When Team Liquid’s infamous Captain America, Nick “nitr0” Canella returned to the team after a stint in VALORANT, many wondered whether he still had the ability to perform as an IGL at the highest level. Now, over a year later, Liquid are back playing some of their best CS once more and find themselves with a tough semi-final matchup against an in-form G2.
We caught up with nitr0 after the Vitality game to discuss the series and his thoughts on the rest of Liquid’s year.
Sam “AN1MO” McKenzie, BLIX.GG You've got your revenge on Vitality, how are you feeling right now?
Nick “nitr0” Canella: We're feeling really good obviously, we haven't had time to really talk about the match yet but personally I'm feeling really good. I love that we showed a lot of resilience, on Overpass especially, but I don't know how they lost that honestly. It's a pretty hard loss for them, I can only imagine what they feel because I've been in that situation before. It's definitely tough for them but on our side, we're feeling really good.
BLIX: A comeback like that has only been done once on Overpass before, how do you even get to that, do you think it's possible at the start?
nitr0: It's always possible to come back, it's just a matter of having that mentality through it all. The rounds that we were winning were very convincing, if you have a convincing round then you have a good buy and you can start building your economy. Then you can start to understand what they want to do, and what they've done and lost to, all the macro parts of the game. I feel like in general on the CT side we had a really good read on what they wanted to do and that's what really propelled us into being able to come back.
BLIX: You had a pretty huge performance in map three, how were you feeling? Was it a case of saying to yourself “I have to get us over the line”?
nitr0: I had a pretty good start on the T-side and when I have good starts I tend to keep it up, usually throughout the whole game. Mirage has been a pretty comfortable map for us and I personally feel really comfortable on that map right now, it just came down to a lot of individual plays and understanding what they want to do, and having the correct reaction whilst being in the right positions, similar to Overpass CT. I was in the positions where they were going so it wasn't anything special, but I got the kills I needed.
BLIX: Going into Overpass CT, oSee was hitting every shot. Was there something you or Daps said at the half?
nitr0: No, we didn't say anything specifically. We just knew that we could come back and were kind of joking about it like "Oh if we're not gonna win the map then let's just get some rounds and get some confidence for the next map." In the process of that, we gained a lot of confidence and took it from there.
BLIX: Were you worried at all when ZywOo was playing the way he was on Nuke?
nitr0: No, I wasn't worried. ZywOo is very consistent as a player so for me it feels very normal when he has twenty-something kills every game. I wasn't worrying, it's just how that team is and how they like to function. He's their star player and he'll naturally be in more battles and in more spots to frag. He usually gets them, that's just how it is.
BLIX: You've beaten FaZe and Vitality now. These are huge results for you guys, how are you feeling about tomorrow against G2 and about your chances for the rest of the tournament?
nitr0: We're feeling good overall as a team. G2 is gonna be a tough opponent obviously, they're probably the best team in the world right now. But for me, I've always loved playing against the best teams in the world. I played Astralis so many times when they were the best, and it's always just a different game when you're playing the best team because of all the pressures on them. Then there's being on the best team, all the teams that play understand that you have all the pressure as the best team. It's a different kind of mental game and we're super excited to be playing against them.
BLIX: Do you think you'll get back to the very top this year?
nitr0: Yeah, I think eventually we should be on top. We're putting in so many hours into the game, I'm not exactly sure what kind of hours other teams are putting in but for us personally, we're going into overtime a lot of the time. We're just feeling better, better, and better. I feel like we'll keep progressing as a team and it's only a matter of time before we get to the top.