Team Liquid owner Steve Arhancet: We're more confident at Worlds this year
By Yinsu Collins
Last Updated: 14/10/19 10:20pm
Team Liquid owner Steve Arhancet commends his players for staying focused during their game against ahq e-Sports Club and reveals why his side are more confident at Worlds this year.
There has been plenty of drama at this year's League of Legends World Championship but Team Liquid rounded up week one of their group-stage matches with a nail-biting win against ahq.
Team Liquid looked shaky after CoreJJ wasn't able to lock in a champion during the pick and ban phase. It came down to a crucial baron steal from Xmithie and an incredible last-minute performance from top laner Impact.
We sat down with Steve Arhancet, who was watching and listening from the sidelines, to talk about how they were able to get back into the game and what's different about their current roster in comparison to last year.
How are you feeling after that dramatic win?
Steve: "I am really stressed right now I guess, my heart was just going up and down. To be really honest, when we were in the pick and ban phase, the keyboard wasn't set up in the proper language. We were going to ban Rumble and because we lost time and we weren't able ban it, it kind of threw our mental state off a little bit because they picked the champion we wanted to ban. The team comp was a little janky and we were forced into picking the midlaner that we hovered even though we didn't select it. It was just this weird energy going into the game and when the game started to fumble a little bit, it became even more nerve-racking.
"However, the guys stayed so focused. I remember CoreJJ one point said to the team, 'hey guys, don't tilt, we got this.' Doublelift also said 'guys, I'll carry this'. And everybody just rallied. That's where experience shows. I think if this was a much younger team, they may have said this is over. It was a lot of nerves watching that game, even though we won, it doesn't feel great. It feels like that was much harder than it should have been.
"We had a room full of around ten people watching the game together, we all thought we could lose this, but no one said it.
"I took the biggest sigh that I've ever taken in my eight years of League of Legends when we won. I'm just super proud the guys stayed so focused because we were able to listen to their coms and that's just amazing."
Do you think NA deserve more respect on the International stage?
Steve: "There are times in the past where during the regular season, we'd win games and we'd get flamed for not winning them hard enough and the expectation of we're the best team in North America, we need to be able to stomp our opponents not just beat them. It doesn't feel great but it comes with the territory. For me, underdog or favourite, we just got to focus on the game right in front of us."
How does it feel to go into Worlds with this specific Team Liquid roster?
Steve: "I'd say, in comparison to last year, this Team Liquid team is so much better. Our mentality when we went to worlds, there was some dissonance between the team and there was a lack of confidence that we could actually pull off and win the whole thing. The mentality is different on this roster. Everyone believes that it's possible and they know it is. Coming off of a final at MSI which was our last international event, there's enough confidence to win the whole thing."
You're in Europe now, and European teams, such as G2 and Carlos are known for their banter and being able to poke fun at their opponents, what do you make of this?
Steve: "Carlos and I have gone back and forth on a few spicy tweets and done a few skits and we poke fun. I have a lot of respect for Carlos, he's been able to build a world-class organisation, not just in League of Legends but multifaceted - so have we. So there's a lot of mutual respect for not only what he does or the content but in the boardroom too. So I see him as a peer and someone I respect but at the same time, I'd love to beat him, I can't wait to get out groups and play them!"