Delving deep with daps

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Illustration by ANDYJ. Source: TL R1CH

Even though Katowice is done and dusted, we’re still trawling through some of the content that we managed to collect while over there and decided that was a bit more juice that we had to share with you.

We got some pretty pictures, but more importantly, we got to speak to the coach of NA’s only hope in CSGO. And no, we’re not talking about Complexity.

We’re of course talking about Team Liquid’s coach, Damian "daps" Steele who was happy to speak with our very own, Adam Conway, about the results they had in Katowice.

Ending on the 3rd-4th place wasn’t that bad considering they got knocked out in the semis by the eventual tournament winner, though daps was eager to note that they hadn’t even been able to have a proper bootcamp. He told us they were “coming into these events with minimal practice” because of the travel, which is what contributed to them losing “super winnable” rounds.

With this, we asked daps what the next job for him was; as the coach, obviously, his job would be to try and grab the reigns and sort these problems out. He said that the number one goal for him is to solidify their map pool, naming Nuke as a map that they’ve had mixed results on so far. He also mentioned that mentality has been a big focus of the team recently, which he feels has paid off well.

We then asked him about his experience in VALORANT and what it was like coming back to Counter-Strike, as he was previously a player in Valorant before coming back to the better game.

He said VALORANT made him come to the realization he doesn’t like competing, but he likes “creating a good environment” along with “creating strategies”, and coaching lets him be a part of the whole process “without the playing part”.

On the note of NA CS in the context of VALORANT though, daps doesn’t remain too hopeful. He doesn’t see many players coming back to CS like he did, which he attributes to the lack of tournaments and other financial investment in the region. He said that players are making “pretty good money” playing VALORANT, so it doesn’t make sense as to why they’d come back to CS.

With Team Liquid setting sights on the NA RMR and the major, we’re hoping they finally get some practice in. Go get ‘em, NA’s primary hope.

February 19, 2023

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