We interviewed arguably Cloud9's most explosive player, Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert, to find out how he expects his team to fare at DreamHack Winter.
Cloud9 are fresh off two group stage exits at FACEIT Season 2 Finals and ESWC 2014, and are looking to bounce back with a fourth playoff appearance in four majors.
The team has been bootcamping in Europe for nearly a month and should be in tip top shape come tomorrow. Find out below how Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert feels going into this major.
How well prepared do you feel for DreamHack? Did you change a lot of things in how you play or simply focus on refining your current style? Did you take part in the official Inferno Online bootcamp, considering the problems having all teams on-site might bring?
Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert: I feel pretty well prepared, and yes, we have changed a lot of things. Sean is calling again since ESWC, so we had to take a step back mentally and get back into what he wanted to call. We have changed a lot of things, but at the same time even though we've been here for a month, we've also practiced all the maps here to make ourselves more well rounded. I think you will see our old (simplistic) style on some maps, whereas others will have a bit more flare with grenades...
We are here at the Inferno Online bootcamp and yeah it can be annoying to have teams spectating you, but we haven't caught any of our group play opponents spectating us, so we've done a decent job so far...
What’s your stance on the stickers? Were you surprised at how much money teams made from them for ESL One Cologne? Do you think more of the money should be allocated towards prizes? As things stand, the Legends capsule pays (per Cologne) more than winning the event.
Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert: I was pleasantly surprised, obviously, at how much money the teams made. It is really helpful for the player/organization structure that has always been in place, seeing as now the organizations get a more guaranteed ROI for said events. I think the sticker system should be maintained, and I think they already made a change this time allowing you to directly purchase the teams sticker, non holo, for a specific price. If anything, I wouldn't mind an increase in prize pool for an event, or perhaps keep the $250k majors and have them culminate in a larger world championship each year :D.
Regardless, I'm more happy with the financial opportunities than ever before in my CS career, so kudos to Valve for getting more involved as we go... I'm sure you're aware of the various ways Valve could raise money via the community. In my opinion, doing some crowd funding for the prize pools of major events, as they have done for DotA, would be a pretty awesome test.
How do you expect your group to play out? Can you talk about each of the teams in your group in detail, what you expect from your potential match-up against each of them, and how do you expect to fare?
Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert: fnatic... Cheating? I don't want to believe it just yet, because they have shown to be a great team. Regardless, they have insane teamwork and their formula is simply too widespread to easily beat... Great AWPer who makes random plays with an OP pistol, great team players who make big individual plays, and an in-game leader who seems to know how to make everyone comfortable while maintaing control... We gotta come out hot, and not let too many rounds slip in a row at any point!
HellRaisers... I expect some fast and well coordinated tactics... I thought they didn't have any organization until watching demos of them. I can tell you have to be prepared for their early entries on their offense and the occasional late round coordination. Seems they have a good blend of both and we have to win our individual battles to shut them down.
Bravado... Don't know much about them... Won't get a chance to scrim them since they are in our group, but I've heard good things about their skill... Seems they face a similar problem as the Australians, with even more isolation from competitive play. Even our community doesn't have much practice, but theirs literally has zero. It sucks for them as they are not only pretty cool, but knowledgeable about the game as well.
Our recent article “Major problems” brought up multiple issues such as the online qualifiers (cheating, DDoS), inconsistent format (best-of-one groups) with very few matches, etc. What is your stance on the qualification system and the tournament format? How would you like to improve the majors?
Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert: The DDoS/cheating is absurd, and I'm probably not the best person to discuss how to work around it. I hope we can rid our high level play of such problems altogether. If possible, it seems having all qualifers on LAN would be the best option, and staying away from BO1 would be nice as well. Round-robin BO3's for group play would be pretty fun, but it would obviously double the time it would take to complete group play, so that's a problem for the organizer to handle.
Another big issue for debate right now is the CZ-75. Suggestions for it have ranged from altering its rate of fire and damage, to even making it an SMG while upping its price. Do you think it should be changed, and if so, how would you recommend Valve do it?
Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert: I don't know. A part of me has already accepted the fact that "ecos" aren't really economic rounds anymore, and it's just another round of the half. This aspect is lame and sometimes makes me want to remove the gun from the game, but even the Five-SeveN is pretty beastly when combined with the power of smoke grenades. It might be interesting to add a few clips of ammo to the CZ, call it an SMG, and charge like $1200 for it.
Obviously going into the event the favorites are fnatic and LDLC, but so far the favorites have never won a major. Is there someone else who you think could surprise us and win it all? Who do you expect to place in the top four?
Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert: I don't really have an opinion on any surprises... Everyone is so prepared and practice results are so mixed. I expect fnatic, LDLC, Virtus, and NiP to fight hard as usual. I also think HellRaisers can be dangerous if we dont contain them early! Our American friends have been playing well in scrimmages, but that might not represent much, so we will see! I wish everyone luck and hope for some good games in a fair and balanced environment.
What do you make of this cheating scandal? Were you surprised players might have been cheating at tournaments, or did you expect it? Do you believe the players caught cheated in LAN tournaments, and do you believe more players cheated who simply haven’t been caught, yet?
Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert: Very surprised... It was like the craziest thing to read on HLTV.org in a long time. I believe that the players banned could have easily cheated in LAN tournaments, but I guess I'll wait for the forum "investigators" to provide more examples of this :D.
In terms of players not caught yet - and from the looks of these flusha clips - it seems very possible with some odd mouse movements highlighted, but still, its not 100% positive. With how many potential cheats there are rumored to be, seems there would also be more cheaters that aren't found yet.
Who do you consider your team’s star player? Hiko is consistent, shroud has arguably the most potential for growth, and you have high peaks but are inconsistent. How do you plan a team around such a scenario?
Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert: Like you said, Hiko seems to have the most consistent stats, shroud goes insane, I have my moments, but I don't think we've taken the traditional approach of basing all of our strats around that one player... Maybe this is a fault of our team and we need to make more strats around players roles, such as how NiP does for GeT_RiGhT... But we seem to have different stars on different maps.
Cloud9 face a tough task early on in Jönköping as they will take on HellRaisers tomorrow at 13:00, followed up by a match against either fnatic or Bravado.