For North America’s Team Freedom, the goal in their second Western Clash of the year is to come away with something, rather than nothing.
Back in March, Team Freedom failed to win a map in the event and was sent home empty-handed win-wise but stocked full of much-needed LAN experience.
Team Freedom's Vincent “Lutano” Alonso recalls the confusing loss:
“Last event we performed extremely well in scrims against every team across the board so when we actually got to the LAN and got bodied, we were really confused. We didn’t know what was going on. This time we’re working on our mindset and not worrying too much about scrims and how we perform. We’re trying a lot of different things and are hoping to be better prepared this time instead of thinking we’re a stronger team than we are.”
A key factor in their preparedness for this event is the team’s utilization of a boot camp prior to the LAN event. There, they can practice against other competitors and test out strategies while getting the feel for playing offline prior to going on-stage.
“I think the biggest thing about the boot camp is practicing on zero ping. That’s not something that any of us experience so getting the games in and the repetition of learning what you can and cannot do is a really big deal”
Being familiar with timing will be vital to winning their first-round matchup against Team Liquid, one of the most formidable teams in the west and a real threat to win the tournament. Lutano isn’t too concerned though:
“As the set is a best-of-three it can honestly go either way as it’s the first series of the tournament for both teams. Neither of us really know what the other one is going to bring. It’s going to be a coin toss. We have a lot of research on what Liquid has played in the past and what they like to do so we’ve been studying that so we can get a feel for them. It’s going to be interesting for sure.”
Both teams excel in macro-based play so execution will be key for Team Freedom to take down a top dog in EU and sending a message to the rest of the field.
Lutano isn’t thinking that big quite yet, he’s just focused on one map at a time.
“We’re not setting high goals this time. We’re going there to learn, work hard and win a series. That’s our goal this time and if we can do that, we’ll work on another goal afterward.”
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