Melany M. September 26, 2019
Ahead of ESL One New York 2019, Team Liquid's Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski hosted an AMA on Reddit.
Team Liquid is heading to ESL One New York 2019 after a disappointing result at the StarLadder Berlin Major. The squad was considered the favorite to win the event, but were upset in the quarterfinals by archrivals Astralis.
EliGE reflected on the team’s performance at the event, discussed past and present teammates, and offered advice for aspiring players.
EliGE talks about nitr0, s1mple before ESL One New York
One topic EliGE delved into was how Nicholas "nitr0" Cannella stacks up compared to previous Liquid in-game leaders. According to EliGe, nitr0 combines all of the positive traits from previous captains.
“Stanislaw was a leader that was really good at micromanaging people and having these unique ideas from spawn. Adren was really good at defaulting and then going into something mid round. Since Nick was under both of those IGLs we took the best of what we got from everyone and that's where we are today,” said EliGe.
Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz exited the team in early 2018 when he transferred to OpTic Gaming. Eric "adreN" Hoag left in 2016 and rejoined two years later as a coach.
EliGE also discussed Jacky "Stewie2K" Yip, who joined the team near the end of 2018 after Epitácio "TACO" de Melo and Wilton "zews" Prado exited Liquid. He stated that he believed that Stewie2K would be a great addition for the team, but Liquid initially struggled with him due to their weaker mental fortitude and their split from zews. People hoping for drama within Liquid were left disappointed however, as he heaped praise on Stewie2K, honing in on his "great leadership qualities."
Another fan brought up Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev and asked EliGE if he would like to play with him again. EliGE and s1mple were teammates back in 2016, but there were longstanding rumors regarding tension between the two. While there was never any massive public blowout, EliGE's response basically confirms that there was some bad blood in the past.
“I have changed a lot since we have played in such a huge way that when I see myself in the past years, I cannot even recognize myself. I know that Sasha definitely has made progress on himself just like I have and that we both have changed for the better,” wrote EliGE.
EliGE has bad memories of last year's ESL One New York
Team Liquid stands atop most CSGO rankings because they keep taking first-place at prominent tournaments. That wasn't always the case with the team, though. EliGE admitted that the lowest point of his career was after Liquid's loss in the grand finals of ESL New York 2018.
“After we lost ESL NY, I felt just completely destroyed mentally because I put a lot of the blame on me. I know what I am capable of and I should have done more to be able to close out that series. I felt like I let the team down because I should be having the rounds that secure the win and after NY I had to really evaluate everything,” wrote EliGE.
The highest point for EliGE was winning ESL One Cologne 2019 back in July.
EliGE also addressed the surprising result at the StarLadder Berlin Major, which saw Liquid eliminated early by Astralis.
Team Liquid was the favorite team to win the event, but failed to move beyond the quarterfinals. According to EliGE, the biggest factor for that loss was Liquid's lack of preparation on Vertigo. Astralis shocked fans, analysts, and Liquid alike by picking it for the first map of their series and it paid off with a 16-8 win over Liquid.
“It's hard because a lot of people aren't good on Vertigo so when we play it in practice we aren't exposed always to what some other teams are doing and we haven't put in a protocol that would help us against X, Y, Z so it's pretty tough just because of how new the map is,” EliGE wrote.
EliGE believes that the other teams had enough time to read Team Liquid’s strategies and even copy some of their moves.
EliGE's advice on how to become a better CSGO player
Many fans took the opportunity to ask for EliGE’s advice on how to improve in CSGO. The player started by telling fans that if they wanted to be better in the game, they need to start being better outside the game.
“I don't think it will necessarily make you aim better or anything like that, but I think it will make you happier and help you out mentally,” stated EliGE when a fan asked specifically about the importance of physical activity. “Sleep is super underrated, but it makes a huge impact on your life and your ability to focus and think critically so it should be a top priority to get enough sleep.”
According to the player, a 10 to 12-hour in-game training regimen is not as beneficial as people believe. Team Liquid’s training routine starts with one hour of conversation where the team goes over strategies and other subjects they need to discuss. The conversation is followed by a block of scrims that can last between two and three hours. The players take one hour off and then return for a second block of scrims.
For professional hopefuls, EliGE recommends working on basics like aiming. Improving the fundamentals and tuning up whatever aspect a player is lacking will prevent creating bad habits that will stop any kind of progress.
Another bit of advice was to leave any kind of ego at the door. Listening to every player and their ideas is one of Team Liquid’s keys to success. The squad listens to everyone’s ideas and strategies equally. EliGE highlighted the importance of having an open attitude when playing with others.
EliGE also took the time to praise Team Liquid as an organization. The player said that the most important thing for the roster has been the support from Team Liquid, the managers, and coaches.
Team Liquid is heading to ESL One New York 2019 and will start on September 26 with a series against eUnited.