Keiron Prescott / Liquid Scoom Interview
I have been commentating and hosting a number of events for PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS this year. At PGI 2018, however, I had the great opportunity to be a spectator and fan. In-between enjoying the great games and atmosphere, I had the opportunity to sit down and interview Team Liquid’s Keiron Prescott / Liquid Scoom! The full interview and transcript is below. Enjoy!
John Sargent / JoRoSaR: Hi guys, I’m sat here with Liquid Scoom at PGI Berlin 2018. Mate, how’s it going? It’s day 5 – why don’t you introduce yourself to the camera and give us your impressions of Berlin so far?
Keiron Prescott / Scoom: I’m Liquid Scoom, Keiron Prescott from Gibraltar. Berlin has been really awesome – except for the weather, it’s been really warm this past week! It’s been pretty warm in the venue as well, so it’s kind of been a little bit uncomfortable. I don’t really like the heat, even though I’m from Gibraltar which is a warm country! It’s been great so far though, the arena’s been awesome and playing at LAN against all these international teams has just been incredible.
Gibraltar and Chess!
JS: Let’s talk about being from Gibraltar for a second – we saw the flag draped over your shoulders, of course, on stage in the Third Person Perspective ceremony! Were you born and raised there? Do you still live there? What’s it like living in Gibraltar, is there much of an esports community – are you a bit of a lone wolf? Talk us through what it’s like living there:
KP: I was born in Gibraltar, and raised there – and I still currently live there. It’s a really small place, there’s only 30,000 people who live in Gibraltar and it’s 7km squared. It’s a massive rock with houses around it! It’s a really small community, but it’s a really awesome community. I love being there, and I’m really proud of being Gibraltarian. In terms of esports, there isn’t really too much of an esports scene. There are a few people who play a lot of console games. Some do play PC, but it’s more console heavy. There’s a small esports scene – they like watching and stuff like that, but it’s a really minimal. Most of them though are really supportive of me, because I’m the first ever Gibraltarian to play at events for prize money and stuff like that, so it’s a real honour! I was wearing the flag because I’m proud, and showcasing Gibraltar on the map – we’re such a small place, that not that many people know it – so I wanted to wear the flag and showcase that!
JS: And one of the other big events in Gibraltar every year is the chess that goes on in the Caleta [Hotel]! Apparently, we both play as well – you used to be quite some player! Do you want to us a bit about your history?
KP: I used to play chess when I was younger. Since I was born – my dad loves playing chess and he got me into it. I played pretty much until I was 12, 13 years old. That’s until I got into PC gaming which is when I switched from chess to gaming! I used to like playing chess! I was one of the best in Gibraltar at my age back then, but I was more amateur level, not pro or anything like that. The way I played was more focused on adaptability, not so much into depth or strategy or stuff like that. I was pretty decent at adapting and just playing on the fly!
JS: So, 3-minute challenge on-stream some time?
KP: I’m down, yeah! I haven’t played in years, but it would be interesting to play again.
From Poker to PUBG
JS: Speaking of mind sports, of course, it’s not just chess you’re playing! Apparently you’re finishing the PUBG event here in Berlin and then flying off to play poker! What’s your history with poker?
KP: I got into poker when I turned 18 (the legal age). That’s when I found out about poker – I was playing a lot of video games from 13 to 18, and I played pretty competitively but never got into the esports scene. That was the dream for me, to make a living out of playing games. I didn’t want to work, I wanted to enjoy what I do.
I always tried to pursue gaming but I never really found any game that was ‘for me’. So when I turned 18, I saw a friend of mine, Athene, who used to play World of Warcraft – he got into poker, and I used to love watching his videos. I saw that he was making decent money at poker, and I thought “maybe this is a career path! It’s kind of like gaming, it’s a game, it’s cards…”, so I got into it when I was 18. And I got hooked – it’s really fun!
I love the mind games, I love the strategy, I love the theorycrafting of poker. I was playing online poker professionally for two years, from 18 to 20 years old. I was pretty decent at that, it went pretty well – I eventually went back into gaming and tried to pursue that again. It’s pretty crazy that I went from chess to poker and now to PUBG! I feel like the skillsets of each of those games helped to develop a good PUBG mindset and strategic thinking. It’s pretty cool.
JS: What did the transition from professional poker back into gaming and esports look like for you, because obviously the world’s best poker players make an awful lot of money – they can have a really amazing career. What was the spark that made you say “My heart’s definitely in gaming”?
KP: Whenever I was playing poker I used to grind 10 hours a day. I would notice that I reduced my poker hours to play games on the side. It came a point where I started playing games more than playing poker, because that is actually what I enjoy the post. Even though I really love poker, I think it’s awesome, I see poker more as a hobby than a main focus. My main focus was video games, that was my true passion. I just went back into it, got into streaming a little bit and then I got into competitive PUBG.
From Scoom to Liquid Scoom
JS: And now, of course, you’re here with Team Liquid. TL holds a bit of a special place amongst esports teams worldwide. What’s it like being a part of Team Liquid and specifically, what are the differences that really make it special to be part of TL rather than another organisation?
KP: It’s just the whole vibe and ‘family feel’ in Team Liquid. From the owners to managers and everyone else, they’re super nice and caring for us. It’s a great honour to be part of Team Liquid. They’re one of the biggest organisations in the world, they won DotA2’s The International last year, they have a really good track record across all their esports teams across all their games.
For me, it’s just a great honour, and our bosses Victor and Steve are really incredibly supportive. It feels more like it’s just a family rather than bosses who tell you what to do. For me, it’s great. I’m part of the family and I couldn’t be prouder. Even if I wasn’t a player, I would love to be in the team somehow – as a manager, coach or otherwise. I’m Liquid for life.
PUBG and PGI Berlin
JS: Moving on to a little bit about PUBG, it’s really interesting that at PGI we’ve seen first person, third person, Miramar, Erangel – it’s nice to see the variety and all sorts of stuff being tested out. Do you have any initial views as to how that’s panned out and how things have gone? Not your results specifically, but the fact that tournaments are branching out and doing these kind of things? What’s your stance on that?
KP: My stance initially was that there needs to be a unified ruleset, as in a specific first or third person perspective. I completely understand that in the Asian scene [third person is still popular]. This is the first ever big event, so PUBG Corp still want to see what the future of PUBG is, and are providing all this variety – first person, third person, Miramar and Erangel.
I feel like 8 games in both tournaments is a very low amount of games. In first person we play Miramar first, and it’s only one game per day so only two games out of eight. It’s really hard to adapt to just one game per day – let’s say a team drop in your city with you, but the next game you’re playing on Erangel so you won’t see them again until tomorrow. It’s hard to adapt in this scenario so hopefully in the future, we’ll have one unified ruleset – first or third person, whichever they want to go for. I feel like it’s mainly first person, I believe it’s more skilful and I think the teams here think that as well. Hopefully we go with that, and instead of eight games we go for sixteen games – eight on Miramar and eight on Erangel.
JS: Or sixteen on Sanhok?!
KP: I don’t know about Sanhok yet, if it’s ready for squads. But whenever they add new maps and stuff like that, I’m always down to try it out and see how it goes. Hopefully we get a good variety and a good structure for the future.
JS: Last question about PUBG – you guys had a rocky start on day 1 on Miramar, but then came back to be in a nice position on leaderboards. When you start badly like that, whether it’s bad luck or otherwise, does that necessarily change the game plan? Do you say, “Right, here’s plan B, here’s what we do differently” or do you resolutely stick to what you were originally going for?
KP: We resolutely stick to what we went for. I think this is the first time ever in a LAN event where we had a really bad first game. We had a really bad opening game, I think we came 18th and didn’t get any kills either, I believe. For us, it was a good experience. We were talking in comms straight after that game – this is a good experience for us, even if we don’t do well. We already came 2nd place in the third person tournament and proved ourselves. For us, if we had bad games straight after that, it would be an experience going into day two starting in a bad position, because we’ve never experienced that.
I think that’s good for the future for more tournaments, to experience bad luck or bad plays at the start, and how you mentally grow from that. Normally…Liquid first days, right? We normally have two or three wins in the first day and come in on a high! But this time, we started badly. We got 18th place, but chose to stick to our game plan, we know Erangel.
It’s kind of a shame because we had to fight Pecado in Miramar, that’s probably why we did badly – we wiped a team there in scrims but they dropped Pecado anyways. But we came into Erangel and completely reset – that’s a strong point of our team, our strength to reset and straight after that we came 5th, 2nd and 6th. We got really good placements after that. We didn’t have a ‘bad day’, it was good!
JS: Great – that was fantastic, and appreciate your insights. It’s really nice to get to know you a bit better and your background as well. Before we sign off, do you have any messages for your fans, everyone watching today, maybe some of the Team Liquid family who watch other games and are tuning in to PUBG for the first time? What would you like to say to them?
Thanks to the Fans
KP: To our fans, thank you so much for supporting us. It’s been crazy here in Berlin, not only with the western fans that we already have but with the Asian fans as well. Unfortunately I can’t speak any Asian language – I can Google Translate and post that on Twitter – but I would love to say thanks to all the Asian fans, and everywhere else that supports us, it’s just amazing.
The support from Team Liquid, the organisation – I really want to thank them for believing in this team when we made the roster six months back. I told them “This is a roster that will compete in the world championships and will be one of the best in the world” so I really want to thank them for backing me, and stuff like that. Thank you for the time from you!
JS: Thank you very much!