Written By AashirAhmed - 2022-04-11
The second day of VCT 2022 - Stage 1 - Masters Reykjavík witnessed Team Liquid forcing XERXIA’s relegation into the elimination bracket in a marathon matchup to become the first group team to qualify for playoffs. Following the matchup, THESPIKE.GG had the opportunity to talk with Thanamethk "Crws" Mahatthananuyut from XERXIA and Travis "L1NK" Mendoza, Elias "Jamppi" Olkkonen from Team Liquid.
THESPIKE.GG: That loss was quite unfortunate. How do you feel?
crws: Really bad. We had plenty of chances to close it out, but we couldn’t. So, that was unlucky.
THESPIKE.GG: In the first map, both teams were tied by halftime but then XERXIA couldn’t keep up and fell after taking only the pistol round in the second half. What went wrong according to you?
crws: It was probably because we didn’t have enough space. They used their utility to clear out a lot of areas and we couldn’t take it back. Since we weren’t aware of where they were going to hit, it split the rotate up and put us at a disadvantage.
THESPIKE.GG: In the final few rounds of Ascent, you were able to take four consecutive rounds and come back from an 11-8 score. What were the comms like during those rounds?
crws: We just focused on every single round one by one. We didn’t look at the scoreboard as much and concentrated on how we should play out the round. The technical pauses that we took really helped us because when we were out of strategies, they helped us clarify what we should do and discuss how Liquid was playing so we could devise counter-strategies.
THESPIKE.GG: While playing Sage, you do not get as many frags but do significantly better while playing Breach. How would you describe your role in the team?
crws: I’m more of a support player and I use my utility to slow people down to put myteammates into vantage positions. I also try to slow down the opponent's rotates and help my team rotate into the bombsite acting like a distraction.
THESPIKE.GG: With this loss, you will face the winners of Optic and KRU. Which team do you think will win that matchup?
crws: To be honest, I am not entirely sure either. But I think it would be OpTic, so we might play them again.
THESPIKE.GG: A massive controversy sparked after Chet "Chet" Singh’s interview and you briefly addressed it via a tweet. Do you have any more thoughts on it apart from the statement you issued?
crws: Honestly, my statement was relatively straightforward. I just wanted to clarify that I am not retiring because of the money, but because there’s too much stress in competing, and it's pretty tiring. So, the lifestyle doesn’t suit a really long run in terms of the career I want. I feel like there could be a better addition to the team after my departure, and I had to make sure that everyone understood that it wasn’t about the money and it was just to make our team better.
THESPIKE.GG: Despite knowing XERXIA has had a record of picking Icebox in its previous matchups, Team Liquid decided to ban Bind. Could you explain why?
L1NK: It’s because we suck on Bind. If you check our history going against any team, we might’ve won one Bind map or something, but it’s a complete coin flip for us. We are confident on every other map apart from Bind. Who knows we might get better on it down the line, but right now it isn’t a strong map for the team.
THESPIKE.GG: You and Nivera decided to go Double OP in overtime. An unorthodox move to say the least. What were you thinking when you went for that strategy.
Jamppi: I think it’s just how we play and the defense. In defense, Double OP is extremely good. I think the round we lost to Double OP was because both Nivera and I got picked up early and that was unfortunate. Not many teams are confident enough to play that strategy. But I think it works for us so we decided to keep playing it.
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