nafany: "I think we're always a title contender; the people sometimes think otherwise"
Having won IEM Dallas and placed third-fourth at the Roobet Cup, Cloud9 entered IEM Cologne in good form, and they have so far passed their first test with a comfortable victory against the new Outsiders squad.
As they head into their second match in Group B, where they will meet the winner of FURIA vs. Astralis on Saturday, we had the chance to talk to nafany about Cloud9's stance at the event as one of just three teams to win a big title this year.
The in-game leader talked about Group B being perceived as the significantly weaker of the two and briefly addressed the community's perception of Cloud9 not being a LAN team and people questioning the legitimacy of their IEM Dallas win due to it taking place in the post-Major 'hangover' period.
He also shared that the much-requested polo jerseys are going to be on display, and soon.
Having just beaten Outsiders, what was it like to play them and how different are they compared to the previous version?
In my opinion they have less firepower because of YEKINDAR, obviously, but overall Outsiders is not a team about firepower. They're more about tactics, strategies, and a unique playstyle, so in my opinion if we give them maybe two months they will be pretty good. But we need to understand that it's the last tournament before the player break, so maybe it's not the best time to make a shuffle. Maybe they should have played this tournament with the old roster, in my opinion.
They're missing this super-aggressive piece in YEKINDAR as you were saying, did you have to approach them differently compared to before?
Actually, I think they just have less experience than before, they have n0rb3r7 and fame, and they didn't play a lot in the tier-one scene. For example, Dust2, usually we have a tough CT side versus them and a good T side, but this time it was 12-3, so it wasn't like before.
You got to play the new Ancient for a while now and in this match. What are your thoughts on the changes and how it plays now?
The main difficulty was that you have to waste a lot of smokes on the T side at the start of the round, but I don't feel like something changed in this version. You're still trying to win duels and make a round out of it, but it's not really fair, I would say, because in my opinion Counter-Strike is more about teamplay and not about duels. But still, this map is better than before, I like it more than before, but I believe that Valve will make more changes on this map. Maybe they will add something, I don't know (laughs).
People see Group B as the significantly weaker group, what is your opinion on the group and how good of a chance you have to top it?
Obviously, a lot of people expect from us at least to make it to the playoffs, but as always we're just trying to do our best and not really think about what will be if we lose or win, or any other things. We're just playing the game and aren't really thinking about what people say. Also, we're usually not in the weakest groups, so this time we got lucky. It's the last tournament, a lot of players are tired because of the year being, let's say, chaos. A lot of things happened, a lot of players are under stress, everyone's really tired, and for example FaZe are not in the best shape right now. That's what I mean, a lot of big names are not really on the top level of their skill.
You're one of only three teams to win a big title this year after your win in Dallas. Do you think this puts you in the favorite discussion?
I think we're always a title contender, but that's only my thinking. The people sometimes think otherwise, I mean it's always like NAVI or FaZe are favorites, and then people might say like 'okay, maybe Cloud9 have some chance, but it's LAN, but it doesn't matter, they play on LAN for one year already, maybe they will win.'
But now you have a big title, surely something has changed?
Yeah, but now everyone is saying it was a tournament after the Major. We don't really care about it, we have good results except for the Major, that was awful.
Does this make you want to prove to people that you can do it?
Actually, I don't think we're trying to prove something. We already proved to ourselves that we can contend for titles. It was like half a year ago at BLAST. We're happy that we can compete with such great teams and we need to understand that, maybe we're not the youngest team now, but still we're pretty young, so it's nice to play versus such big names, and with such a big org.
How has it been to play for such a big organization, a lot of history behind it, but also a lot of support. What's been the biggest change?
First of all, while our team is now playing under Cloud9, the manager, analyst, coach, don't change. We're working like before, but the staff around us, it's like... For example Nick, our operator, he's a genius and it's really funny to make some content with him. In Gambit, it was Alex who was working with us, he's a really cool content maker, but he's also the manager, fitness trainer, mental coach, friend, and many other things, so it's really nice to see new faces and work with them. I really like it, and also it's just a different feeling when you're playing under a North American organization. In CIS it's not working like this.
When are the polos coming?
Actually, we already have them. We had it even in Dallas, I believe in one day we will play in them.