freak: "You can’t rush the process"
We had a chance to catch up with Ryan "freakazoid" Abadir to talk about the changes in Cloud9's leadership, Stewie joining the team, and their first matches of the tournament.
The morning was up and down for Cloud9 as the team lost their first game against G2, not being able to stop Richard "shox" Papillon and company from taking the last two maps of their three map series. The North American squad did go on to win against method in the elimination match to secure a spot in the quarterfinals despite their play not being particularly solid against the underdogs. Ryan "freakazoid" Abadir runs us through it.
The match with G2 was tough, and then in the match against method you were maybe a little bit shaky, especially at the end of the first map when it looked like they might be coming back...
freakazoid: The thing about G2 is that we let them get back into it on Cache, and on Train we actually made a good comeback. While we were making the comeback I swear I was like "guys, we can win, we can do this!" and I literally got no feedback after that. Everybody was just dead silent. So it sort of showed the communication was kind of down. We're more of an emotional team, so when we're rolling, we're all hyped, but when we’re losing, we're all kind of "uuughh."
It looked almost as if you had too much respect for your rivals, the second things got a bit out of hand you weren’t taking as many duels, you pulled back and let them play their game, whereas Cloud9 should maybe play for those duels.
freakazoid: Honestly, we have the skill to match any team in the world player for player. The problem is when our mindset is play not to lose instead of play to win and impose our will on teams. Then we struggle. If we play to win, we play well, and if we play not to lose, [we don’t], because those are two completely different things. You’re worried about what the other team is going to do rather than what you’re going to do. We have to focus on ourselves rather than on the other team. We proved we can hang with the best teams last year, so we just have to get back to just being mentally tough.
Had Jake "Stewie2K" Yip coming on board been in the plans for a while, or was it something more spur of the moment?
freakazoid: Stewie was more spur of the moment after Sean left. We had our eyes on a couple of players and so far he's exceeding expectations, in my eyes at least, and I think he can only grow as a player since he's new to the game. Especially as a professional player. With experience he's going to continue to grow and get better, so I think he was definitely worth it as a pick-up.
freakazoid: With Sean we had a set direction, pretty much. He wanted certain things done his way. We played more off of his style and we were more set on what to do when he called something. With Jordan we have a bit more freedom working off of each other and since we all played at the top level for a while now, and Stewie is new but he’s picking it up quickly, we kind of just use communication and work off of our individual plays. Obviously it’s a bit of a struggle right now, but I don't think it's a reflection of how good we are at the moment.
I hate to make excuses, but jetlag is being a bitch for me right now, and for the rest of the team. It's hard. I don’t even drink energy drinks and I’ve had three of them already, and I'm still dying.
So with Jordan there's a bit more freedom, while with Sean it was a little more strict. But it's good to use both styles, we need to just figure it out. It's going to take us a good six months to sort everything out.
So are you going to keep the loose style?
freakazoid: Right now it's loose because we haven't had time to go over stuff, or we’re going over it right now, but at the same time we're trying to figure out different play styles and roles. For instance Stewie came in as an entry fragger, I'm an entry fragger, so we're still trying to figure that whole thing out and switch up styles, making every one of our players more well rounded and being able to do everything so when we get in certain situations we can do anything we want instead of just being one dimensional. That's the big thing for us now, being loose but having a set style, too, and being stricter with each other.
So what are the goals the team has set for the near future and even throughout the year?
freakazoid: We haven’t really talked about goals. We obviously have high expectations for all of us individually; we all just want to win. That’s our main goal. Obviously you'll lose along the way, too, and that's just what's going to happen with a new play style, new calling, and a new player. We can say all this stuff and make excuses but we're not going to do that, we're going to try our best and work hard, get better, and try and be first in everything we play. That should be everybody’s goal. If it’s not then you probably shouldn’t be playing at a competitive level.
We have to give it some time, figure it out. You can’t rush the process and say it’s not going to work after a month or two.
You can catch freakazoid and the rest of Cloud9 play the last match of the day against the loser of the Astralis vs. G2 match, which is currently under way, for a seed in tomorrow's quarterfinal matches.