Cloud9 are going strength to strength, making the top four of ESL One Cologne following good showings at ECS S3 and the PGL Krakow Major Main Qualifier. To hear about their recent achievements, we talked to Jake "Stewie2K" Yip after their victory over NiP.
Despite a rough start to the event, going 0-2 due to defeats to NiP and Natus Vincere, Cloud9 was able to reach the playoffs on the last day of the group stage, beating the likes of mousesports and Immortals
How much impact did the top four you got at ECS S3, breaking the bad cycle you had? How much were the two tournaments connected in that way?
For ECS when shroud said that we need to wake up and start putting things together, that kinda gave us a spark. And definitely, when we made it out of the groups, that definitely gave our engine a spark, keept us going. For the Major qualifier... we all knew that we've been missing out on way too many Majors and we gotta step up our game. We had confidence the whole time, we never let go of the gas pedal, even when we lost to G2 we knew that we were going to keep winning out.
And leading up to this event, even when we were down 0-2 no one felt like we were out of the tournament yet. We just felt like we lost to some good teams. We played well, but we made some rookie mistakes and it cost us the game. We just had to fix that in order to get out of groups, and we did that.
Let's touch on that game against Natus Vincere on Train, a marathon, tell me a bit about that game and losing it in the end, how did that feel?
Even when we were down in overtime against Natus Vincere, I think at one point we were down 18-16 maybe, I think. We knew that we could still come back, the game wasn't over yet. I looked at everyone's faces, and we all knew we could come back, we were so close to tying it up. And the more overtimes we went through, the more intense the game got. After we lost, it was probably one of the most heartbreaking games I ever had.
We played mousesports, and went into overtime and thank god we ended on the other side of the spectrum then, so that feels good. We know how it feels to lose in such a crucial game, in so many overtimes, and we also go to feel how happy we can be pulling through it, double overtime in a really crucial match.
You made it to the playoffs and you were drawn against NiP. You faced them in the first game, on Cache, and they went on to go 3-0 on Cache exclusively. How did that play into thinking about the veto? Was the thought of banning Cache in your mind?
It's no secret that Nuke right now is not our best map and it's our veto right now, so we really didn't have a choice but to veto Nuke. To be honest, I got caught off guard when they picked Cache, we haven't played Overpass lately and the last time we played it FaZe destroyed us on it. So we kinda expected Overpass, but when they picked Cache and let Cobblestone stay in instead of Inferno, we knew that this BO3 was in our favor.
I wanted to touch on Train and especially the CT side against NiP. It was a perfect CT side, zero rounds lost, can you walk me through that a bit?
To be honest, when we were down 5-10 moving to the CT side we knew the pistol was the most crucial round. But personally, I knew that even if we lost pistol, our CT side is really strong on Train so we can alway come back, the game is not over until it's over. Our CT side was played really well, honestly, some of the rounds could've gone in anyone's favor and could've changed the game. shroud clutched a lot of rounds for us, I'm glad he is back on his game, giving himself confidence. Just seeing the smile on his face, on stage, it's just pleasing to see.
Another player to touch on is Skadoodle. He has been playing very well the past couple of tournaments. He had a down period in the past, but now he is up again. Do you know what triggers that, the upper part of his form?
To be honest, I think our whole team is playing really well right now, that is what makes us so strong right now, because in one game I can be doing really well, then autimatic... And when we blow out teams that are when the whole team is doing really well. Right now, Ska, I think he found his own form in himself. I'm not sure what triggered it but I think he knows that he has to get more aggressive, he has to change his style and have two types of gears in his play. I think he found the more aggressive style that he is more comfortable with. That's why he is back in shape right now.
Touching on shroud and his role in the team. There has been a lot of talk about him being the supportive player, but he also takes some aggressive roles. Can you tell me how you see him fitting into the team, role-wise and on the maps?
For us, I think the key thing is talking, because our team is quiet at times when it comes to practice. And when you hear what people's strengths are, then you can make strats off of it. I know some strats on Train he really likes to do. I know that the role that he is placed in, that is his strength, but for me, that is my weakness. So, it's good to have shroud take my role, the role that I don't like. That is when we start becoming scarier.
You are going to be facing Natus Vincere after this. They had an upset against G2, won 2-0. What do you expect of that match?
Na`Vi has been struggling lately, I think that they are finally finding their own form as well. Right now, they are looking very strong against all of the teams, but losing to them on Train in the group stage like that was really heartbreaking. We just got revenge on NiP so I hope we can get revenge on Na`Vi as well.