autimatic: "At Starladder we came with really low energy"
Our next interview from Katowice is with Timothy "autimatic" Ta, whose Cloud9 come into the IEM stop following a disappointing run at StarSeries. The American player talked about the group stage exit in Kiev, Cloud9's surprisingly close match against TyLoo in Poland, and his great performance as of late.
Cloud9 advanced to the upper bracket semi-final after a narrow Inferno win against TYLOO, who would have been able to come back from a 9-14 deficit had it not been for Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham's 1v3 clutch in the 29th round.
We then got a hold of Timothy "autimatic" Ta to find out what had gone wrong at StarSeries and what Cloud9 focused on in between the tournaments to prepare for IEM Katowice. He also shared his thoughts on their Liquid matchup, coming up later today, and the level he has shown lately.
Can you first tell me about your first experience at StarSeries, which was clearly a disappointing campaign, not making it to the playoffs at least. How did you feel about that result and what did you do in between to prepare for Katowice?
At Starladder I think we came with really low energy, we were still prepping and doing everything that we normally would, but it just didn't seem like we all wanted to be there. I think that's partially because we've been going to a lot of tournaments recently and we've been spending a lot of time on the road. But for this tournament at Katowice we spent a lot of time practicing, we had like three or four days to practice since we got knocked out early. Hopefully that practice will pay off.
Could you go into more details, what you felt like was missing or needed to be fixed?
The root problem that we have is our communication. Some days everyone is communicating really well and some days people have lower energy and maybe they don't communicate as much as they normally do. That changes the dynamic of the team, because if one guy is communicating a lot and suggesting that we do this, or now he's going to flash for us, whatever it might be, then obviously we get used to that. And then if that isn't there the next time, our whole structure is weaker and not as fluid. I think that's the main part. Something that we did is we addressed it and we're working on it.
You had a fairly slow start against TyLoo here; while you were in the lead most of the time, they managed to catch up at the very end and made it surprisingly close. What were the issues after the 14-9 point?
I think we were just trying to force the issue, there were a lot of times where we would come up with a plan in the freezetime and sometimes when you come up with a plan, you still have to adapt, depending on what the other team is doing and that's not something that we did. We just tried to do exactly what we said we would do and often times that meant running through a smoke... The context would change and we wouldn't adapt and I think that's probably the reason why they were able to come back. I think we were also giving them banana control really easily, which played a huge factor in us having to force the issue.
You had a great tournament at StarSeries individually, unfazed by the results and keeping the team alive a lot of the time, and here you started off really well too. Is it simply down to form, or has something changed for you? What are your thoughts on your performance lately?
When tarik and RUSH first joined the team I was feeling really uncomfortable, because some of the roles were swapped and I felt like my role was becoming more established, whereas before I was more versatile and I could do kind of what I wanted. Now I feel like I'm figuring out how to work within my role, and also I feel like my teammates do a good job of helping me, telling me what I could do, or what they're going to do. It's definitely a huge factor in me being more comfortable. That ultimately just leads to more confidence. Yeah, I'm feeling really good right now.
Your next match will be up against Liquid, your recent loss to them in the final at cs_summit comes to mind. How are you feeling going into the match against who might be your biggest rivals at the moment?
Whenever we play Liquid it's pretty fun, because they're our friends outside of the game, like for instance nitr0 and steel I'm really close to them I feel like. So it's really fun to play against your friends. But we're still going to try to do everything we can to win. Something that a lot of teams do is they put too much pressure onto a particular match, that's something that I think we've done in the past, and that's not something that we're going to do at this tournament. We definitely still want to win, but we're going to try to play our game.
Given that only three teams make it through to the playoffs and playing in a group with Liquid, SK, and Astralis, how do you feel about your chances at the tournament?
I definitely feel good - I feel better, because we had a lot of time to practice. Losing at StarSeries was obviously sad, but it was a good thing as well, because we had more time to realize why we were losing and we had more time to practice, so like I said, I hope all that practice that we put in is going to pay off at this event.