EliGE Highlights YEKINDAR's Impact on Liquid's Performance at IEM Cologne 2022
This is how the stand-in buff worked in favor of Team Liquid.
Team Liquid delivered its best performance of the season so far at the recently concluded IEM Cologne 2022, finishing 5th-6th after handing defeats to teams like Cloud9, FURIA Esports, and 00 Nation.
It was the first tournament this season where Liquid was playing with Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis as a stand-in for the side, occupying the vacant spot left by Richard "shox" Papillon's departure.
In a recent interview with HLTV, senior rifler Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski went on to highlight how the Latvian rifler helped the team get back in shape, his commitment to the overall preparation, sprucing up certain key things in the limited time they had before the tournament, and just giving the side a surge of motivation which helped them reach the playoffs.
EliGE talks about YEKINDAR's impact on Team Liquid's improved performance in Cologne
The 'stand-in buff' certainly worked wonders for Liquid during its tour of Cologne, but there was a lot of hard work behind this buff and the man responsible for it was none other than YEKINDAR.
According to EliGE, the team progressed well in the last month or so. Reaching the playoffs of IEM Cologne 2022 after crashing out of IEM Dallas 2022 was certainly a huge relief. Most importantly, it gives something positive for the team to aim for going into the summer player break.
However, there was a lot of grinding that the players had to endure in order to achieve this.
"We were definitely playing a lot, like at minimum we were playing about 10 or 11 hours a day and then nitr0, YEKINDAR, and daps would stay after and help get the structure ready for an additional three hours a day on average," said EliGE.
Even here, YEKINDAR after finishing his individual training used to hold back and help Nicholas "nitr0" Cannella with the overall gameplay structuring. He also assisted in reading how different teams operate which helped the team get its "macro back on the same page".
EliGE emphasized how YEKINDAR brought over a lot of experience and ideas from Outsiders (Virtus.pro), which gave Liquid the confidence to scrapping everything from before and start afresh. The players had so much to learn and work upon that the team started using printouts of all the calls and strategies that they needed to implement.
Talking about how YEKINDAR's arrival personally affected him, EliGE revealed that with the arrival of an aggressive entry fragger it really gave him a lot of space to operate while attacking.
"YEKINDAR pretty much slotted into every single spot that we needed on our CT side. But on T side it's definitely a weight lifted knowing that I don't have to make something happen every time. And YEKINDAR has a lot of good reads for what the defence of the CTs are and exactly what he wants and what needs to happen in those rounds," remarked EliGE, praising the Latvian's combination of being aggressive while also having great reads which in turn alleviates a lot of the mental pressure of the team.