We sat down with Stewie2K after his team's 16-6 victory on Train against Astralis.
Cloud9's day started out against the tournament's underdogs, TheMongolz, and then continued with a bout against the Danes of Astralis. Jake "Stewie2K" Yip and co. were able to seal the deal on both matches to close out their first day of play.
Stewie2K talks to HLTV.org about struggling to adapt to new teammates early in the season, the current atmosphere in Cloud9, and the usefulness of round robin tournaments among other topics in the following interview.
You guys got two wins against TheMongolz and Astralis. The latter was particularly one-sided, did you expect it to go the way it did? Did you go into it thinking you'd take it in such manner?
I was a little surprised by the outcome. It's hard to say who the favorites are. I think we should have beaten them at ELEAGUE, but they brought it back and won. Here it's kind of hard to say. We won 16-6 and that's a big confidence booster for us going forward in the tournament. It's kind of hard to say if we were the better team today because I think we did play well but it's hard to say because device is sick and couldn't make it to the first match and his team isn't at 100% right now. I don't know if we could beat a team like that consistently.
Talking about confidence. Winning a couple smaller events, DreamHack Denver and iBUYPOWER, how has that affected the atmosphere in the team?
The atmosphere is really good right now. I feel like everyone can take really good criticism during downtime between tournaments, and everyone is really energetic when practicing at home. We're all good friends outside the game so we're able to talk to each other and we can talk business with business and personal relationships with personal relationships.
As far as DreamHack it was a good event to win because that let us know where we stood amongst those teams, and iBUYPOWER matches were another test in North America and I think we're in a good spot right now.
What about a bigger event like this, do you think you are at a level where you could go all the way, or where do you think you stand?
I think coming off these two wins this gives us a really big boost. We're playing really confidentand hopefully we can play like this consistently. As far as this tournament goes I think we're looking good and we can make it out of groups.
RUSH and Tarik have been on the team a while now, since the beginning of the season. You're starting to get the hang of things. How has that progression gone?
I feel like when they first joined the team and Tarik wanted to call we progressed really fast. We played a few tournaments to test the waters but after that, we progressed really fast. We always had new strats coming, we were working on finding our system, and after we found our system it was kind of hard to progress at the same rate every day so we just try to find new things and be as innovative as possible and keep up the work.
You guys struggled online with Pro League, not making it to Odense, what happened there? Is there also something there with the classic online vs. LAN debate?
I think at the beginning of the season we took too long with our roster changes. We changed at the beginning of the season and that was a big mistake from us because that's putting in two new players, one of them the in-game leader, into a team they don't know. It took us a few months to progress and by then we were in a really bad place in EPL. We were able to bring it back a bit but when it mattered we couldn't make it.
As far as online and on LAN, I think if we would have made the roster change before and replayed ESL Pro League at the level we are now we would have definitely made the EPL finals.
Let's talk tournament format, what do you think about the round robin groups and only three matches in the arena?
Round robin is really good, especially for us. We get to play every opponent in our group and even if we don't make it out of groups it's very productive because we played every team which means you have demos to watch, to learn from mistakes, and you know what works or doesn't against the top teams.
As far as the two days in the arena, I don't think players will be happy about that since players want to have the feeling of being on stage and feeling the atmosphere of the crowd. I think players might be a bit disappointed, but you can't really complain.
And personally, for you, the Bay is home. Is that an extra motivation to go deep in this tournament?
Being from the Bay definitely gives me a big motivation because I've seen a lot of tweets from people saying they went to the same school I did and they were following up on me, so it is a big motivation. I'm hoping the crowd will be good!