Expectations are high from Team Liquid this year. But can they survive the brutal VCT LOCK//IN format?
The first match of the VCT LOCK//IN OMEGA group will see Team Liquid take on Team Secret in the opening match. With three new players including Redgar as the IGL, the team’s focus in its initial months has been on establishing flawless communication and building on synergy. As the team’s IGL, Redgar has his task cut out for him in São Paulo.
Speaking to the media during the VCT LOCK//IN press conference, Redgar touched on the topic of communication, his new role as IGL, and his excitement on meeting his teammates at São Paulo.
Communication on Team Liquid
Last year, Team Liquid finished in the top 8 at VCT Champs Istanbul. Definitely not a bad performance, but the goal has always been to win the Championship. Team Liquid brought in the former Gambit players, Redgar and nats. They replaced ScreaM and Nivera on the roster - some big shoes to fill for the two Russian players. The final piece of the Team Liquid VALORANT puzzle was Sayf, formerly of The Guard, who also joined the team in November last year.
"The communication is (the) really important thing because when we just started to practice, it was a little bit hard. Because I couldn't immediately do the calls that I wanted to do like on my native language. But right now, it's pretty simple; you have keywords (that help the team) understand what I want from the round. They know my ideas, and it's much simpler now."
When you play with a team, like for two years, you already know the habits, you already know everything about them. And when you're changing the roster, you need to again go into this.
When asked about how he had to adapt his leadership style to the new roster, Redgar once again emphasized the communication aspect of the team.
"I think it's how we're gonna communicate because when you play with a team, like for two years, you already know the habits, you already know everything about them. And when you're changing the roster, you need to again go into this. I think it's happened everytime. It's interesting to find out the way how to communicate better, how to to find the full potential of the player. And yeah, this is the way how I'm going to communicate right now. And our goal is to achieve the highest level that we can make."
Leadership on Team Liquid
Before joining Team Liquid, Redgar, and nats were part of the Gambit roster (later known as M3C) for nearly two years. They were one of the most dominant teams in the early years of VALORANT, finishing second in the VCT Champs 2021 Grand Finals. As they join Team Liquid, Redgar’s immediate focus as a leader has been on communication and improving synergy between players from different backgrounds.
“I think that when you play with one team for a long time of period, sometimes you can miss a lot of things,. And it's really important for me to refresh your knowledge, like maybe every year. Maybe I can make it just with my routine, or I can change one player in the roster. That changes everything right? When you have subs, it also changes everything. So I think that right now I'm playing with other players. It's really improving me as an IGL. It's opening my point of view on the game because I speak with a lot of people who are from different teams. They have different views. And I'm just using it all to provide something new. It's really nice.”
Playing their first match together in Brazil
Redgar was not a part of the Team Liquid bootcamp and he’s meeting several of his teammates for the first time in Sau Paulo.
"Personally, it's amazing to meet them all in real life. Because when you can see their faces, how we are communicating, fist bumps and other stuff, it's all really amazing. I really miss those feelings. So yeah, it's pretty amazing."
Whether being a part of the new team in this new era of VALORANT adds pressure, Redgar wants to focus on the goods thing.
“On paper, a lot of teams are looking pretty good. But what happens in the game, who knows? Like I said, we didn't play for six months. This is the first time we ever meet, it's the first time we're gonna play together. And it can be like, really, really amazing things. It could be bad things and good things, but we're focusing on good things. I'm not gonna predict how we're going to play but personally, I think with the personalities in our team are really good. And I really like our chemistry.”
The brutal tournament format means this is an elimination match, and everything is at stake. With the caliber of players on the roster, Team Liquid is a contender for being one of the best teams at the event. Their first hurdle is from the APAC region.
Team Liquid will face off against Team Secret in their opening match in São Paulo. You can stay updated with the latest LOCK//IN results with esports.gg.