Cloud9 now must go to that place they are all too familiar with at Worlds, being the underdogs.
Cloud9 is in familiar territory at the 2022 League of Legends World Championship. The North American first seed has it all to do with Group A as they sit bottom with an 0-2 record. C9, often known for their aggressive early games, have failed to live up to the expectations they have put upon themselves and have been dismantled by both Fnatic and EDG. Following their match against the LPL representatives, C9 Blaber sat down with Esports.gg's Marn for an exclusive interview.
Marn: Thank you for taking the time to talk. I know it's not easy after a loss. But I have to ask the obvious question what went wrong today?
C9 Blaber: I think that we just got too far behind early, and then we took a 2v2, we lost it, we got collapsed on first and I definitely misplayed there. Then I think we got too far behind, and we just kept trying to fight instead of waiting, I guess. And then yeah, kind of snowballed from there.
Marn: Would you say the constant fighting came from the pressure of knowing if we don't make successful plays the game will fade away?
C9 Blaber: I didn't feel like that in the game. I think in yesterday's game [against Fnatic] for sure, It was like, yeah, we're getting outscaled. But today, I don't think that's necessarily true. I think we just made mistakes today. And yeah, we just lost because we took some bad fights. And we made some mistakes. I mean, other reasons as well, right, but I think we got too far behind in the early game.
Marn: North America has received some criticism this tournament for the way they have been drafting, perhaps trying to be too cute with the early game drafts. Do you think NA is in a 'catch-22' scenario where if you pick aggressive comps and lose you get flamed, but if you sit back and try to scale and lose you get flamed?
C9 Blaber: For sure. It's like, playing an aggressive play style requires the team that's playing aggressive to do well, right? For NA, in general, people will always be like regardless of what you lose on if you lose on scaling, they'll be like, oh, they should play more aggressive, you lose on aggressive, they should play more scaling. But at some point, you just want to play what you think is best. And then when you realise that what you think is best isn't working out, that's when you change.
And maybe after these games, we'll start to change our playstyle, and maybe play less aggressively, more passive. We're not sure yet, but we were just picking what we thought was best, you know, we had counter-picks that obviously didn’t work out, and our game plans didn't work out. But I think we're just trying to pick what we think is best, and sometimes it doesn't work out.
"I still think we can make it out I don't think that it's just doomed for us" - C9 Blaber
Marn: That actually leads me to my next question. You and Cloud9 are no strangers to having to do things the hard way. At Worlds last year you got out after an 0-3 start, was there anything from that experience that you took which will help you this time?
C9 Blaber: I mean, for sure I still think we can make it out I don't think that it's just doomed for us. But it doesn't mean that I want to start 0-3 as well. Like, I was hoping that we could obviously win, right? Just because we made it out last year going 0-3 doesn't mean we'll make it out this year going 0-3. Ideally, if we don't go 0-3 right, we can win our next match versus T1. I'm still definitely really sad about these games. But that doesn't mean that we can’t still make it out.
Marn: I want to ask about the meta, because in the playoffs, it just clicked for you after the CLG series, it seemed like everything was playing perfectly, and enchanters were able to buff up you and Berserker specifically and you were able to win quite comfortably. Has the change from enchanters to more engage supports changed the way you guys have had to approach the game?
C9 Blaber: I think that the meta shift for sure wasn’t great for us, but I still think we can be good in this meta. I think that we’re just struggling a lot as a team to figure out what our best playstyle is, and what we want to win on, and I think that the change probably hurt us more because our bot lane was carrying a lot, right?
Berserker was able to carry a lot of games on Zeri Sivir and with ADC champs being hard nerfed so that you can’t carry [as hard], plus the Worlds players being a lot better, we have to figure out a different way to play. I thought we were figuring it out decently well, but it’s been a rough first two games.
Marn: Focussing on you specifically, how are you finding the jungle meta? I know Maokai has been heavily dominant in a lot of these games. Is there a reason why he has been so dominant or is it just that players haven’t been able to find the counter picks for him yet?
C9 Blaber: I think Maokai just provides a lot to the team comp. He has decent farming speed, he has a lot of crowd control, and gank pressure, he scales pretty well, and he’s not easy to kill, right, he’s very tanky. I think he just provides a lot, that’s why he’s very strong. Same as why Sejuani is strong as well. But yeah, it's probably why they're pretty strong.
Marn: Wrapping it up, is there anything you would like to say to the Cloud9 fans cheering you on both in the venue and at home?
C9 Blaber: Yeah, I think that we haven't had the greatest time, but we haven't always had a great start as well in the past. So I'm hoping that we can bounce back and kind of figure out what we really want to play, what we want to do going forward, and I'm personally pretty confident still that we can make it out. Obviously, it sucks, you know, to get memed on for now, but I really think that we can do it.