After their first loss at VCT Masters Reykjavik, esports.gg’s Rohan Samal spoke with Team Liquid Dom “soulcas” Sulcas about the loss, their performance and more.
On the 25th of March 2022, Team Liquid’s dreams of making the Masters Reykjavik were crushed with a 0-2 defeat against G2 esports. The EMEA Challengers run cut short in the lower bracket, it was time for the team to rebuild and prepare for the next event.
But a few days later, after G2 suffered a similar fate against FPX in teh Grand Finals, came a silver lining for Team Liquid. Riot announced FPX would not be able to attend the Iceland Masters. Team Liquid would replace FPX in the event with G2 taking FPX’s number 1 seed. IT was an opportunity for Team Liquid to show the world their true potential and to get some valuable VCT points.
"When we found out we were going to Masters, we were like We're going to give it our all," Liquid soulcas said. "We were going to start from the ground up and see what we can do and really just show a new Liquid and give it our all."
"There's no expectations because we shouldn't even be here in the first place. We're just trying to not put too much pressure on ourselves to perform"
Starting in Group B, Team Liquid won both its opening matches with ease taking down Kru esports and XERXIA. As one of the first teams to qualify to the playoffs from the group stage, the focus within the team was to build on its strengths. They received a surprise opportunity to compete at Masters and their performance at Masters is a bonus cause they were not supposed to be present here at all.
"There's no expectations because we shouldn't even be here in the first place. We're just trying to not put too much pressure on ourselves to perform. We're just making sure we are just putting all the effort we can and put even more effort in ourselves," soulcas said on Team Liquid's invitation to Masters. "Cause I think our efforts was best so we're just making sure we're preparing 100% all the time and just giving it our all."
A stumble in the Playoffs and lessons learned
Team Liquid’s first match in the playoffs, however, saw them go up against the Brazilian powerhouse, LOUD. LOUD is one of those teams that has been dominating the Brazilian scene and has come into this tournament as a favorite for some players.
Talking about some of the reasons for their loss against LOUD, soulcas admits LOUD got too much space in the series.
"I think they just had too much space because we didn't have too many OPS on the map, so they just took too much space and weren't getting punished. [...] They just took the space for free without too much pressure and that's what they abused really well and that's how they won the game."
Team Liquid has been working on improving their performance and one of their goals was to rework how the team functions.
"The focus is that we are going to change a lot of our roles. Scream is going to go Main duelist regardless of the map. I wouldn't go Raze, I'd go Sage more often on the maps Sage could be played. It's just so that the roles could be more consistent. Because there wasn't more time to practice and we also had Link IGLing. But for him, it was his first time IGLing so it was a bit like a difficult start. We knew we'd take a lot more time."
Team Liquid picked Icebox against LOUD, a map pick that saw some raised eyebrows. But it is a map that they have been practicing for some time and they feel comfortable playing on it.
"We kind of went back to our roots, but we still kept some of the new things we're talking about. We still kept them within the team," Liquid soulcas continued. "Icebox is I guess one of them, cause even when Link was calling, when we first came back after the loss to G2 qualifying to this event, our Icebox practice went really well. I think that's why we sat down to pick it because it was one of our better maps during practice."
Despite the fact that Team Liquid lost Icebox 10-13, the map was full of close rounds where only one player would be left standing.
Zeta Division Laz: “How we were able to adapt to their (Fnatic) reaction and the strategy was the key to the successful result that we had today”
Zeta Division is the best Valorant team in Japan. The team has consistently defeated its local opponents and qualified for international events. But till the 2022 Masters Reykjavik, they had not yet won a single match in an international event. All of that changed when Koji “Laz” Ushida and Shota “SugarZ3ro” Watanabe spearheaded the Japanese roster to […]
Team Liquid soulcas shares his thoughts on Zeta Division
Like Kru, [Zeta Division] is just going to get better and better the more experience they get.
Team Liquid’s next match is an elimination match against Zeta Division. The Japanese team has surprised everyone with their performance eliminating both Fnatic and NiP from Masters Reykjavik. After surpassing their initial goal of winning just one map this event, Zeta Division has already made playoffs.
They are a pretty good team. We have scrimmed against them and they have definitely improved a lot compared to previous events. But as a team, like Kru, they're just going to get better and better the more experience they get. I think just getting one win against a different region, it breaks that barrier for them where they've been dealing with nerves and confidence wasn't there. But yeah, we're going to take them on just like any other team.
And finally he gave his thoughts on which teams he feels (other than Team Liquid ofcourse) will make it to the top four.
“Other than Team Liquid, I'd say LOUD, OpTiC and then The Guard. Those will be the top four teams.”