Liquid Oski on moving away from the 'stupid ballchaser' stylistic
Team Liquid broke out in Rocket League like a shark. We knew that Liquid had signed three young prospects, but as they bode their time to emerge from the water, the dum, dum, dum of the jaws theme loomed. Their fins circled around the EU scene, waiting to snap.
Now, the ferocious beasts have been chomping their way through the competition since their arrival in Spring last year.
But over time, as they've waded through the water, the Liquid roster has matured, become more calculated in their takedown of prey, and stopped chasing endlessly in hope of a taste of victory.
That's the story for Oskar "Oski" Gozdowski, and his teammates Tristan "Atow." Soyez and Bruno "AcroniK." Lopes, as the Polish rising star has revealed to GGRecon how he's adapted away from the "stupid ballchaser" stylistic.
Oski and Atow discuss their Rocket League revolution
Speaking in a press conference, Oski told GGRecon how he's been refining his game style over the last year to be more unpredictable, moving with the meta as Europe goes from strength to strength.
"At the start, I feel like I was kind of a stupid player, kind of a ballchaser - that's what people called me," he began.
"But compared to now, I feel like, especially thanks to 'Xpere' kept making me play like this, I play in a smarter way.
"Because it [ballchasing] is super predictable if you're just nonstop going for the ball, compared to faking every now and then, it's kind of predictable for other teams to know what you're gonna do."
Fellow teammate Atow. also divulged how he'd been growing, focusing on game knowledge rather than raw mechanics.
"I think it's the same as Oski said for me. I was a top player like two years ago, but right now I'm starting to be one of the smartest players in the world," he added.
Liquid Coach Xpere talks about unlocking the roster for Worlds amid out-of-esports distractions
Now Team Liquid is locked into the World Championships Playoffs. Although AcroniK. expressed some concerns surrounding the single-elimination bracket, the team remains unbeaten, and Head Coach Xpere has put that down to the team being able to focus properly in the lead-up to Worlds, with no outside distractions as they had in previous Majors.
"We had a rough [Spring] split. We had players being sick, we had players that had exams. All three of them were studying for exams while trying to maintain the grind and trying to play tournaments. Even with that, we still made a [Regional] final and we still managed to maintain a top-four slot," he said.
Xpere also backed Liquid to be a title contender, stating that they can easily break into the "top three", consisting of the French sides Vitality, BDS, and Karmine Corp.
"I don't think we struggle to be there [top three]. We just got caught in a bad [Spring] split with everyone having stuff to do in real life, which is important as well. We can match BDS and Vitality, right? And then Karmine Corp too as they are a top team. I don't think we struggle to be there though."
Team Liquid will look to progress in a head-to-head match with SpaceStation after which the winner will be guaranteed a semi-final spot, cementing themselves as a top-four team in the world.
For Oski and co. though, they'll hope to avoid the harpoon of Colby "hockser" James and take a good bite of their opponent's momentum.