Wilton "zews" Prado is the coach for Luminosity Gaming and he is a core part of the Brazilian squad's rise to prominence. Before LG's games on Day 2 of ELEAGUE's Group A group stage, zews took the time to speak to theScore esports and reflect a little on his past and the team's so-far undefeated run through ELEAGUE.
Could you just give me a quick introduction of who you are?
My name is Wilton "zews" Prado, and I'm the coach for Luminosity Gaming. I've been doing this for around seven months with Luminosity now.
You came from Games Academy (now Tempo Storm). How was that transition?
It was quite easy because I came with half my team, I came with fnx and TACO. We were very close already back then, and I studied LG a lot and I knew the personalities. After the first two events everybody was already in sync, so it was pretty cool.
It's been half a year: did you expect this kind of growth from the team?
We knew that with the lineup change, we had to be at least Top 4. If I were to say that I thought we'd reach the number one position in the world ... I'd be lying.
But after our third event, after we got second place at FACEIT 2015 Stage 3, and that close game against Fnatic, we knew we just had to fix little details in the psychological parts and we'd be able to win a few tournaments this year.
But based off of expectations, it was like, 'Oh, the Brazilians are on the rise,' and people thought maybe not the MLG Columbus Major but the one after that, that would be the one where Luminosity could take it. But you guys blew it out of the water.
By MLG Columbus, we already knew. We were very close to taking a few tournaments before that, the IEM before we lost a best-of-five to Fnatic in the details, because we couldn't handle the emotional part. We had advantages on two maps where we were never supposed to lose if we could just stick to the fundamentals of the game. And then MLG Columbus we knew that if we kept calm, we'd be able to win the whole tournament.
Was there a specific breakthrough in terms of training that helped that calmness?
The way we practice is quite different than most teams. Most teams focus on scrimming a lot. We focus a lot on the theoretical part of Counter-Strike: understanding the fundamentals, understanding the rotations, why they happen, and trying to think of [how we can handle situations], how we can finish the round. We can have eight, nine, 10 solutions for the same situation.
We try to think of what's best in a situation, and it's been helping a lot. Every player knowing every role in every situation just took our game to a whole new level.
There's a quote that's getting thrown around a lot that, under pressure, you don't rise to the occasion, you fall to the level of your training. What you said kind of speaks to that sense: where a lot of scrimming, a lot of playing, that builds a lot of instinct, but theory is the actual training.
I don't speak for all my team when I say this, this is just me. But the way I believe it — and I think FalleN agrees with it — is that the players need to be highly skilled individuals so that they can play FPL, they can play ESEA, they can play DM. They just have to be really good in an individual sense. Because the theoretical part takes care of most of the other parts. The scrimming is just to get things down to a routine where it's fixated inside your mind. You can't take scrims as the results, or what happens, because every game's going to be different in the tournament.
Speaking of your games, you guys have had an explosive start at ELEAGUE. You guys are currently flawless. What do you have to say about that?
We knew that our group, being the number-one ranked team, everyone says it's our obligation to win this. We don't feel like that. We feel the teams in our group are great, and they deserve a lot of respect because they've taken us to really close matches.
I mean, it's nice being in the position we are. We feel we can win this, and we will win this. But if something else happens, we could never take it away from the other teams.
One of the biggest x-factors heading into this group was actually Peacemaker coming into Team Liquid. What are your thoughts on that?
I think that's awesome. I like Peacemaker a lot, he's one of my close friends. Him going to Liquid just opened a lot of doors for coaching, because there are very few coaches that are available in the market. Everybody wants coaches but all of them, the good ones, are already taken.
His work with Liquid is only starting. Liquid, they haven't done very well this tournament, but it's not Peacemaker's fault: he just got here, he isn't calling for the team yet, he hasn't had time to work.
I think it's just taking it to the next level, especially for coaches. Peacemaker was a good addition for Liquid. He can teach them a thing or two for sure.
You faced off against Liquid yesterday and you swept them 2-0. Have you felt that presence from Peacemaker yet within Team Liquid?
We felt it a bit in the entry strats, because those worked well, he knew our tendencies. I mean, we still haven't gotten his full work yet, no.
What about your thoughts on Brazilian talent being brought into foreign teams?
Brazilian talent ... if they're okay with it, and they want to, everyone should have the opportunity to chase their dream. Being a Brazilian team, or a North American or European team, whatever .... everyone loves this game and loves what they do, so they should have the opportunity to do that.
The Brazilian scene, maybe they have to seek out opportunities outside because our scene inside isn't that strong, because we lack investor money, sponsors, teams and organizations that are willing to spend what's needed to take these teams to these competitions.
So whichever way they need to go, I believe that they should do it. And Brazil has a really deep talent pool, be it in coaches and teams and casters and everything.
In the end, everything works out after a time.
You mentioned organizations, and I did ask FalleN this when I interviewed him, but since you guys won the Major and just in general, you guys have elevated yourselves. You guys are the number-one ranked team in the world, arguably if not actually. Have you guys had any big offers from any other organizations?
Esports is kind of crazy. There are laws and there aren't laws. So of course there are a lot of organizations that come across, they try to tell us things, but in the end we want to stay with LG, and that's what matters.
What about the idea of going the Astralis route, where you build your own brand, maybe something a little bit more specifically Brazilian.
I really can't comment on that because I really don't know how they work, exactly. And I know, in theory, how it is. But it can get tangled with players changing roles. And I mean, I don't see any other sport doing it like that.
For me, there's always going to be an organization. Maybe you just have to negotiate so you can get the most out of it. But if you have a team-based thing, you can get left out of a lot of things, because the event organizers aren't going to want someone that only represents opinions against them.
It's very complicated.
Just a slight shift in gears: how are you liking ELEAGUE so far?
ELEAGUE's been amazing in the production quality, and the treatment they've been giving us. The hotels, the training rooms, food, everything ... it's been amazing so far.
I think they're taking it to a new level, and the other organizers are going to have to step up their game if they want to compete with this.
I think you guys are pretty much guaranteed off into the playoffs, which means I think you guys have a good shot at being on the Friday games on television. How do you feel about that?
Every team goes into the playoffs from the groups, but it affects seeding.
It will depend on our match tomorrow, in the best-of-threes. But I believe so, I believe we will be in the finals and we will win the finals.
Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking
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