Credit: BLAST and Michal Konkol

NAF on Patsi's absence: It's a kick in the nuts

Team Liquid was looking to prove their worth at ESL Pro League Season 18, but visa issues have forced the team to play with their coach as a stand-in for rifler Robert "Patsi" Isyanov.

- Literally, all the events we have played this year have been rough.

The words are delivered by one of the most consistent North American players during the past years. Keith "NAF" Markovic and Team Liquid have been through a tough year with a lot of downs and very few ups. ESL Pro League Season 18 was supposed to reignite the faith in the new lineup, where Robert "Patsi" Isyanov and Aleks "Rainwaker" Petrov joined during the summer. But with the news about Robert "Patsi" Isyanov's visa issues, Team Liquid is now looking into starting ESL Pro League with their coach as a stand-in.

- It's going to be difficult for us because we definitely did have high expectations for this event. So to be told that "hey, we might not be able to make it" kinda sucks and is a bummer. Especially with this event potentially being the last CS:GO event. It sucks that we potentially go out in this type of fashion, where it always felt like it was downhill. But we got to remain optimistic and remain hopeful, NAF explains in an interview with

- We definitely wanted to kind of breathe some hope into our team and into our fanbase that supports us. So obviously it's like a kick in the nuts to know, that Patsi can't make it. It could be one game or two games, we don't know yet.

"You might have to wait until CS2 for Liquid to start playing some real Counter-Strike"

Team Liquid is facing in the opening round of ESL Pro League. The question remains if Team Liquid could have done anything against Jame's troops with their full lineup anyway. Despite a good start for the new roster with wins against FaZe and G2, Team Liquid has lost five out of six matches since the first two games.

- Maybe we had too high of expectations after the first two wins. Maybe some people started to feel the pressure? The dynamic of the team somewhat changed. It felt off to me, and I'm sure it felt off to everyone else. Right now it's about practicing and getting to improve on a bunch of things with Patsi and Rainwaker speaking English. They've never spoken English on any other previous teams, and I am sure even in life when they are communicating, they are not speaking English, why should they? So that is something for them to improve on.

With a new in-game leader in Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis and two new players on the roster, there is certainly a lot of work to do for the Team Liquid roster.

- For the most part, you might have to wait until CS2 for Liquid to start playing some real Counter-Strike, Keith "NAF" Markovic jokingly remarks before he expresses his hope that Robert "Patsi" Isyanov will return soon or perhaps that coach Damian "daps" Steele will somehow drop 30 bombs during his stand-in stint in Malta.

You can see the full interview with NAF down below. Team Liquid faces at 16.00 (CEST) at ESL Pro League Season 18.

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