tell me what you're thinking right now.
EliGE: Feeling good, it feels really good. Overall we played really well. Being able to beat them on Nuke is huge coming into playoffs as well. If we end up getting G2, they're going to pick Nuke anyway, but for any team that isn't that confident on Nuke, they're going to think twice about picking it. Overall it was a really positive series for us.
YEKINDAR: I totally agree. Personally for the whole team it was really important to bounce back from the start of this tournament. Obviously we had the things I said about the preparation before this tournament. It was problematic but I'm super happy everybody just started to understand and get back into rhythm, understand the game more, go for picks, great individual plays, and not be afraid of enemies. That's a really positive sign before playoffs.
Freya: I love that you bring up the Nuke side of the story as well. At the start of the season everyone was taking the mick a little about that statement where you guys came in and said you want to have a seven map pool. But, I think you guys are proving that you do have legs you can stand on...
EliGE: I'll just say, we were never doing a seven-map pool. We trolled from the very beginning and we just ran with it. YEKINDAR said it in an interview one time and we decided to say we were going to do a seven-map pool every time.
The goal was so that when people hear that in interviews they don't want to pick the other map if they play both. It was a mind game for the interviews. We haven't played Vertigo in months.
YEKINDAR: It was actually interesting how it worked, we left Vertigo in against certain teams and they didn't pick it. It worked out really good and Vertigo is obviously a really bad map. I'm glad we're not playing it.
YNk: These last couple of games you looked the best in a long time, individually, calling, team play seems to be on a really high level and communication seems to be flowing. Are you happy with the way you played?
YEKINDAR: I think we still have a lot of growth and you obviously always improve as individuals. Long path ahead still.
Freya: Is being the Aim High Player Of The Match the cherry on top of a great series for you YEKINDAR?
YEKINDAR: I'm happy that I'm slowly but surely getting my form back even though I started Katowice and BLAST not in really good shape.
Freya: Was it correct in saying that match against Rare Atom yesterday was your best performance ever on LAN? I think you got a 2.3 rating.
YEKINDAR: I'm not sure. I don't necessarily know, maybe that is. I was pushing underpass four rounds in a row.
EliGE: We just wanted to show our individual skill and not give Rare Atom so much respect. The first time we played them we weren't feeling the game or doing anything individually even though we know we can do those things and dominate the game.
Jacky: I spoke to kaze and he said he never expected to be able to play their style against tier one opponents on LAN. He was kind of confused by feeling like they could. But knowing what you needed to counter, you wiped the floor with them.
EliGE: Yeah I mean we didn't have a ton of demos to go off of. We have the games from their RMRs, but it's a different game when you're watching those demos. It's a different meta and you don't get as much out of it compared to when they're playing here. The second time around when we played them we were really prepared.
That's the main thing the Asian teams need to work on, having their game not be so readable and mixing it up a lot more. They have good tactics but it needs to be way more expanded and they'll be a big threat.
Liquid will now head on to ESL Pro League Season 17 playoffs, where they will face off against paiN in their opening match on March 21st at 02:00PM.