Esports.gg’s Cap caught up with Aydin “iNSaNiA” Sarkohi to talk about all things Team Liquid heading into the Dota2 AniMajor.
With the Wild Cards coming up, Cap sat down with Liquid's lovable captain for an interview. They discuss Liquid's blockbuster match against OG, Sumail's influence on the team, and thoughts going into the AniMajor. Check out the full interview here:
Beating OG to finish 2nd place in EU
In their final match in the EU DPC, Liquid were up against two-time TI winners OG. The stakes were high, as Liquid would have to get a win to avoid playing tiebreakers. In the end, it was Qojva's Broodmother that secured the 2-0 win for Liquid, and cemented their 2nd place finish.
Presently, Liquid holds an impressive 19-5 record against the OG roster. While this seems like clear superiority from the side of Liquid, iNsaNiA is not too sure where the record comes from.
"We've managed to clutch it out it sounds like, but playing against OG is never a free series. I think they're a really tough opponent. The statistic seem to lean (in our favor), but I don't really feel like there's anything that gives us an edge."
INsaNiA also reflects on how their good results against OG may come from having more fun going into the games. To him, OG's style of Dota makes the team more excited to play.
"When we (Team Liquid) do have more fun, we tend to care about (the games) more as well because it becomes such a nice thing to do. The things that are hard about the game become a lot easier because you're just enjoying yourself."
Comparing Boxi to Sumail - The two different sides of Liquid
It's impossible to talk about the current Team Liquid without mentioning Sumail. The King was brought in to take Samuel "Boxi" Svahn's place following an unexpected break from the long-time Liquid offlaner.
In the one month that they've played without him, iNsaNiA quickly noticed the gap Boxi had left in the squad.
"Boxi brought a lot of structure and a lot of drive to help our team improve. Regardless of if we won or lost, he was always the first guy to say 'We could've done this better.' In terms of our team structure and how we approached the game, he had a big influence (as well)."
On the other side of the coin, with SumaiL, the missing structure that Boxi left behind opened up a new way for Liquid to play.
"We play a lot more freely now. In the current (roster), there's a lot more freestyle gameplay, where you get to see these individual plays from Tommy (Taiga), micKe' or SumaiL. We're just playing a lot more off how we feel in the game, and trusting someone's intuition, rolling with it a bit more."
In terms of how SumaiL stacked up against Qojqva, iNsaNiA very matter-of-factly explained how they differ.
"SumaiL is in my personal opinion, no offense to Qojqva, hands down the best mid-laner when it comes to laning."
With Qojqva as their mid, iNsanIA took advantage of the veteran cheese specialist's wide hero pool. In that way, they'd always leave the mid pick for last - just to see if they could squeeze in a disgusting pick.
"(Sumail's) a bit more of a honest mid player. He's like 'Pick me this hero, I'll destroy them I don't care what they play'. Sometimes the match-up will be more even because the other guy will have a counter-pick, but generally speaking it goes well."
iNSaNiA reflects on the Singapore Major, and the upcoming AniMajor
Despite an undefeated start to the Wild Card stage of the Singapore Major, Team Liquid eventually finished a disappointing 9th-12th. As a whole, the representatives of EU had a surprisingly poor showing.
"The biggest thing, I felt was that we (EU) were out of touch with the heroes being played. It seemed like the playstyle the Chinese teams just straight up beat ours. We were playing catch-up, not necessarily skill wise, but our ideas about the game did not match up against the other regions at all."
As for the upcoming AniMajor, iNSaNiA is a lot more confident in the preparations Liquid has done.
"We're mostly looking at how we answer specific things that they might play with the stuff we already have. Or do we need to add heroes to our hero pool to answer that. Of course, you get some really good ideas, you notice how (the other regions) do things you might copy it yourself."
"More than anything we want to be ready for anything they might throw at us this time."