Liquid are leveling up.
Choking in important games was historically a problem for Team Liquid’s CS:GO divisionbut not anymore.
Nick “nitr0” Cannella, Liquid’s in-game leader, shared some thoughts following the team’s semifinal run at IEM Katowice 2023 over the weekend. The 27-year-old explained choking is behind them and that they have been vastly improving with every tournament.
“I feel like nowadays we don’t really have that issue anymore, knock on wood,” nitr0 said to Dot Esports on Feb. 12 when asked about choking in important matches. “We’re on a good path, and we’re showing very good signs of improvement every tournament.”
Nitr0 also underlined that Liquid’s mental fortitude is getting stronger with time. “It feels like our resilience is only getting stronger and stronger because we’re making a lot of comebacks,” he said.
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It’s hard to disagree with him, especially when taking the quarterfinals of IEM Katowice against Vitality into consideration. In the first map of the series, Liquid became the first team in history to return from a 0-12 deficit on Overpass at LAN. In the end, they won the series 2-1.
Another aspect of Liquid’s gameplay that nitr0 shed some light on was their map pool. While they were once experimenting with having all seven tournament maps in their active map pool, it looks like they’ve abandoned that idea.
“Once we came back this year we just wanted to introduce Nuke because it feels like our team and our players will fit that map really well, so I kind of put Vertigo on the back burner for a little bit and we’re just trying to test Nuke,” nitr0 said. “So right now we kind of have like a five-ish map pool.”
Liquid have been improving over the past year, securing second places at ESL Pro League season 16 and BLAST Premier World Final 2022. Their next tournament will be ESL Pro League season 17, which begins next week on Feb. 22.