nitr0 explains why he came back to CS:GO and talks about the most important lessons in Valorant.
At the beginning of the year Nicholas "nitr0" Cannella officially came back to CS:GO from Valorant. However, the return was not as impressive as it might have been. 3 months later Team Liquid seems to be back on track with their performance at ESL Pro League and nitr0 is back to being one of the most popular players for interviews.
During the press conference before the start of play-off, nitr0 answered all questions about Valorant, CS:GO, and learned lessons.
Image credit: Stephanie Lindgren/ESPAT
Now transitioning back to CS:GO was there any disconnect or catch-up you had to do in terms of certain situations as you hadn't played Counter-Strike?
nitr0: Oh, yeah, there's been a lot of that actually. I think it started even before I decided to make the full transition back. John was helping me and telling me, what was different and what changed. It has been a lot to learn and I'm still learning every time we practice and trying to figure out solutions for anywhere problems. And I think we're in a pretty good spot right now.
But we still have so much to learn and improve. We could just talk about the game all day. Literally, just sit here and talk about any map, any specific situation that we've encountered. There's always something to practice, and I think that's actually a really good thing. Because you don't want to feel like you can't figure stuff out or you just don't have solutions to specific problems. Our team is very good at theory-crafting and trying to identify how we can fix certain problems. And it's been really productive since I joined.
Do you regret switching games?
nitr0: I don't regret it. It was a very good decision for me and my personal life. At that time my wife was pregnant. The schedule for the 2020-2021 season was super rough. They were basically living in Europe and obviously with a pregnant wife it's not ideal. So Valorant kind of allowed me to be home and at the same time do my job. It was really nice.
Actually, it was really nice to take a little break from all the travels. But at the end of the day, I like Counter-Strike way more as a game. And that's why I decided to come back now when my son is a little bit older.
nitr0, you mentioned that you've learned a lot during times in Valorant. What was the biggest lesson you took from this experience?
nitr0: There's a bunch of lessons from Valorant. But just in general - playing with different players, seeing different mentalities, and playing with younger players. I learned a lot from them.
And then building a team from scratch which is very hard but in Valorant you have to do that because the game was so new. That helped coming back to CS, when we had to build a new team. From Valorant I learned how to approach people and build something from scratch. It's super hard in CSGO, especially nowadays. It takes months and months to actually get to the highest level of Counter-Strike. You can't just put five superstars together and be the best team in the world within two months - it's just not logical.
I think we're pretty happy with our progress, and how we've developed as a team. I think we're pretty close to feeling that we're super confident in winning events. So it's only a matter of time.
Do you think there are other Valorant players who originally transitioned from Counter-Strike and now will be looking to move back in the coming year?
nitr0: I don't think so, Valorant is in a pretty good spot. There are a lot of newer talents. I think the best team in North America is actually a team full of people I've never even heard of from CS background. Their best player is from some random game. He's not an experienced Counter-Strike veteran. So I think that scene has a lot of growth for new and up-and-coming players.
And it just shows that you don't have to have a Counter-Strike degree to be on the best team in the world. If you transitioning over from CS to Valorant, you're going to be a little bit ahead. But ultimately, it can only get you so far.
I think a lot of people, especially the casuals, like that about the game. Because in CSGO there are a lot of gatekeepers, so to speak. You have to have multiple years of experience. Even Josh on our team: he has played at the highest level besides Liquid and EG for years. He played the game a lot. And he finally got his chance to play on the tier-1 team. He worked really hard for it. It's very hard to get on a super good team.
Whereas in Valorant, you don't have to have your LinkedIn to try to get on a good team. You just start playing the game, and people notice your rank. They're like: "Hey, man, you wanna do some scrim?" And then if you're good, you got the job. It's a lot easier.