RUSH: "I see us improving at a rate I am satisfied with"

Leading up to the start of the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier playoffs, we caught up with last season's MVP, Will "RUSH" Wierzba, and talked about Cloud9 and the role he took on within this squad.

Cloud9, who assembled their current roster less than two months ago, booked a spot in the playoffs of ELEAGUE Premier with a dominant showing in group C, securing convincing wins over Envy and Ninjas in Pyjamas to make it through. Tougher opposition awaits in bracket play, however, with G2 being their quarter-final opponent and Astralis, FaZe and North at the tournament as well. 

RUSH admits that there is an unspoken rivalry between Cloud9 and Liquid

To get a feel for how the roster is developing and what we can expect from the American squad in Atlanta this week, we talked to William "⁠RUSH⁠" Wierzba.

At your most recent LAN outing, in the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier group stage, you dropped only eight rounds in a group with NiP, and EnVyUs. Were you, in a way, surprised by how smoothly securing a playoff spot went?

Even though some of those teams might be in slumps, and aren't considered 'top10', I think it was still a tough group for us. Cloud9 historically has had a lot of trouble beating VP in the past so having them in the group, despite them being in a rough patch, was going to be hard for us. NiP is also a really strong team with the REZ/draken additions, and they just need time. We definitely had expectations to make it out of groups considering it was the easiest of the EL groups, but we were indeed surprised at how one-sided the games were for us, and I'm sure the fans watching were as well. I also thought it was fairly impressive that NV beat NiP and VP in BO3's.

Before ELEAGUE, you attended ESL One New York and DreamHack Montreal, finishing 3-4th at both events. What were the takeaways from those two tournaments, was making it out of the groups enough for you to be satisfied early into the team's life cycle? 

We were definitely a little disappointed at the finish we had a DH Montreal because it's a tier 2 tournament and North was the only top top team (besides Immortals) at the LAN. We got a bad draw and faced the strongest team in the semi-finals (North) but that's no excuse. They played really well and we didn't have much of a chance. Saying we got 3/4th place or 'making it out of groups' sounds good, but when you consider the fact we made it out by only beating complexity and Luminosity, that's not exactly something you can brag about.

In terms of ESL NY, I think performance wise we actually did well by beating Na`Vi twice (in a BO1 and BO3). Even though we got utterly de_stroyed by FaZe, they were on point that whole tournament. I think we were more disappointed that we played so awful in front of the home-crowd because ESL NY is one of the only tournaments during the year that has an NA crowd of that size. Overall as the weeks go by I see us improving at a rate I am satisfied with.

In New York, FaZe took you out in the semi-final and went on to win the whole tournament in quite convincing fashion, making them "the team to beat" currently. What are your impressions of FaZe, what is the toughest thing about playing them?

I think they were/are in a sort of honeymoon phase, especially at NY. They swept everybody and the only team that got close was Liquid on 1 map in the finals. It was pretty insane to experience it first hand, but when you have 4 superstars and a tier 1 caller I guess that's what you get. They will definitely remain top three for the foreseeable future, but I do not think they can maintain demolishing everyone they play.

Many players struggle with individual slumps and you had a particularly rough time this year after the ELEAGUE Major. What are your thoughts on breaking out of that trend, at what point did you feel you were getting back in form? Your upswing somewhat coincided with playing under tarik's leadership, starting at ESL One Cologne with OpTic and continuing later on in Cloud9. Did that have a significant impact or were there other factors at play?

I attribute playing really well at the end of last year to how well OpTic was playing as a whole. Literally everyone was at the top of their game, game-wise and confidence wise. When everyone is playing well, I think it's pretty hard to not play well. If you think about it logically when the team overall is playing poorly, it's tough for any individual player to go off. I guess you could call the players that do play well under those circumstances star players.

I also believe I played well because we had a lot of structure under stanislaw's leadership, and I knew what I was doing on every map to a tee. When we lost him and tried a plethora of different IGLs, I was probably the most uncomfortable I've ever been in CS. Going from a system that is fully fleshed out to complete chaos for 8 months is not something I wish on any team. I feel a lot more at ease and comfortable under Tarik's leadership at the end of OpTic and now in C9. He knows how I and others on the team want to play.

After getting over the slump that plagued his 2017, RUSH is looking more and more like the player that won the ELEAGUE S2 MVP

Previously, you played at a high level in the entry fragging role, winning the MVP in your team's memorable ELEAGUE Season 2 victory. Now in Cloud9, you mostly play the passive lurking positions on the T sides. It seems like the change didn't affect you that much—what were the key things that allowed you to adapt to the role so quickly?

Everyone always pinned me as that insane high-sens entry-fragger for the longest time, but I truly believe I am more of a support player. I can do most roles (besides AWPing) and I simply do what's needed in the team. On OpTic, we had three more passive players in stan, NAF, and mixwell. Tarik and I HAD to be the entry fraggers for the system to work. Now that I am in C9 we have Stewie and Tarik, arguably 2 of NA's best entry fraggers. It was a no-brainer for me to become a more passive/support player on T side.

A main AWPer was something you never had in OpTic, with the big green gun being shuffled between every player on the squad except you. How does it feel now on Cloud9, playing with Skadoodle who you know will always pick up the AWP when needed?

As much as mixwell said he didn't like AWPing I believe he enjoyed it. He knew he had a lot of impact doing it and he was getting better with it. Despite that, I'm sure he's happy he doesn't has to worry about it anymore with allu on the new OpTic.

It has been a long time since I have had a dedicated AWPer though, so it feels great. In my opinion [Skadoodle] is probably the best AWPer in NA when he's at his peak. Even if he has a bad game, he still does his job very well. So to answer your question, I am grateful to have him on my team.

This Cloud9 roster has been quite active in terms of LAN events, attending four since the end of August. How did that impact your practice and preparation, especially as a new team? Do you feel that you need some time without tournaments to iron things out, or are you happy with how things have been going so far? 

In my opinion we shouldn't have gone to DH Malmö, simply because we had ~3-4 days to prepare a brand new team. Tarik also started calling at this point, so the whole system under C9 was different. We didn't learn much.

The other tournaments were more beneficial for us because we had ample time to practice before and during the tournament (in the practice area). The way we've been playing at the tournaments we've been attending is an upward trend for sure. From not making it out of groups at Malmö to making it out of every group at the other events so far. Tournaments having 24/7 practice areas is also a huge help.

Looking at the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier playoffs, you will start off against G2, with Astralis and fnatic also on your side of the bracket. How do you feel going into the tournament? Does the underdog run you had with OpTic last season, as well as the MVP title, instill some extra confidence in you heading into Atlanta?

I think if we beat G2 we have a good shot to make the final. G2 will be tough because they have a similar style to FaZe, which is hard for us to play against. They are really high on the individual skill spectrum and as we're growing as a team, these types of teams give us trouble. If we face Astralis or fnatic I think it will be easier than G2, just because a team like Astralis is more structured and honest in their play.

Having won the last EL season and getting the MVP has no bearing on what happens this time, just because everything is different. I have a new team, I'm a new player, and we're also facing new teams. We have to just focus on playing our game.

With OpTic now practically a European team and CLG dropping off a bit, the battle for the title of the best North American team has come down to Cloud9 and Liquid, with both teams having some good results lately that got them into the top10 of our ranking. What are your thoughts on Liquid at the moment and is there a rivalry there, in terms of proving which team is NA's best?

I would say there's an unspoken rivalry between us and Liquid because one of us would love the "top NA" title of course. At the end of the day though, I hope we both do well and become consistent world contenders. I'm sure you will see some great games between us when we inevitably face each other on LAN.

United States William 'RUSH' Wierzba
William 'RUSH' Wierzba
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Naaah I don't believe you
2017-10-09 20:47
3 replies
"RUSH admits that there is an unspoken rivalry between Cloud9 and Liquid" now it's spoken
2017-10-09 21:20
1 reply
I think everyone saw it
2017-10-10 15:14
right, i love c9 but holy fuck, they are not performing well. especially recently online
2017-10-10 19:10
They are. They will be Major champions soon.
2017-10-09 20:47
14 replies
LUL atleast you recognise your delusions, idiotic C9 fanboy. Astralis are going to win, they are the only team with the mentality to achieve this right now.
2017-10-09 20:52
8 replies
Ummm i don't think so sweety. C9 will win the Eleague Major convincingly.
2017-10-09 20:53
7 replies
Philippines itchybells
there is still no team can beat faze at the moment. if faze play serious and try hard. no one
2017-10-09 21:42
5 replies
2017-10-09 22:00
The amount of times this guy gets good bait targets lmao
2017-10-09 22:17
2 replies
United States SaltLord
He baited everyone lmao
2017-10-10 02:07
1 reply
I aspire to be like him one day
2017-10-10 02:08
Umm, heroic?
2017-10-09 22:51
Sweden kallespann
surley that Rush is mixed with black far back typical mixed NA
2017-10-10 12:57
They don't i think Faze will destroy them Faze has much more Experience in their lineup and to strong Karrigan > Tarik Niko > Stewie Rain > Autimatic Olof > Rush GuardiaN >>>>>> Ska
2017-10-09 20:56
2 replies
LOL Who made that list for you? You should fire them. Karrigan < Tarik Rain < Stewie Niko > Autimatic Olof (this guy is like 2 years past being good lol never heard of him) < Rush Guardian = Skadoodle
2017-10-10 19:39
1 reply
0.5/8 LUL stupid, Skadoodle is bot. karrigan much better IGL than Tarik Olof playing very well last few games for me better than rush Rain and Stewie alright i can agree with that.
2017-10-10 20:17
watch Faze gives them maximum 4 rounds again xD............oh wait they need to Pass G2 first :D
2017-10-10 19:02
1 reply
That was C9 without a lot of practice (: we'll see now big guy.
2017-10-10 19:40
2017-10-09 20:47
2017-10-09 20:49
Poland Astoner55
it's good, because on paper cloud9 is supposed to be top8 team world
2017-10-09 20:49
2 replies
top 8 team with peanut brain igl. Good luck with that.
2017-10-10 04:34
1 reply
He isn't actually that peanut brain as expected. He actually did very good IGLing.
2017-10-10 15:16
byali | 
Poland BYALl
g2 will destroy c9
2017-10-09 20:49
4 replies
in opposite
2017-10-10 05:23
3 replies
shox | 
Norway fen0m
ok c9 will get destroyed by g2
2017-10-10 12:43
2 replies
Looks like you were right, in a wrong sort of way.
2017-10-10 22:44
lol. C9 are destroyed G2.
2017-10-11 03:53
2017-10-09 20:52
Indonesia yolorize
2017-10-09 20:53
xD Clown9 for a reason xD
2017-10-09 20:56
2017-10-09 20:59
Rush is great player.But c9 need to work a lot together if they want to get some trophies.
2017-10-09 21:01
Wierzba is polish tree lul
2017-10-09 21:02
Germany ConAction
2017-10-09 21:11
2017-10-09 21:13
2017-10-09 21:17
>doesn't do anything except beat his old team RUSH: "I SEE US IMPROVING AT A RATE I AM SATISFIED WITH"
2017-10-09 21:22
1 reply
United States stotte
Well that's what you see. He sees other things. Practice is probably going well and he is seeing vast strides in improvement in practice.
2017-10-10 08:24
United States GWEBB
This team is getting better, they still have a lot of work to do. A win over G2 would be a big success for this team. I think its a bit unrealistic to expect them to be title contenders every event yet.
2017-10-09 21:23
2017-10-09 21:28
Faze will keep domenathing, believe me~!!
2017-10-09 21:32
2017-10-09 22:00
lets not get ahead of ourselves now...
2017-10-09 22:01
2017-10-09 22:42
Finland Faust_fSt
"with which I am satisfied" fixed
2017-10-09 23:04
ez for NA get_right who got vac banned once so to avoid scrutiny he made himself ESEA match scheduler for optic gaming.
2017-10-10 07:25
"de_stroyed" these articles are going downhill - CRINGGGGEEE
2017-10-10 08:52
yankees are so so selfconfident... but still shit
2017-10-10 09:17
shox | 
Norway fen0m
Too bad he will lose to g2 today
2017-10-10 12:41
Great read, more content like this please
2017-10-10 13:34
gl machine
2017-10-10 18:38
Cloud9 historically has had a lot of trouble beating VP in the past so having them in the group, despite them being in a rough patch, was going to be hard for us. Good thing you didnt play VP
2017-10-10 20:25
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