After starting their group with two heavy losses versus KT Rolster and EDward Gaming, Team Liquid beat MAD to finish the first round robin of the group stage. We caught up with Xmithie to talk about their first win and talk about Team Liquid's chances of getting out of groups
Renato (Shakarez): Congratulations on your win. Going in 0-2 and knowing this game was a must-win, how was the team atmosphere before the game?
Xmithie: Personally for me, I didn't really think about it like that. It might be a really big win for us, but I think it should still be like any win, to be honest. Like if it was EDG or KT, I think we still had to win. It was a crucial win for us, maybe morale-wise so that we can still keep playing, but if we want to get out of groups I think we still have to beat every team for now.
So from level one and early pathing, it seemed like you guys wanted to force vertical jungling to keep the bot lane isolated. Did you expect Kongyue to just move down and gank bot lane since you had taken his blue?
Yeah, it was actually pretty funny, because we called it from when we saw Taliyah at his blue-side jungle. I think Olleh just probably was too much in the zone that he didn't hear us, but everyone was yelling like, "He's going to gank bottom!" or something, and then he just went in before that. So he just died. But it wasn't really our main plan, it was just mainly reacting to what they do. So it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be.
So after that, the game kind of slowed down as you tried to fish for picks. Do you think MAD reacted well to your composition in the early game? You kept trying to look for picks there, but they played defensively, didn't really give you a window.
Yeah, I think they played really well, as avoiding us to get some picks. But I think we also played kind of passive and tried to—we could have gotten more objectives and picks out of it, but we we were kind of scared because I don't think anyone wanted to make mistakes.
Moving on to mistakes, dragon setups was a big focal point from the community, and even the analysts. In both the KT and the EDG match ups, you guys heavily prioritized dragon and punished for it. Is it something you have been looking at, and assessing whether your setups were good or not?
I don't think it was mainly for dragon. I think it was mainly for pretty much the whole game, just how we teamfight and how we trust each other. I think I guess kind of natural because we lost two games, and there's just a little bit less trust, because we were losing. But now that we talked about it for a few days now, that we need to play as a team and make mistakes as a team, I think that's what we're trying to do.
Moving on to this game, it seems like you guys really had a hard time getting the Baron. You guys were completely choking out MAD in the mid game and completely strangled them out of vision, but the game kind of slowed down, you. Do you think it's because what you said, since you had lost two games and you really needed to win this one? Is that why you guys were more careful this time around with your setup?
Yeah, the game was excruciating slow for us, especially for me. I felt that. I think we just wanted to make no mistakes, and we just wanted to do the attrition type, where we take three camps until they were two-three levels ahead, and then there's no way for us to lose a teamfight. But yeah, usually we don't play like that, but now I think we just wanted to get a win really bad.
Talking a bit about the format of groups, you played double round robin best of 1. Is this a format you think helps you or helps you, versus a best of 3 or more elongated series?
I think we're used to it now, since this split we were playing best of ones in NA LCS. So we're kind of used to this best of 1 type of thing, but I think actually in Worlds, playing against a team, even if it's a best of 1, I think you can still see who's the better team. Even though people get cheesed, I think the better team still wins. So I think that best of 1s and best of 3s doesn't really matter. That's how we played that game, or that day.
And now you're 1-2 going into the second round robin in a few days. How do you rate your chances, and how beatable do you think EDG is?
I think how we're playing now, there's to be honest not that high of chance. But I think once we review this game and see what we can do, I think we're getting much better. Our KT and EDG games, it wasn't really much of a stomp, but there was like a light. There's a small ray of light that we can still win, so I think we just need to focus on what we're good at and focus on our weaknesses and try to make it better.
The interview above has been edited for clarity
Images via Lolesports Flickr