VALORANT’s most notorious one-tapper, Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom sat down after Team Liquid’s win versus Vikings to talk the event thus far and their upcoming match against Fnatic.
Continuing their lower bracket run with a 2-0 over Brazil's first seed, Team Vikings, Team Liquid will march on to face their regional rivals, Fnatic. After the game we got a chance to talk with Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom, Team Liquid's star player since their start in competitive VALORANT. Team Liquid ScreaM pulled back the curtain on Team Liquid's confidence, playstyle, and their upcoming matchup against Fnatic.
First of all, thank you sitting down to talk after such an impressive series (vs Team Vikings) ! You guys seemed incredibly confident on both maps today, is that a reflection of how the team is feeling overall?
Team Liquid ScreaM: "We have a really confident team. The win against KRU yesterday was really important for us to get that confidence in the tournament. Now we know we can do it, like it's a mind thing. We needed that win to get over our loss to Version1. I think we would have won if we played like this."
Team Liquid is undoubtedly one of the best teams in VALORANT at synergizing utility. How much practice goes into the lineups?
Team Liquid ScreaM: "Honestly we practice a lot. We go over tactics a lot so it takes quite some time. But this is VALORANT, it's a very tactical game and it is how it has to be. You need to have that synergy in the team to make everything perfect, it's very important."
How do you think Team Liquid's playstyle has held up internationally when compared to regional play?
Team Liquid ScreaM: "I think coming here it was a bit weird playing against all these regions. Even just watching, you can tell they have very different playstyles. Like I realized some regions are really good playing against Phoenix for example, and that's what has stopped me from playing Phoenix right now and why I picked Sage today. Europe is kind of a mix of everything, a little bit of slow play, aggressiveness, it's very tactical. Other regions are very individual, like Sentinels. They have some nice team play but at the same time they do a lot of individual stuff. It's hard to handle but every region has it's own gameplay."
Ever since switching to Sage, its seems Team Liquid as a whole has drastically improved. How do you think your flexibility has helped the team?
Team Liquid ScreaM: "It has been a bit tough for me. Obviously I really enjoyed playing Jett, but Jamppi is a great player, he has a lot of potential and I'm really happy to give it to him. I trust myself and my teammates trust me to get good at any Agent and I can play whatever is best for the team. That is a very important thing in VALORANT, there are a lot of Agents and you cannot just play one or two, you got to be flexible."
Usually Team Liquid are the ones bringing out 'unconventional' compositions, but today Vikings picked Yoru in back-to-back matches. What was your reaction to this?
Team Liquid ScreaM: "I respect that decision from Vikings. It was a really, really bold decision by Vikings but I guess they just prepared everything because Yoru isn't a bad Agent. When you actually play around it and have a good plan around it, he's actually really hard to play against. Today we had a hard time, even though maybe the score line was not the closest, today was really tough for us and we're really happy we managed to win. I think Sage played a big role in this, the Agent is really good in countering Yoru.
It was just a great experience though since we never played against a Yoru. I just really respect the decision. We expected so much more aggressiveness from Vikings but they played kind of slow this game, maybe because of Sage or that was just their gameplay but it helped us. If they played more aggressively it would've been more of a problem for us."
Speaking more about the event generally, you guys had an early loss to Version1 but seemed to really thrive in the lower brackets. Do you think this early loss actually helped the team?
Team Liquid ScreaM: "Yeah, I think when you lose, you improve a lot. You have so many things to learn from one game, and especially that Version1 game. We had so many things we learned from watching it back. Also it was our first ever LAN game so we were not playing at our best level. Playing against KRU with a really clean game gave us a lot of confidence. I feel like right now, if we play the same we did today and yesterday, we can beat anyone."
Team Liquid will be facing Fnatic next in the lower bracket semi-finals, do you think your familiarity with your opponent will make the series easier or more difficult?
Team Liquid ScreaM: "Obviously we know each other really well, we've played against them a couple times and today the European teams are good friends. It's going to be a really tough game, but I think these types of games are always tough and I have no idea how it's going to go. I think it'll be a really tough game for them as well. We will see."
Derke specifically has had an incredible showing in Masters Reykjavik. How do you think the matchup against him will go?
Team Liquid ScreaM: "Derke is a good player and a good Jett, he plays the Operator and positions well. I think we're going to shut Derke down. We know how he plays and we just need to be careful of the Jett Operator all the time. It's just a really strong combo, and obviously he's one of the best players but we also have really good players. It's going to be a war. "