Introducing: Liquid`GH

January 02 2017

We've been searching high and low to find a fifth member for our Dota team that would bring out the best in our squad, and after an extensive search, we've finally found our glue guy. You've already seen him in Liquid colors, and what a debut it was. Maroun "GH" Merhej's audition was about as high pressure as they come: the DreamLeague Season 6 Finals at DreamHack Winter. Not only did he perform well, our team claimed their first post-TI title with a flawless record at the event. Today, we'd like to announce that we've locked him in as a permanent member of our team.

"Great teams are built from a combination of talent and teamwork. GH has undoubtedly shown already that he is an extraordinary player. I'm excited and optimistic about working with GH to build the best team in the world. He has a great attitude as well as the motivation to help bring the team to new heights."

- Seung Gon "Heen" Lee

"I would like to thank KuroKy for taking a chance on me and offering me the chance to join Team Liquid. I am grateful for this opportunity, and I will be playing the support role along with KuroKy. I am looking forward to this journey and I honestly do not know what to expect. I hold great admiration for my teammates and I am positive that with their experience and skill level we will achieve great results.

As a newcomer, I will try my absolute best to bring my A-game. I am certain this decision will make for a great experience, and I will help us grow as individuals and as team. I am excited and hyped to be part of this organisation and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for us."

- Maroun "GH" Merhej

As a player new to the spotlight, GH deserves an introduction to Liquid and Dota fans alike. He answered a few questions for us about his transition into the team and his impact on our future.

GH Interview

For some people new to the Dota scene, you sort of came out of nowhere - how did you wind up playing professional Dota?
I had been playing pub ranked matchmaking for a while and I was doing well overall on my ranking and in my gameplay. So, I guess the guys decided to take a chance on me and the rest is history.

What did you do before deciding to go pro? Did you have a day job?
Before going pro, I was a big fan of the game so just like any of us I would sit multiple hours per day playing the game because I liked it. I was studying law in school which didn't make it possible for me to maintain a stable job.

Where does the name GH-God come from?
GH-God came after a while of playing when my friends saw that I was skilled. They admired my playstyle and noticed me doing some flashy play. So 1 night my PC was left unattended and one especially close person to me added the nickname GOD to my nickname, GH. It took me a while to notice actually because I had been playing with "GH" as a nickname for a while and I wasn't expecting to change it. So, it stuck.

What is it like playing on a team like Team Liquid - do you feel any pressure now that you’re playing for a storied organization?
I don't feel pressure in its perceived definition. It is more of striving to become the best day after day and always looking forward to the next move and trying to understand everything. For example, I am still learning to communicate with and listen to my teammates, and day by day I try to become a better version of myself.

How has your hero pool changed how we draft? Alternatively - how has your hero pool changed since joining?
It's surprisingly simple. My captain KuroKy asked me to list down my favorite heroes and I gave him 4 to 5 heroes which I prefer. And, just like that, by some high level understanding and captaining skills, he made all my heroes top picks. Somehow, even though they were not meta heroes, he made them work. It's nice how much trust and faith he actually puts in me. That on its own gave me a huge boost in confidence.

How was your first experience on LAN at Dreamhack? It seemed like the team was having a lot of fun out there!
My first LAN experience was a combination of getting to know my teammates and playing with these 4 individuals. At first, it may seem like something hazardous to do especially in such an important tournament, but what I can say for myself is that I really enjoyed hanging out with the guys. They felt like old friends even though i hadn't met them in real life previously.

Did you have any nerves walking out on stage the first time?
At first I had this tingling sensation that "this is real now and I can't make mistakes or fail", but then on 2nd thought I was comforted by the speech we received the previous day on how I should just "have fun" and enjoy myself. This might have been the least of my problems because we came to DreamHack to win, but I made sure to make it my priority right off the bat. The games played out so well that I received an automatic boost in the overall moral and therefore just wanted to enjoy myself!

Did having a veteran like Kuroky on the team make it easier for you? Did he have any advice?
KuroKy is such a nice, calm and friendly individual. The lack of pressure due to his presence and the boost in confidence is all I needed to go out there and do my best. He just said "You just have fun," and so I did.

Our players speak very highly about Mohamed, our manager — how did he help you settle into the team?
Personally I believe the team couldn't run without Mohamed since he's the wheels of the team. I saw first hand how far he's willing to go to make every single individual comfortable so all we have to worry about is playing the game. On a personal level Mohamed helped me so much through every hard process I had to go through, especially with my passport and flight issues. In addition, he always checks up to see if everything is fine and going according to plan. He's the guy in the back that runs the whole show and makes sure every single player has nothing to worry about.

Do you have a teammate you’re closest with? Who suggested that you be brought on as a trial, and then part of the team?
I've met most of my teammates multiple times in pub games and became slowly more of a friend than just another pub player and I guess they just liked me as a player. Over the tournament period in DreamHack we grew to know each other and we've bonded a lot as individuals and teammates.

Can you describe each of your teammates using a single word?
KuroKy = collected
Miracle = convivial
MATUMBAMAN = vigilant
MinD_ContRoL = diligent

With Patch 7.00 upon us, how has the way that you view Dota changed? Do you guys think that the meta will be unstable for a while or are there clearly strong strategies?
Dota changed in some manners in this new patch, but I wouldn't say it's a ground breaking change because objectives are still rather the same even with the rise of some new tools to achieve said objectives. However, overall it is still as chaotic as can be and I guess we're gonna have to wait for a big LAN event to see how the top teams will approach and embrace these changes.

What is your opinion on the talent system?
The talent system makes up for the lack that the supports usually had in scaling to become relevant late game. As a support player myself I like it!

Which hero is the most OP in pubs right now? Underpowered?
Treant Protector. That hero is insane if played well and if used to the best of his abilities.

What is your favorite hero to play in the new patch? Did any of the reworks catch your eye? Least favorite?
Shadow Fiend's talents have made him a late game BEAST, and I'm certain all teams will approach these changes in a welcoming manner, either banning or picking him.

Any last words for your fans that have supported you since the beginning?
I wanna give a special shoutout to all my fans out there. I wanna be able to tell them that they're these certain kinds of people that I appreciate and I thank enormously for being with me throughout my whole journey. I really value the bond I have with my fans.