Cloud9: "Firepower is our strength"
Cloud9 answered various questions at an ELEAGUE press conference following their 2-0 victory against Renegades in the second Group A semifinal.
Assured of a spot in the televised grand finale, Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert and Jake "Stewie2K" Yip answered questions put to them by ELEAGUE's interviewer Chris Puckett and HLTV.org's Michal "stich" Malachowski, among others.
How has the team grown and developed since hitting the road at the beginning of the month?
Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert: To be honest Alec "Slemmy" White came in and he had his own ideas, and obviously we had a core, so right when he came in it was going to be kind of a clash. There's always a friction between ideas and the main difference was us all getting on the same page with how we wanted to play each map.
What is the greatest strength of the team right now?
Jake "Stewie2K" Yip: I'd say our firepower and our ability to read the other team. We do pretty well when we mid-game read, we get to comm [communicate] to each other and talk about what we see here and we adjust and sometimes it's sloppy but I feel like that's our strength.
What was different from yesterday's two games against Renegades to today's games?
Jake "Stewie2K" Yip: Yesterday was more of a seeding kind of thing so we knew that if we won the first map we would secure second seed and so on Cobble we were caught by surprise to how they played. Today we kind of knew that they were going to pick Cobble again since they beat us; they had a strong CT-side yesterday and I don't know why but they started on T-side today...I think.
Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert: Yeah, yeah.
Jake "Stewie2K" Yip: So I guess that was their mistake.
What was different about your game specifically on Cobblestone?
Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert: Well Mike "shroud" Grzesiek's clutches and performance were definitely important in getting us revved up. Like Stewie said, we definitely weren't purposefully not playing well, some people on the forums said "they're throwing" because they were seeding matches yesterday.
We wanted to win it but it's definitely a different intensity when we know we have to win it.
So today, we noticed they like to use drop so we tried to change up our passive defense set-ups a little. Luckily like I said Mike won those clutches but overall I think we just had a little bit better set-ups for what they did.
Cloud9 were more prepared for Renegades on Cobblestone in the semifinal
Is Cache your strongest map in the pool right now?
Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert: I would say it fluctuates, with the way pistols in this game and economy in this game is, the CT-side of Cache can be so tough if you say, lose pistol, win the first gunround, then lose that next round, your money is shot...you're lucky to even get five in that half.
Whereas if you simply just win that next round you can get eight or nine rounds on the half. I feel like we're good at Cache, Cobble, Dust2, Overpass, Train, there's a little bit of a weakness for us in the last couple I mentioned, but I say we're pretty well rounded on those five maps.
Stewie, the beginning of this year was probably a little painful for you guys at first since a lot of people questioned your addition and a lot of your teams' strategies, how does it feel to see today's result mark a kind of milestone both for your team and for your development as a player?
Jake "Stewie2K" Yip: I got criticised when I first joined the team and I just tried to ignore that. I never really let anybody tell me that I can't do something or that I'm not going to be able to do it or that I don't fit the team so I'm glad that Cloud9 gave me this opportunity.
I have my weaknesses, I have problems that I need to face so I feel like having such veterans on this team to lead me and give me good ideas and kind of just form me into a smarter overall player helps me a lot and without them I wouldn't play as well.
Jordan, do you feel like you matured this year in your overall sense of Counter-Strike?
Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert: I definitely have matured a bit, doing a leadership role is strange since I've always been a kind of secondhand leader. I've always felt the leader's struggles but it's different experiencing it first hand and spending those extra hours worrying about strats and knowing that you're expected to call things.
I think it was a good thing for me to do just to learn about the team. I still even would call but I felt like I wasn't where I wanted to be for the team and what we needed. Players like Stew have a lot of firepower and I felt like part of me wasn't doing them justice but I think the key this year for us is to keep our heads up and keep moving forward because we've been going through a lot of changes.
Even last year, obviously we would have preferred if Sean didn't step down, we would have preffered if Ryan didn't step down, we've kind of had to roll with the punches. Glad to have Stew and Slemmy on the team right now so we're just going to keep progressing and excited to be part of this massive year for CS.
Unlocking their latent firepower has been key to Cloud9's recent philosophy
Thoughts on the team house after being there for awhile?
Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert: A team house is something that depends on the unit. For us it's cool that I live in Southern California and the house is in Southern California. For people like Tyler and Mike that came from a farther distance, it's cool to see that they're actually really enjoying it.
I think we're a bunch of nerds in the sense that we're all just happy to have good internet and to be in the same place gaming. Obviously sometimes it's a little rough being in the same place as you work all day, it's the same as being at home though, but luckily we enjoy hanging out and it's really close to the beach so that's always a plus.
But Stewie doesn't live there as well?
Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert: No he's there now, he just graduated high school baby. Let's go! We'll throw a party for Stew.
Have you guys been practicing on Nuke?
Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert: We're really good at the map, don't play us on it. [winking]
Jake "Stewie2K" Yip: To be honest I haven't opened it up yet. We haven't played it yet because we were more focused on playing the maps that we all agreed on at ELEAGUE.
Tomorrow you go in into the finale against Luminosity, what are your thoughts?
Jake "Stewie2K" Yip: I think we're number one in NA right now and I think we're really strong but as for Luminosity they're still on that streak of winning and they're still a completely different beast if you compare them to another team. I'd say they're number one in the world so to have a chance of beating them we need to make less mistakes because they're definitely going to capitalise on our mistakes.
Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert: I agree, if you make any mistakes versus these guys it just tends to have a snowball effect, they always put the pressure on you. FalleN and his boys are really good at reading so we need to stay on top of what we're doing and try and read them as well.
The ELEAGUE Group A grand final is tomorrow with Luminosity playing Cloud9. You can catch the action by either tuning in to TBS in the United States (either on television or via the Watch TBS app), tuning in via a regional distribution provider, or watching the Observer Feed at twitch.tv/eleaguetv.
stich writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter