Slingshot’s Andrew Kim talked to Team Liquid’s Samson Lourlo” Jackson after Liquid won its North American League Championship Series match on Saturday against Counter Logic Gaming.
Andrew Kim: Congratulations for your 2-0 victory. How did the game go for your guys?
Samson “Lourlo” Jackson: The game was a bit weird. Our first game was really clean, I think. We played better than ever in terms of scrims, so I was really proud of that, but then the second game we went to old habits and also we weren’t used to the Aurelion Sol pick and we got caught out a lot from that, and also Ashe arrows in general. But yeah, the second game was really sloppy but I think we had a mindset coming back and we actually pulled it out, so I was really proud of my team in the end.
AK: You were very impressive in the first game with intelligent teleports and team fight ability as Maokai. Do you pride yourself in particular in playing tanks in the current meta? Is your confidence in your teleport ability?
SJ: I think it came down to having the Maokai pick being really strong, and also my track record versus Darshan has always been really good. I always out-performed him in any game I think we’ve played besides like my first appearance last spring. Besides that, I out-performed him, so I always have a lot of confidence going into CLG, and I just make sure that I can be as adamant about the calls I want, and just as powerful and as strong as I can around the map with teleport.
AK: The NA LCS is seeing a lot of top lane imports like Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho and Jang “Looper” Hyeong-seok. There are impressive players from different regions, so when you heard that they were coming over, were you concerned? Ambivalent? Confident?
SJ: Even though there’s a lot of good Korean imports, I’m always going to be confident regardless of my play, because I think that’s what I lacked last spring, and I think it’s insanely important in this game because if you hesitate about plays, if you hesitate about situations, you’ll always be one step behind. But in terms of the Korean imports coming in, I’m really excited to just have the opportunity to play versus such veterans, and I think I’ll improve even faster than I ever have.
AK: One of the big news items around Team Liquid has been the return of Piglet (Chae Gwang-jin) after his time with the Challenger team. How has it been working with Piglet in the context of his return to the NA LCS?
SJ: Piglet’s always the type of player that when he’s on the roster, everyone wants to work extra hard, so just having him around is just making everyone more passionate to play the game and perform, not only for ourselves, but for him in general. Also his atmosphere, his persona around the team has always been very, I guess, not strict at all. Also, his aura around the team has always been — he’s actually really kind. He’s probably one of the most kind people we know. So it’s really nice to have someone like him around the team, to make sure you work hard and make sure you have someone to look up to.
AK: Steve Arhancet talked a lot about improvements in infrastructure like chefs, physical therapists, and all these different resources that Liquid is enjoying perhaps because of the new acquisition in part by Magic Johnson. As a player do you feel that there has been an increase in your quality of life since?
SJ: Since the investment deal, I think we’ve had overall more support staff. I think we had better food now. We’ve had a lot of little things that improve everyday life, so it’s nice to have more comfortable space in general. So I think in terms of confidence and in terms of how we’re living, it’s always nice to have, but I think in terms of pure gameplay, I think I’ve put in a lot of work so I’m really just making sure I keep that consistent.
AK: Of the changes that happened since the investment, what is your favorite change?
SJ: It’s kinda funny, but I think my favorite (change) is probably having my own room because last split we had to share rooms, and there’s not much privacy, especially like in esports. It’s pretty hard to get privacy, so it’s really nice having my own room.
AK: A lot of people have been talking about power rankings in the new split with new acquisitions and roster changes. In your opinion, how do you think this current rendition of Team Liquid will stack up against the other teams who have had drastic changes or didn’t have any changes at all?
SJ: I think this iteration of Liquid is probably the best yet because we have a lot of variety in terms of carries, veterans, and also just consistent players. We also have a rookie talent like Goldenglue (Greyson Gilmer) coming in, so we have like, a mix of everything, and I think that makes best for the best roster, having a mix of veterans, consistent players, and also a rookie. So I think this iteration of Liquid will be in the finals this year in the spring split, and I think we’ll prove a lot of people wrong. This is just a start.
AK: What is in your opinion, the most overrated teams, and the most underrated teams?
SJ: I think I don’t really have a pure set for overrated or underrated but I think C9 probably wasn’t really looked at as contested as other teams thought. I think people always considered TSM over everyone, but I think C9 this split will prove a lot of people wrong. I think us and C9 will be in the finals this year.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games