Cloud9 surprised G2 in the first quarter-final at ELEAGUE Premier, eliminating the French side with a 2-0 series win. After the game, we talked with Tarik "tarik" Celik about the win and what they hope to achieve moving forward.
The North American side continued their strong ELEAGUE performance, as their dominant group stage showing was followed up by a victory over the Frenchmen of G2. Jake "Stewie2K" Yip and co. won Cobblestone, despite a poor history on the map, especially when compared with Richard "shox" Papillon's team, and closed out the series on Inferno.
Walk me through the veto here, what did you expect and why did we see these maps?
So they banned Train and we banned Nuke. We definitely expected them to pick Cobblestone because our record on Cobble was really bad and their record on the map is really good, especially on LAN. So we were fully prepared to play Cobblestone and we picked Inferno, which I don't entirely know if they were completely ready for. Because they would've probably expected Mirage from us because that's the map we usually pick. But we decided to pick Inferno against them and it worked out for us. The last map was Cache, what we were also ready to play and it would've been a good map for us. So the whole veto process went really well for us, I would say.
Tell me why did you then decide to not pick Mirage and go for Inferno?
I think we picked Inferno because we felt like our Inferno right now is good, and we felt like their play on the map was kind of shaky, we watched how they played and we saw some exploits, some weaknesses in some areas that we could take advantage of. It ended up working out for us. I think we were just really comfortable picking Inferno against them overall.
Let's start with the Cobblestone game, that was a bit of a back and forth and in the end, you closed it out. Tell me what the key details were in that game?
Cobble was really frustrating, the first half for sure, mainly because there were a lot of force buy rounds, and the first eco rounds... We won pistol and in the second round I screwed up pretty bad. There was a lot of rounds that I feel like we had a good read on the opposing team and we knew what they were going to do and we were set up for it, but somehow it just didn't work out for us, we were missing our kills, or people got timing'd, or something went wrong.
But I think, overall, we had a really good read on our CT side, but what helped us the most in that half was clutches and it was the same with the next half. On the T side we had a lot of clutches, we had Tyler who won three clutches I think, and Tim and Stew won a couple of clutches I think so they carried us pretty hard on Cobble I would say. It was looking really shaky for us, but we pulled through in the end, I'm really happy. Our T side was good, but I think overall our CT side could've been a lot better. We could've put up a better fight but Cobble was a big win for us, especially because we knew how good they were and it was their pick.
So tell me about Inferno then, you won the pistol, went up 3-0, and after that they came back and it was 5-3 for them. Tell me, from that point onward, what did you do?
I think we had an understanding of how their rotations were working and we went into some of our set strats that we knew would work against them. We did a couple of explosive plays where we went heavy B and I think towards the end of the half our executes started working, it started clicking and I feel like they gave us a more room towards the end and that helped us out a lot. Mainly just our executes saved us I would say.
At the beginning of the game, it seemed like G2 were pretty conservative with their force-buying, and as Inferno came on, we saw that changing and them force buying quite a bit. So how did you see that developing from your point of view?
Yeah, the force buys... I don't know if all of them were necessarily good for them, because I feel like sometimes they overdid it. But they are the type of team you have to be ready for to do that. We know that, even though you break their money, they will buy again. If they know that you have low money, they will buy, for sure. So we had to basically be prepared for a buy round almost every round. That what kept happening, they kept buying, they kept doing these fast strats and I think overall we were prepared for it and we knew that was how they were going to play, with no respect and a really aggressive playstyle. We were prepared for it so it worked out really well for us.
While on the topic of pistols and force buys, we had the changes to all the pistols happen, except the CZ that stayed the same, and teams had a bit of time to adapt to it, and along with that there is the aimpunch change. How do you feel the force buys and the whole meta right now? Is there something out of balance for you?
I don't think it's out of balance, I think it's pretty good right now. Force buys are at a point where they could be pretty dangerous, but it's not a threat to a point where you can't handle it. If you play anti-force buys correctly, whether on CT or T, then you will be fine with the guns. It's still a fifty-fifty, force buys are a big risk for sure, but I don't think that it's at a point where it's out of balance, I don't think that Tec-9's, CZ's, P250's are at a point where you have to make a change to make it worse or whatever. I think it's good right now.
Lastly, talking to RUSH before the event, he mentioned that if you go past G2 that you have a chance to go far. Coming up next it's either Astralis or fnatic, both teams with a different playstyle to G2, so how do you see that matchup?
I think that we have a really good chance of going far and I think that our next matchup is actually really good for us as well, Astralis or fnatic. I think we would prefer to play fnatic, but if we do play fnatic, but if we do play Astralis then we can still put up a good fight and, overall, I would say that everyone is really confident and comfortable after this win. I think it put us in a good place with our mentality and our mindset, so I think anything is possible, we just got to take it game by game.