RUSH: "If anything it was pure firepower that we lost with Stewie"
What do you think about these past few months with Cloud9? The team has been on a bit of a rollercoaster since winning the Major in Boston, how has it been during these months, especially with the departure of Stewie?
After the major we did well at cs_summit and had two bad showings at two European events. Then we bombed out in China [E/N: at WESG] and that’s when Stewie left. Then we got FNS. We didn’t have much of a chance to practice with him as we got into Marseille pretty quickly. There we had a decent showing I’d say, we beat FaZe and G2. After that it kinda went downhill. I think it’s because we’re trying to find a way to balance practice and the tournaments, as after Marseille we had IEM Sydney, immediately after. So not much time to prepare for that event, we kind of bombed out there.
Then obviously here we didn’t do nearly as well as we should have. We didn’t beat any good teams, we beat Sharks and that’s it. Lost to FaZe 16-3, and then lost to Heroic pretty one-sidedly. So I think that it comes down to practice. But we didn’t have much coming in here. It’s more about FNS finding his way in the team, trying to learn how to call with the players he has. He’s already played with a few of us, with tarik and autimatic, but he hasn’t played with me and Skadoodle. So he’s trying to find out what we like best, but it’s going to take time. I think over time, once we get more comfortable, it will be better.
Losing a player as talented as Stewie can’t be easy to recover from. What do you think the team has missed from Stewie, and what qualities does FNS bring to the table to help fill that void?
When Stewie left we lost, I guess, the playmaking ability and then also midgame calling. For the playmaking ability anyone can step up and do that in this team, so not a huge deal that we lost that. In terms of midgame calling, FNS can do that as well. So both things that we lost, we still have them. I think if anything it was pure firepower that we lost with Stewie, because he was a really skilled fragger. Other people will have to pick up the slack like me and Skadoodle for example. I think that if we perform we will be just as good as before.
Going back to DreamHack Marseille, you did well there, finishing top 8, but here you got a very early exit. Any thought on what went wrong here compared to what went right in Marseille?
I think in DreamHack we just played how we normally play, I guess you could say, using our normal strats etc. And then we came in here trying to change things up with FNS to learn his call style, to learn how he wants to call for us. We’re not fully used to it and it’s like a learning process basically. Adding to that we’ve only had seven to eight practice days at home, or even here. We haven’t had a good amount of practice, which kind of sucks. Coming into these next events, we’re going to have a good amount of practice, two weeks of solid practice. After this point, if we don’t get results it’s going to be concerning.
Let’s talk a bit about Cloud9 and the tendency to change the IGL quite often? Can you shed some light on why that happens so frequently? Do you have any sort of plan for situations when you change the IGL?
We had tarik as an IGL for the whole time that I was on Cloud9. I know Cloud9 is a team that changed IGL a lot, but since I joined, we had tarik the whole time. So it was pretty consistent up until the point where FNS joined. At that point he took over calling, and that was a no-brainer because we picked up an IGL and he has to call. I think that as long as we have FNS, we’re going to have him call because he knows how to do it well, he’s done it for pretty much his whole career. So I don’t think tarik will be back to calling. Maybe down the line, but for now FNS is the caller and there’s no reason to change it.
What do you think are some of the changes or major areas of play that need to improve in order to get back to being one of, if not the best team in North America?
I would say our mid-round situations are not the best, let’s say 4v5, 5v4 or 3v3 situations that you encounter a lot but don’t always think or talk about a lot. We’ve been talking more about it lately, and I think if we get more repetitions in, in LANs and in practice, we’ll get better at that. If you watch the rounds you lose, sometimes you lose 4v2, these are rounds we should never lose and if we have ways of playing these situations out, then you’ll never lose those. So as long as we iron that out I think we’ll come back to form.
Photo credit: ESL