Liquid's Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski spoke to Escorenews about the American scene issues. He talked how players can improve the region and what can be done on CS:GO audience leaving to Valorant, and touched on the matchmaking issues. The interview was conducted after IEM Cologne 2022 quarterfinals.
I think it's a negative for the scenes to merge and for there not to be an NA scene. Obviously, a lot of the scene understands that. TOs and everyone does think that it's a net negative. I do think that there needs to be a lot more focus on it from the players' side. There are a lot of NA players who are still playing, but there's a lot more of what they need to do.
If you want NA orgs to come into the scene, you need to have players who have a good brand and are marketable, playing a lot, and producing content. Because that's what the scene is developed into. You need to be putting out things, getting your name out there, and I think they [players] have been a little lacking with that. But it's not completely their fault at all. It's a different type of thing, putting out this content. And not everyone can do it, not everyone has a personality for that.
In terms of what we've lost — we lost a lot of players to Valorant. And it's gone very big, especially in NA. It's not as big in Europe. When players are deciding what game they want to play, they are going to see either what their friends are playing or what's the biggest in NA; who are the biggest streamers and the biggest NA players. And that does hurt. You have to think about it from the bottom up. What new players are gonna want to do?
There has to be a good enough entry for them to come into the scene. Maybe an academy league makes sense, and maybe more tournaments in NA make sense. I'm not sure exactly what can still help more from the top side. But everything affects everything. If there are less players from NA, then statistically speaking, there's gonna be less top-level talent that's coming from it.
I've actually seen that as well. I don't know if that's some bug, or they [Valve] are not adjusting things but matchmaking is just very difficult. At least from my perspective. I never play matchmaking because there are so many cheaters, honestly. I used to play it back in the day, and the cheating problem is so out of hand. And it's been so for the last 3-4 years. And that's another very negative thing because Valorant has an anti-cheat in the game.
There need to be better things for matchmaking because that's where casual players are gonna play. They are not going to try to figure out the best way to play or where they should be playing. They're gonna load up the game, press play, and queue up, and if they're playing against cheaters they'd be like "I'm not gonna play this game anymore." They're gonna play the game that has anti-cheat.
And that's another negative thing from the bottom up. These players, who want to get into the game, are gonna be turned off immediately. There needs to be something fixed about it, but we know there's not anything that's gonna happen from Valve.
Team Liquid finished 5-6th at IEM Cologne alongside MOUZ. In the first part of the interview, EliGE talked with us about their performance, YEKINDAR's impact in the team, and explained why Liquid had so many issues with eco rounds. You can read it here.