C9 nearly made a miraculous comeback, but ultimately fell short of winning the NA-EU battle.
In this interview, we speak to C9 Mitch to talk about his narrow loss to Fnatic, his thoughts on Fracture, and what C9’s strongest quality as a team is.
I need to start out by asking about that Fracture game. You guys fell down early in the first half and when Fnatic got to 12 rounds you made a comeback. Talk to me about what happened in overtime that shifted that momentum
C9 Mitch: I think they changed up the pace with how they’re playing. They decided to push their side and play more aggressively. That caught us off guard a little bit and then we misplayed heavy. We were calling the swings together and our communication was a little lackluster. That was the downfall. Also, I think somebody said they whiffed an easy kill at the end or did not reload. It really boils down to individual micro mistakes and getting caught off-guard.
For some players, this is their first LAN in quite some time. Do you feel at times, nerves came into play especially during these really stressful moments?
C9 Mitch: We weren’t too nervous. I feel like on Icebox, there were a few nerves once we started going down and we were losing rounds on attack side. But after switching the defense and chaining together on rounds, I feel like everyone just built up their confidence. We were all calming each other down and playing as a team which gave us all confidence. I’m pretty proud of the guys for staying together when we’re down by so many rounds on two maps. We lost, but I am not as disappointed because my team stuck together.
I feel like this was a really good series for you individually. What was it like returning to the stage again?
C9 Mitch: I don’t know if the cams are showing me, but being back on stage was huge for my concentration. Onstage, I felt like I was a robot for most of the games. I was really locked in throughout that series. Even though we lost, I feel good about how I played and how I was so focused.
Many people had Fnatic rated relatively lower for an EMEA team. Going into that series, what was your view of Fnatic?
C9 Mitch: Oh, we knew they were good. But I feel like we took too long to adapt to what they were doing. They also changed up how they played from previous like boards and matches. So we had to kind of just try and figure it out. Like as we went along, and try and adapt. So yeah, they’re a pretty tough team.
Throughout the series, we saw Cloud9 struggle early on in Maps 2 and 3, but then put up much better second halves. Was that a result of great leadership and mentality or Fnatic playing worse?
C9 Mitch: A little bit of both. Actually, we noticed that Fnatic was pushing a lot like when we made noise on one side of the map, and they would automatically push the other or they would just try and make a play. And we just shut them down right away. So they were kind of feeding it to us. But we’re doing a good job in the middle on the slow down and, you know, wait for Vanity’s, mid-round calls.
What was said during those timeouts to kind of keep the morale high that you could come back?
C9 Mitch: We weren’t down on ourselves. We knew we had a chance, you know, taking your own by our own. So we said chill out like, we don’t have to, you know, fast, play basically on the map. We could just wait for them to push. So I think it was a good call.
Something we saw for the first time in competitive play was Fracture. What is your team’s perspective on fracture, the casters said NA thinks it’s defense-oriented and EU thinks its offense, does this correlate with C9?
C9 Mitch: I think it’s offense-oriented. There’s a lot of like, you know, a lot of different things you can do on fracture with four different ways to get into bomb sites. It is attack if played correctly.
it’s lower on my list I don’t like it that much. It’s it feels kind of random to play because people were just taking spots every round and just fighting it you know, it’s a random spot every round.
I recently spoke to Vision Striker’s Buzz and he actually had you guys as one of the top 4 teams at the event. From your perspective, what is C9’s strongest quality as a team?
C9 Mitch: I guess our explosiveness with how many people could have like a dominant game and also with vanities, leadership, and calling thinking helps a lot.
You will now face Full Sense in the losers bracket. Going into that series. What is one thing you would like to work on to possibly prep yourself for a rematch with Fnatic?
C9 Mitch: For Full Sense, we’re gonna just play our game. I think we have good comms good teamwork on that day and our energy’s high we’ll be able to take them down. As for Fnaticand vision strikers, I feel like we have good you know, good VODs I guess now to watch and we’ll make our adjustments, I guess, going into the game.
Images via VALORANT flickr.