Despite their best effort, Infinity Esports ended their journey in Worlds 2021 with a defeat to LNG Esports to finish with a 0-4 record in Group A of the Play-In stage, becoming the first team eliminated from the competition. From the start of the preliminary phase, many expected the Latin American side to quickly fold after being slotted in a group that featured the likes of LNG and Hanwha Life Esports. But even while shouldering unfavorable odds of progressing to the group stage, the team, which was led in part by veteran ADC Matías “WhiteLotus” Musso, sought to stymie their adversaries by displaying the kind of talent and skill that propelled them to conquer the LLA.
Unfortunately, an array of issues such as a delayed practice schedule emerged after landing in Iceland for the tournament prohibited them from mustering any success. Instead, they finished winless and registered the region’s worst performance at this stage since 2016, where Kaos Latin Gamers went 1-6 in the International Wildcard Qualifier.
Shortly after the team’s elimination, we caught up with INF WhiteLotus for an exclusive interview to discuss his recent match, what went wrong in Iceland for the team, his legacy in LATAM, and his future.
Elimination from Worlds 2021 for INF WhiteLotus
Thanks for taking the time for this interview, WhiteLotus. First of all, I’d like to know your overall reaction after losing to LNG which also meant your elimination from Worlds.
INF WhiteLotus: Obviously, after losing to PEACE yesterday, I knew that our chances of advancing from the Play-Ins were very slim. Regardless, I never gave up at all until our elimination was made official. I knew that beating LNG was going to be hard, but it was our last chance so we had an obligation to give them our all which unfortunately didn’t pay off. We were far from beating them because, not only were they a really good team, we arrived with plenty of the same problems that affected us in our past games.
More than anything though, I’m disappointed because I knew this team could’ve given a lot more. We knew we could’ve been better than what we showed in this tournament. I still believe that [LATAM] isn’t worse than regions like Brazil or Oceania. We’ve been scrimming with various teams and, although we spent one month without practicing because we couldn’t bootcamp or arrive earlier in Iceland, we improved a lot in our game. Regardless, we simply faced too many problems on stage that we couldn’t resolve in time.
You mentioned the issues your team faced during your stay in Iceland, so can you elaborate further on that front in terms of before and during the tournament?
INF WhiteLotus: Before Worlds and after the LLA summer grand finals, we spent one month or more without practicing together because we didn’t have anyone to train with, so that left us lagging behind by a considerable margin. Not only that, there were three or four patches that vastly altered the meta. Our opponents made picks that we never faced before which meant that we didn’t know how to counter them, so when we came here the meta was totally different from the LLA finals so we had to adapt very quickly.
Like I said before, although we made plenty of progress in the little time we had, we couldn’t reach our best. We encountered obstacles on stage particularly in dealing with nervousness and pressure. We managed to obtain an advantage in the games against Brazil and OCE in which, if it was played under a different context, I felt we had in the bag. However, we effectively threw them away. Obviously, in this format where you only have four games to play, when you concede two and are left to find results against the fourth seeds of China and Korea, you’re left with an extremely dire situation. We lost the games where we had to win, and in the games where it was tough for us to match on paper, we ended up struggling so it was through our faults that we ultimately ended up eliminated.
INF WhiteLotus’ place in LATAM history
Compared to a multitude of players in Latin America, you’ve enjoyed quite a fruitful seven-year career. You won the Latin American title six times and qualified for the World Championship twice including this year. Although you’re reeling from this recent loss, have you thought about what your legacy will look like for the future of LATAM League?
INF WhiteLotus: Indeed, I’ve enjoyed a long career. I’ve experienced tons of highs and lows. I felt as if I was on top of the world in one moment and then being unable to do anything in the next. Obviously, over time, I feel as if I learned plenty of things to an incredible degree. I also noticed my flaws and what I could do to fix them. If I could go back in time and become my 18-year-old self with the information I gathered now, my career would’ve been a thousand times more successful. I would’ve avoided countless problems. For example, I wouldn’t have been banned [from KLG in 2017].
Either way, I feel everything happens for a reason and I do consider that I would like to leave a lasting legacy. I’d like to be remembered as one of the best ADCs in the region’s history and that there’s no one else who can put a tinge of doubt on that. I’m still not sure what I will do for my career but in case I continue playing, with LATAM being a region where everyone wants to win, I don’t want to waste this fleeing motivation of being the best. I don’t want to get complacent and settle on being paid a hefty salary. By staying in LATAM, it’s my obligation to continue winning, so yeah, it’s important for me to leave that lasting impression.
From a past interview made by your teammate Ackerman, he said he didn’t think a team of this caliber would continue for next year. Do you agree with that sentiment?
INF WhiteLotus: I do think it’s hard for that to happen. In the case of Cody and Ackerman, they’ve already resigned with Infinity and will remain together. On the contrary, with the remaining trio’s (myself, SolidSnake, and Buggax) contracts running out after this year, anything can happen. SolidSnake might receive an offer and opt to leave the team, Buggax could retire or take hiatus for one split, or I can go elsewhere also. Again, anything can happen.
Of course, I’m happy with all of my teammates in Infinity, with Ackerman, Cody, Buggax, SolidSnake, Kz, and Brayaron who joined us at the last minute. To be honest, they are, alongside Lyon Gaming from 2016-17, the best team I ever had. Far beyond the success we achieved with those two LLA split titles, I consider them as really great people. We formed a familial bond that goes beyond the game and no one will take that away from us. It’s sad because you don’t know what the future has in store for us. We might continue playing together or maybe we might not. Who knows? Either way, I have tons of love for them and I know they feel the same way for me too.