After claiming two wins in the LCS Super Week, C9’s Fudge talks about the team’s performance and his transition to the midlane role.
The LCS Spring Split Super week was a rather successful one for Cloud9. The team that was recently in the news for letting go of their Head Coach, LS, went 3-0 in Week 4 of the LCS Spring Split. Cloud9’s players have bounced back and are currently at the top of the LCS standings. Following their victory over 100Thieves, Esports.gg’s Piratechnics spoke with the team’s ‘new’ midlaner, Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami.
You’ve just taken down 100Thieves. Both of your teams were 5-2, you’ve now improved to 6-2. How does it feel to get a win over a top-rated team?
Cloud9 Fudge: It feels pretty good, especially after we lost to CLG as well as Team Liquid. I think Team Liquid is probably the top team right now in terms of CL, obviously not in terms of standings. I think Flyquest is probably also the top team to beat, who we will be facing tomorrow.
But I’m pretty happy we beat 100Thieves, just because there’s a lot of big names and also they are considered to be one of the top teams in the League. It adds a bit of confidence I guess, especially considering what I was playing so far. I have been playing pretty standard Champions this weekend.
I’m pretty happy with how I’ve been performing. I think I could obviously be playing a lot better. I think the team can be playing a lot better. But I’d say both games this weekend went pretty clean.
It seems like you’ve been playing with a lot of confidence. I know things have shifted up in the Cloud9 camp. You’ve been playing more standard comps. You yourself have been able to find the types of champions that, let’s say, get to do damage? Has this been relieving for you? Is this more fun as you transition to mid lane?
Cloud9 Fudge: I would say it’s probably more fun just because the decisions you make usually have more impact in the game. Obviously with enchanters you can play very poorly and still do your job, I guess?
But if you play poorly on Ahri or Ryze and you get behind you are just useless. So it’s nice to have more impact on the game. In general, when it comes to my own decision-making, my own skill, it matters a lot. So it’s high stakes, I guess.
But I still enjoyed playing enchanters because it’s a different way to play the game. it feels like you’re being innovative whilst playing it, cause no one really knows how to play against it, no one really knows what it does. It’s really nice to be innovative, It’s always nice to be the first person to do something. But I still enjoy playing the damage carry type champions.
So you think there’s a chance we get to see Soraka or Ivern coming out later in this Split?
Cloud9 Fudge: Yeah, definitely. If we draft in a way where those champions are good, then we will play them. It’s just right now, we don’t draft that way.
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“Max Waldo is more like a coach that asks more questions. And sort of facilitates conversations”: Fudge
Fair enough. So with the transition you guys have made in your coaching stuff. Max Waldo is stepping up. How does that change things for the team in the last week or so?
Cloud9 Fudge: I would say Max is more like a coach that asks more questions. And sort of facilitates conversations.
He generally is OK being the one that is asking questions and not saying too much. Because he thinks it’s important that people can think for themselves. And he is trying really hard to make people come to conclusions on their own and try to guide them through.
I think that’s something he does really really well as the Head Coach. And as a coach in general, when I was in top lane and he was individually coaching me, he would always do that with me. Talk me through my thought processes and ask me really good questions.
I think his ability to ask questions is probably the best out of anyone I know. He is very very good at asking questions in general. He helps a lot with getting people to explain why they do things in game.
Has he been giving you the same type of assistance as you’ve been moving into the mid role?
Cloud9 Fudge: I think he almost taught me how to ask questions myself. I can sort of think through things on my own. But also I’d say the person who has been helping me the most in the mid-lane has been Veigar v2. He’s definitely been very very helpful because he understands all the matchups I’m playing.
He also can test them for me and then show them to me. I think he’s been a very big help. Anytime I ask him something it’s like he has already thought through the things I’m asking. So I think it’s very very helpful that I have Veigar v2.
Also Max is obviously around and he is helping me. But I would say his focus is more on the holistic team rather than just me. Because he is the head coach, he is no longer the positional coach anymore.
Veigar v2 has sort of been helping me a lot more. As well as autumn, who is also a translator and coach. He is also a midlaner, he has been helping me.
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Sounds like the Cloud9 support system is going strong. Even with a few changes it still looks good. I want to ask a little bit about your prep coming into this week.
Because quite apart from any of the other stuff going on, you now have the Super Week, three games to play. Tomorrow’s match is against Flyquest. How does preparing for three games instead of two change the calculus coming into the week?
Cloud9 Fudge: It’s definitely a lot harder because you have one less scrim day and an extra opponent. But I would say our preparation is still better this week, despite having the disadvantage or handicap of having one less scrim day and an extra opponent.
I would still say we are doing a lot better cause at the start of the week we prepped a lot better compared to how the enemy team will draft compared to previous weeks where we sort of didn’t prepare well against the opponent.
We just tried to play comps that we thought were good not knowing how the enemy team would ban or pick. I think it’s been really helpful from the way we approach the beginning of the week. Even though it’s the super week, I think we actually prepared the best this weekend compared to the other weekends.
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Now your opponents tomorrow, Flyquest, are also a top rated team. They have dropped even less games. Coming into this week did you consider them to be your toughest opponents?
Cloud9 Fudge: “I would say they are probably the toughest opponents. Yeah, I would say that’s my perception of them. I don’t think they are much better than 100Thieves. They are very much similar.
I definitely think that just because they are first place that their gameplay is very dominating or anything. When I watch their game, it’s not like they are a lot better individually, or they are drafting a lot better or they know something that the other teams don’t get yet. I don’t think they are steps ahead.
I think our game against them will be very much up to our own decision making, if we don’t make the crazy plays that we normally do. Sometimes we would try to gank bot and get triple kill. For eg. today, when Robert “Blaber” Huang tried to dive them in between towers. [I think] it was on Irelia when he ults over the wall. If we don’t make those sorts of decisions, I think we will likely win over Flyquest. But obviously, you don’t know (laughs).”
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It does seem like that is the tendency with some players and when you are hyped in some of the games that you try to go for the big dive and try to do the flip even if it’s 50-50. Do you think that is something you want to fully eliminate from your team and play as safe as possible or go occasionally crazy and see if you can get the big win?
Cloud9 Fudge: Whenever someone does a crazy play, it’s not in their mind that they think I’m going to go for this crazy play. A lot of the time, they think that they can do something and they just don’t understand well enough.
In my opinion, if we go into the decision with the awareness that if we don’t make this decision, it’s going to be a safer and less risky win. I think if we have that awareness and still go for it, to test the limits of what our champions can do, I think it’s actually OK. We are learning from that. I think it’s bad if we go into a decision and we don’t have any thoughts and we just mindlessly fight. That sort of decision is bad.
That sounds a lot like Soloq. That’s how it is in a lot of pro teams as well. This is something that Blaber has been criticized a lot in the past, going for these crazy risky flip plays. But I think now, he’s gotten a lot better at understanding the situation holistically in the game and not going for the unnecessary plays.
I do think it’s one of his biggest strengths that he does mechanically push the limits of his champions. I think that’s why he really outplays people mechanically a lot. He understands these fights very well. He understands damage very well. I think that’s his biggest strengths.
So I would not want to say something like ‘Never go for anything mechanical’, ‘Never outplay’, ‘Always go for the safe play’. I think that’s bad because it makes you not push the limits of your champion.
Did you want to say anything to the fans about your current form? I think people were worried it would ‘collapse’ [after the coaching change]. But reports of Cloud9’s demise seem to have been greatly exaggerated.
Cloud9 Fudge: Yeah, I still think our players are very good mechanically, very good individually. All understand their champions very well, especially with the champions in meta, I think we are probably the best mechanically.
Everyone except me on the team is the best in their role with the champions we are playing; I am obviously still learning the [mid lane] Champions. But I do think I am catching up very quickly with all the midlaners. So I am pretty happy with our progress regardless of all the drama that happened.