Earlier this week, Team Liquid parted ways with head-coach Luis “peacemaker” Tadeu. In his five months at the helm, Tadeu restructured the team with new talent Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, Joshua “JDM” Marzano and later, Jacob “Pimp” Winneche. Under his guidance, Liquid finished second at the ESL One Cologne Major and finished top-four at ESL One New York.
I caught up with peacemaker just before his analyst desk debut in São Paulo to discuss his tenure at Team Liquid.
Last May, coaching Tempo Storm, you stated “our main goal for 2016 is to qualify for the next major.” What was your personal goal with Liquid?
peacemaker: “My personal goal with Liquid was to make them more stable as a team, improve their map pool and obviously reach the top. I believe we managed to do most of it.”
Your former teammate, Hen1 once said, “A team needs to be like a family.” Do you agree? How important was that for Liquid?
peacemaker: “I do agree, especially because in most cases you have to live together and spend more time with your team than you spend with your real family. Having a good atmosphere is really important. In Liquid’s case, our atmosphere when we were together was great.
I wouldn’t say we were like a family because we were split. Three guys were in Los Angeles and three were at their homes… We could have improved way faster as a team if we were all living together, [but] living together can cause a lot of drama. You have to know how to deal with different situations.”
In Team Liquid’s official statement, they said, “When Luis stepped in shortly after, there were big expectations weighing on him.” What were those expectations? Do you feel you met them?
peacemaker: “Liquid had a great run at the MLG Columbus Major with s1mple and Adren. I joined the team right after [Columbus]. Two weeks later, I went to Atlanta for ELEAGUE without even knowing the guys or how the team played. It was tough and we had very bad results. Right after that, we did a roster change and brought JDM and s1mple to the next two competitions. We had to grind our way back because it was a new team.
Considering the results we had with the new roster at ECS and the last major, then finishing third at our first event with Pimp — yes I do believe I met the expectations and we were on our way to reach the top.”
Esports is made up of moments. What has been the defining moment of your coaching career?
peacemaker: “Grinding all our way to the major finals at ESL Cologne 2016 was definitely the biggest and most important moment of my career. I remember how hard I worked for that to happen. I learned a lot of things during and after that tournament and I think that the world started to believe in my potential as a leader and coach way more after that.”
You stated that you are leaving Liquid due to disagreements about business principles. What direction did you want to see Team Liquid take?
peacemaker: “I don’t really feel comfortable talking about this, but we just couldn’t make a few things work so we ended up parting ways in a friendly and respectful way.”
How did Valve’s new coaching rule affect your style? Did you agree with the change?
peacemaker: “I confess I was super afraid as soon as I heard about the change, but after working for a while and making a plan, I found that it wouldn’t affect me as much as I thought. Still, I completely disagree with the change, but I adapted pretty good and I kind of like the way it is right now. It would be better if we could talk during the freezetime, but Valve doesn’t listen to us anyway so, whatever.”
You’ve compared your coaching style to Jose Mourinho, a risk taker. What risks did you take with Team Liquid?
peacemaker: “Joining Liquid, considering the language barrier and coming from the last experiences they had, was a good risk for both sides. [It was risky] playing two tournaments with a stand-in, s1mple, without knowing what to expect from him and the team, then bringing Pimp to replace s1mple after placing second at the major. A lot of people criticized us about the choice.”
You coached the first North American team to reach the finals of a CS:GO major. Tell me about that experience.
peacemaker: “I don’t really have words to describe this experience. [It] was something unique and I believe it’s going to take a while for a new team to do a major run like we did last time. Everybody was on the same page about the way we should play and prepare. We put in a lot of work as a team when it comes to preparing for our opponents, watching demos, bringing new strats and ideas and practicing a lot during our bootcamps. In the end, as I always said, sooner or later the hard work will pay off. In our case, it paid off sooner than we thought. I am super proud of the players, staff and management for what we did together.”
Despite a good run in New York, Liquid has struggled in their online seasons. If you could change one thing before you go, what would it be?
peacemaker: “That’s a really great question, but unfortunately I am no longer in contract, so no free tips! Jokes apart, they should start playing Overpass.”
What’s your favorite? Being a coach or a player? Why?
peacemaker: “Playing is my hobby and coaching is my passion. I still love both, but I was way more successful as a coach.”
Have you ever thought about doing analyst desk work?
peacemaker: “ESL Brazil will answer your question! When I retire from coaching that could definitely be one of my next professional steps!”
peacemaker: “In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take.”
What’s next for peacemaker?
peacemaker: “As mentioned before, coaching is my passion and my job. I am not in a rush to decide my future, but I really look forward to a new journey as soon as possible. Now it’s time to focus on being a great analyst in ESL Brazil. Thank you for the space!”
The mastermind of North America’s major run shows no signs of slowing down. Between coaching gigs, fans can catch peacemaker on the analyst desk for the Brazilian stream this week in São Paulo, where two of his former teams are competing — Liquid and Immortals.
ESL Pro League Season Four Finals runs Oct. 26-30 with 11 teams vying for a slice of the $600,000 pie and the event will see two-time major champions SK Gaming wrestle with the rising stars of Team Dignitas.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What team should peacemaker coach next? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @GAMURScom.
Patrick “Sabo” Flannigan is one of the first esports casters, starting with TsN in 2001.
He currently writes about esports, continues to cast and hosts This Week in CS.
Follow @patflannigan on Twitter.
Photo credits to HLTV