On the last day of the Main Qualifier, Jake "Stewie2K" Yip talked to us about Cloud9's journey to the Major, the upcoming ESL One Cologne, and preparation for the Major itself.
Cloud9 made it to the Major on the last day of the Main Qualifier, clinching their third win after taking down FlipSid3 with ease on Mirage for an overall 3-1 record, only losing to G2 in the Swiss format.
We caught up with Jake "Stewie2K" Yip to find out how his team prepared for each of their match-ups and what their mindset will be for ESL One Cologne before they head into their bootcamp ahead of the PGL Major Krakow.
With how your recent tournaments have went aside from ECS, how did you feel going into the qualifier?
We've been struggling the whole year and everyone knows we didn't make it out of groups except at ECS, we knew that we'd be kinda shaky and that we couldn't rate any teams. We were favorites at this qualifier but we didn't picture it like that, we don't underestimate any teams, for example FlipSid3 could be a good team or could be a bad team, we don't like to think about it that way, we like to think about every opponent in our way, we don't like to underestimate anyone.
Considering the format and the fact that there were teams that were tough to gauge, like FlipSid3 who barely played anything, was there any special preparation towards your opponents in between the rounds or even before the tournament?
We actually had some pretty good preparation this whole tournament. valens helped me out a lot, I don't think we would have gone through without him, he actually takes a lot of stress off all our shoulders, he does demo reviews and gives us a lot of tips, specific details that really help us a lot. I think we did pretty good preparation together against all these teams.
We felt like in the G2 game, the scoreline didn't really represent the game, we felt like we should've beat them if we didn't get eco'd and our momentum got killed for us. For FlipSid3, it was a little rough, they dropped out of all the tournaments, so it was kinda hard to do research on them. We were kind of surprised that they left Mirage in for us instead of playing Train, we thought it was going to be Train 100%.
With how these matches have went for you, aside from the loss to G2 who admittedly was the best team here, how will you feel going into Cologne in a few days?
Cologne is not going to be anything like the Major qualifier, we're going to try to take it seriously, but we're also going to try to implement new things. We'll try our best to make it out of groups there and hopefully prepare for the Major, I think we have a bootcamp afterwards, so I think Cologne an experience for us rather than going there with a winning mentality. We're going to try to win, obviously, but we want to face our mistakes and make things a little bit more structured, grind out clean rounds.
Do you feel like Cologne will be like that for a lot of teams, having it more as a test ahead of the Major?
I think a lot of teams will do the same thing like us, we're going to make new things, see if they work and then prepare for the Major.
This is your seventh tournament in the last three months, do you see this as a bad thing, going from event to event when you were in a rough period? Is it hard to keep up good results when you don't have much time for adjustments?
It's definitely harder, because a lot of teams who do research on you from the past tournaments and know all the tricks up your sleeves and you have nothing new, it's kind of hard to call. That's why having a bootcamp after Cologne would be the best for us.
Is this going to change for you in the future, will you begin prioritizing a little more?
Yeah, I think we are going to try to attend less tournaments, for example DreamHack in Sweden, we might not attend that next year, and we're just going to attend all the bigger LANs, like ECS, major qualifiers and things like that.