Team Liquid is on a 4-game winning streak. In the four matches they played during the two weeks of LCS, they did not take a single loss. Team Liquid defeated Cloud9, who reached the semifinals at last year’s World Championship, in the opening match and also reigned over Counter Logic Gaming. In the week following that, they beat 100 Thieves and Clutch Gaming to continue their undefeated streak.
Jang “Cain” Nu-ri, the head coach of Team Liquid, was satisfied with the current situation. When I met him for an interview at the LCS Arena, he was modest but confident with the upcoming schedule and was proud of their performance in Round 1.
Below is our interview with Team Liquid head coach Cain.
Q. For the four matches of the first two weeks of the LCS Spring Split - you must be thinking that everything is going as planned.
Preparing has never been easy, but my players delivered very good performance on stage for sure. We have a player that is more concentrated on stage than during practice so he’s a big help.
Q. I assume that would be Jensen?
Yes. He has an extremely bold mind. I’ve known him from when I was in Cloud9 and he had issues concentrating during scrims. But when he’s on stage, he shows off his prowess no matter who he plays against.
Q. Were you satisfied after Jensen joined the team? How would you rate his performance up to now?
Since I knew Jensen very well, I was very satisfied with him joining the team. As for the evaluation, I would give him a 9 out of 10.
Q. Speaking of newcomers, I’d also like to talk about CoreJJ. You were a support player during your professional career; your eye for support players would be keener than others. I heard you really wanted to sign CoreJJ.
CoreJJ is adapting to the team really quickly and he doesn’t have any language issues since he’s been in foreign leagues before. The synergy between him and Doublelift is also extremely good; he’s becoming the ‘Core’ of the team now. I’d give him a 9 out of 10 also.
Q. How are Jensen and CoreJJ helping the team as newcomers?
As a support, the player has to watch the minimap more often. It’s a role that is the core of the macro game; CoreJJ adds stability to the team’s macro and helps the team to draw the correct solution.
Jensen is a weapon. A well-sharpened sword. His performance today was very sharp with Aatrox’s huge blade.
Q. So not a double-edged sword?
He’s a one-edged sword. (Laughs)
Q. Team Liquid won both Spring and Summer seasons last year. It seems that the team tried to strengthen the roster for a better international appearance. Although it’s a bit too early to predict, are you confident on that front?
It’s way too early to predict international stages at this point, but one thing for sure is that we need to bring home better results than last year. The roster changes weren’t specifically for the international level; it was for the team atmosphere. Players may become settled if they play with the same players for too long. I think it’s necessary to bring in a new atmosphere whether it’s signing a new player or using a sub player. Up to now, the spring season has been treating us well up to now.
Q. You’re undefeated so far. Who do you think is the biggest threat in the remaining Round 1?
I was aware of Cloud9 the most. I also thought it wouldn’t be easy going against Clutch Gaming, but we won. I guess if there’s a difficult opponent left in Round 1, it would be TSM. Since we had good results against the teams that are considered strong already, I think we would be able to smile a lot in Round 1.
Q. Despite the good results, what do you think still needs to be improved?
There’s something that was pointed out as a weakness during international stages last year. The players tend to get overly nervous at international events so we weren’t able to show what we prepared. Other than that, we need to expand our champion pool so that it can be worthy of the international scene. I will concentrate on improving these elements mainly.
Q. The players of Team Liquid are all veterans. Do they still get nervous in international stages?
Being a veteran and getting nervous aren’t directly related. Getting slightly nervous may be necessary, but the problem is they get too nervous. On that matter, I rate Jensen very high for being so bold. I think it’s a big talent to be able to show what he has on stage without getting nervous.
Q. Any final comments you’d like to make?
Thank you to the fans who like Team Liquid. I will never settle with the current results and pay you back for your support with exceptional performance.