Cloud9 started their tournament run in Kiev with a win against EnVyUs. We talked to Jordan 'n0thing' Gilbert after the match to hear his impressions as well as catch up on the team's latest news.
Cloud9 came straight to Kiev after their run to the final in Toronto last week, and closed the first day's matches in style, 16-8 over EnVyUs on Cobblestone, and will meet the winner of Virtus.pro vs. VG.CyberZen in Group D's winners' match.
Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert goes into more detail on the team's existencial crisis at the beginning of the year, Jake "Stewie2K" Yip's calling, and Timothy "autimatic" Ta's pick-up amongst other things below:
The match against EnVyUs seemed like it went somewhat easier than expected, what do you think?
Kind of, yes and no. I feel like missing NBK- is a big issue for them and Cobblestone nowadays has a lot of different dynamics when it comes to strategy, so if you call it right you can win against any team in the world. We knew nV’s CT side was a little off, which is why we decided to start on T side and it kind of went as planned. They obviously have a lot of firepower, for instance one round they won kennyS had a triple or a four kill or something, but we just kind of abused the dynamics of the map and if we would have won that T side pistol it could have been a complete landslide, but we just kept to the points we discussed and we were actually pretty confident.
Tell me a little bit about the feeling in the team right now. It looks like you guys are the strongest you’ve been in a long time, perhaps even since seang@res left. You guys seem pretty solid, like a group again, whereas it felt the team was a bit more fragmented at times. Is something clicking now?
Well I think one thing is when we had Sean on the team we had a leader who really put everything into winning. And it may not seem like it, but he was very tenacious. He wanted to win very much and he practiced hard and brought the team together and did what he needed to do come match time.
I think for a while we were lacking that tenacity. Not only were we blown out from a long run in 2015, but when I had to become in-game leader it was kind of because I had to, so it wasn’t a choice of mine and I don’t think I brought that tenacity as a leader even though if I really sat down and spent time with our coach I could become a strat caller. I think even if you ask the guys it wasn’t necessarily strats and calling, it was just our mojo and the team wasn’t super amped up.
I think right now Stewie2k brings a lot to the table, and autimatic too giving us more confidence in our firepower. With Stewie calling it’s not necessarily his strats, I think it’s more about his energy when he calls and the energy in the team which make a difference in the team right now because I think Skadoodle, shroud, and myself can always play well and play at the top level and it comes down to whether we show up or not and if we bring that tenacity. So I think right now what you can see is a team that’s amped up.
So how did you actually come about Stewie calling, especially being such a young player?
Well it’s like Niko, right? He’s pretty young. He does it because it comes naturally. For instance, when I was calling half of the time we’d be going back and forth anyways, I’d say “let’s do this and this” and he’d say “ok, and I’ll do this and this” and it was like “ok, cool,” so after a while I thought “ok, I’m not the best in-game leader.” I mean, I have good ideas but I’m not giving the right ideas at the right time or something. I can call mid-game really well and I still do that, today I did that during a couple rounds in Cobblestone, just changed the strat mid-round.
I think Stewie was just doing it naturally playing Rank S, he just got into that mindset. He still has a ways to go, sure, but he’s super intuitive right now with the game. He knows all the nuances so he’s pretty smart compared to what one might think from an outsider’s perspective in terms of understanding rotations and so on. He’s a good fit for it as long as he’s into it.
The only issues we’ve had have been when he himself loses confidence for one reason or another or doesn’t have energy or is disheartened from a tough round we just lost or something like that.
Moving on to the autimatic pick-up, can you tell me a little bit about how that came about?
It was kind of simple to be honest. We had talked to him before he joined TSM, and he had said that if that team wasn’t as successful as he wanted it to be we would talk again later. We weren’t sure if that would even happen, or if we would have already found someone else as we were looking at other options.
What we realized with Slemmy, though, was that we just didn’t have that explosiveness in our play that it seems a lot of the top teams are finding, and unless you have insane strategies and everyone gets along really well you can’t just win with the tactical game. VIrtus.pro can kind of find that blend sometimes and other teams like Na`Vi can have great strategy and come together, but with our team it just wasn’t working even though Slemmy was a great strategist.
From Tim we just wanted firepower, so we looked at some other players but we knew Tim was playing pick-up games with Stewie and they get along really well. Also, I actually grew up in the same area as Autimatic and I brought him to one of his first CS:GO LANs so when we talked to him about being interested there was a little complication with TSM but we figured it out and gave him a shot pretty quickly. We didn’t really have time to try him out so we just accepted him right away because we had to go straight into EPL but we’re obviously doing pretty well there, so…
Northern Arena came with a rough tournament loss in the final, but here you start with a big victory. What are the goals you have set for SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 and for the near future?
Yeah, Northern Arena, as you said, was a bit disappointing. I don’t know if the issues we had came because we really wanted the title but some of our tactical problems came out in the final. It was maybe good that it happened at that LAN because we got a little tilted as a unit. If you look at the gameplay, we set ourselves up to win that best-of-three, I think. Even on Overpass at the end, we lost those two pistols and one was a 3vs2 in which we had the advantage. There was also a big 4vs2 afterplant we lost. I don’t know what was getting into us but we were winning those rounds all tournament long and we had been beating Immortals online—and we’re not online players—, so you could really see how the tilt came into our play during that final game. It was a good learning experience.
Our goal here is to make it to the finals and play a team like Na`Vi or VIrtus.pro or NIP. We can’t justifiably say we should beat them, but we know we can beat them and we have an enormous amount of confidence in beating them. You never really know.
Lastly, I’d just like to thank the unbiased support from anyone, and all the CS fans that are still sticking around with the betting gone. We appreciate the growth with integrity of the scene.