We got a hold of Jake "Stewie2K" Yip, who gave us his point of view on SK's struggles with communication and elaborated on the team's leadership after Marcelo "coldzera" David took over the role following IEM Sydney.
After returning from IEM Sydney with their second group stage exit in a row behind them, SK have now got off to a good start at ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals, as they took down NiP in overtime on Inferno.
After talking to Marcelo "coldzera" David about the team's issues with communication in Australia, we caught up with Jake "Stewie2K" Yip as well to find out his point of view on the matter. SK's newest addition also elaborated on the change in in-game leadership after IEM Sydney in our next interview from Dallas:
Obviously, you have had quite disappointing results during your first month with SK and you've shown your frustration with that on Twitter. Can you tell me about the struggles from your point of view, particularly the communication side?
I think I'm starting to learn the level they are at in English, I've got to understand how to communicate to them because if I communicate too fast in chaotic situations, it's hard for them to understand. A lot of the time in LAN matches it gets really chaotic and it's hard to stay calm, so when I communicate I know that sometimes they don't understand me, I have to repeat myself but say it slowly.
But this team is really good at staying composed and staying calm and I adapt to the environment pretty easily, so if I can stay calm and just communicate calmly, I think communication wouldn't be a problem.
Is this something that will quickly improve with time?
Yeah, with time they'll get used to it. I know cold is taking some English classes just for his own benefit and trying to benefit the team as well. I think boltz is getting better as well, he's starting to understand some of the keywords that we need to use, and there's usually no problem with fer and FalleN - sometimes there are problems here and there, little problems, but it's not a big deal.
Could you compare SK to Cloud9 in terms of how the system works and from the leadership perspective, as someone who led Cloud9 for the majority of the time?
If I were to compare our leadership roles with FalleN and cold, I'd say it's very different styles. If I were to compare Cloud9 to SK, what Cloud9's good at is what SK's bad at, but what SK is really good at is what Cloud9's missing.
There are both pros and cons, but we're missing the key points I think, but it seems they're always willing to learn, they're always willing to continue to practice hard, so I think with just a little more time, when we have off time, we can improve a lot better and hopefully they can take in what I say into consideration.
coldzera took over the IGL after Sydney, are there any major differences between him and FalleN?
cold and FalleN are pretty similar when it comes to the qualities they have as leaders. The way they work is the same, I think, cold has a lot more structure, but FalleN likes to give a lot more freedom. On the maps that require a lot of structure, cold started getting ideas and telling us how we need to play as a team and how we can react, and that helped out on a lot of maps.
FalleN still calls on some maps - cold tries to call on some maps, but FalleN's better at calling on those maps, so I think we're keeping with it, but cold gives a lot of input. That's something the outside doesn't really see. He gives a lot of input and he makes more structure within the team.
Do they actually switch depending on the map you're playing?
Yeah, they both call and I think it's always been like this even when I wasn't on the team, a lot of people didn't know that. They both still call, there's no bickering or anything, no arguments, it's just when someone has a good idea, then they're willing to do it.
Although you barely had any time between Sydney and Dallas, it seems like you have started off on the right foot here, defeating NiP in overtime this time. How is the team feeling now and going into the rest of the tournament?
Sydney was a big wakeup call for us, we should be putting up more of a fight against the teams we played. Now I think we feel the fire in us, we started practicing a lot harder, and we're not underestimating anyone anymore, we're just starting to play our own game, with no fear and playing calm.