We caught up with Jake "Stewie2K" Yip after Cloud9 defeated Tempo Storm to discuss his personal form, and the team's progress since coming together.
You just took down Tempo Storm in convincing fashion to open up the event, how does it feel to be in Denver and start with a win?
We're kind of disappointed that we had to show up at this LAN, not because this LAN is bad, but because we failed the qualifier for EPICENTER, and we were looking forward to that. This was our second option, but we're happy to be here.
The last time you played Inferno on LAN was at ELEAGUE Premier, where you got rolled by Astralis in the last map of the series. Have you made any tweaks on the map since then?
We made a few tweaks, I think we fixed our fundamental mistakes and how we take control of the map. Now we are taking things more methodically and trying not to lose as much HP while taking map control. Inferno is a grenade-heavy map, you lose half your HP sometimes trying to take control of something. I think that is the main thing that we had to fix.
You have spoken previously about how moving to the sides of the maps has impacted your play, how is that being addressed, either personally or on a team level?
It feels alright adjusting to it right now, but on a few maps we sometimes use different lurkers, so it gets kind of confusing. It is going to take a lot of time for us to practice and work out. Moving to the side has also helped me in some ways, I play a lot off my teammates now, instead of thinking about the end goal of the round, or about how to setup my teammates.
You turned in a stellar performance against Tempo Storm, was that a result of some of these adjustments, or just everything going right?
Everything was clicking, I think the important part was just playing with confidence and knowing that we are one of the top teams here. We shouldn't be afraid of these teams - if anything they should be afraid of us. We just have to come out with confidence, and if we stay confident and aggressive, we can go a long way.
There's an interesting mix of teams here, between you guys, some lower-level North American sides, and the Europeans BIG, LDLC and mousesports. What do you think of playing these teams you don't get to see all the time?
When we compare these teams to us, we feel like are favorites, but at the same time we can't underestimate them. mousesports have been playing lots of LANs recently, they have lots of experience. Renegades and CLG, we play them online, we know they can beat us. We can't take our foot off the gas pedal with any of these teams. We just have to keep looking forward, play confident, and have a game plan for every match.
Speaking of online play, you started the ESL Pro League season pretty poorly, but are currently in decent position. How are you feeling about the remainder of the season?
It was definitely scary at the start, because we had just formed our new team, and we had no practice. We tried to be structured [right away], and it caused a lot of confusion, and holes in our T-side. I feel like a lot of teams exploited us. Over time, we have been progressing really well, and we are starting to become a really strong team. We're climbing back in the EPL season. I think we are in a really good spot right now, we just have to get one more 2-0, and then if we 1-1 everyone else we should be safe.
You aren't too far removed from playing at the lower levels of competition like ESEA Premier, what do you think about the current crop of Premier teams in North America?
I feel like the Premier level is getting better and better, as we play some teams like Rise Nation. They are still kind of a team that is really predictable, though. There is still a big gap between the bottom tier Professional teams and the higher up ones. If I were to compare the top Premier teams to the lower Professional teams, that gap is smaller, I think.