nafany: "I gave a lot of players a lot of freedom and that cost us; the main fault is still on me"
Cloud9's IGL opened about the team's issues in an exit interview at the BLAST Premier Spring Final.
A last-place finish in Washington D.C. brought to an end an underwhelming season for Cloud9. The team featuring two of the four best players of 2022, Sergey "Ax1Le" Rykhtorov and Dmitry "sh1ro" Sokolov, not only failed to add any LAN silverware to their trophy cabinet but also missed out on the last CS:GO Major completely after crashing out of the RMR.
Following the eliminating loss to Vitality at BLAST, where Cloud9 were looking set to force the decider until two team kills ruined their chances to convert map point, Vladislav "nafany" Gorshkov spoke about the team's struggles on the broadcast, taking responsibility for the underwhelming results.
"We made a lot of mistakes, not even on the server, but obviously, outside too. We have to make some right decisions right now," nafany said when asked about the game, but didn't want to elaborate on what he meant by out-of-server mistakes initially. "It must stay inside the team."
He described the team kill round at 15-13 as "a bit unlucky", before adding that the loss to Vitality "isn't about one round, it is about the whole game."
"First of all, we must think about Overpass because it was our map pick and we lost it... not the best way. Our CT side is not what we want to see. I just know that everyone in our team is a good player and we can do better, but we didn't."
The in-game leader admitted that the mentality going into IEM Dallas, where they finished 7-8th, wasn't the best, but said it wasn't the same at BLAST. "We were ready to beat anyone."
In the second part of the interview, he opened up more after questions from James "BanKs" Banks and Mathieu "Maniac" Quiquerez about the public scrutiny he has been put under due to Cloud9's lacking results:
"Of course, it is a bit stressful. I'm only 21 right now, I'm kinda young and I have a lot of time in my career, I believe. Obviously, people don't always understand how teams work, especially some analysts which were never in a team. Everyone who works with people understands that it is not one man making decisions, it is more about the team, everyone is communicating with everyone, and some decisions are not about the coach or IGL, it is more about players.
"I'm not saying it is not my fault or something like that, the main fault is still on me, and I'm trying to be realistic. I'm not a person that will be depressed because someone didn't listen to me or something like that. And we need to understand that if some decisions are accepted, it is the team that accepts them. In my opinion, I'm not as bad as people think, and I believe that in the future I will be a better version of myself."
When questioned about what he should do better, nafany was clear. "As a leader, I must push my opinions forward and that is it. That is in my opinion the reason we struggled in some situations."
"It is pretty fine when you have five smart players and you are letting them do whatever they want. But some decisions need to be pushed by one man, and with my role, it must be me because I am the IGL obviously. And I didn't do it, I gave a lot of players a lot of freedom and that cost us a lot."
Finally, the question of changes was brought up. "I don't know [if we will keep the same roster], the future will show us. It is better to ask groove or even Jack [Jack Etienne, Cloud9 CEO], because players are not making decisions about roster moves. And that is actually the right thing, in my opinion, because we are just players and the coaching staff can have the whole picture of what is going on."
Cloud9 are currently ranked sixth in the world, with their next event expected to be IEM Cologne kicking off at the end of July.