C9 Xeppaa: “I always knew that I would be able to achieve the highest level in VALORANT, not CS” cover image

C9 Xeppaa: “I always knew that I would be able to achieve the highest level in VALORANT, not CS”

C9 Xeppaa is ready to make a loser’s bracket run to the VCT Champions.

For Erick “Xeppaa” Bach, it was a tough pill to swallow losing against RISE in a close 2-1 series. Originally set to finish on October 27, the matched was delayed during Overtime because of a power outage to RISE player Shanks. As a result, the match was postponed to the next day where Cloud9 Blue went into the next day to replay Breeze from the pause. 

In this interview, Sage Datuin speaks to C9 Xeppaa about their delayed series against RISE, making the switch from CS:GO to VALORANT and reuniting with ex-Chaos teammate Anthony “Vanity” Malaspina.

Sage Datuin: Let’s start by talking about the power outage situation. You are in overtime and then you find out the match will be delayed into the next day. How do you feel about the solution for the outage?

Xeppaa: At the end of the day, I think it wasn’t great that the match was scheduled for the very next day. If it were going to be scheduled the next day, we could just finish out the map with their coach. Obviously, it would have sucked to use their coach, but that’s how it should have been done with just one round left. Starting the day by playing one round of Breeze and then waiting another 20 minutes was a bit tilting.

It was an issue for them too. Just sucks we got the short end of the stick. They probably got a lot of momentum off of that. Actually, in all honesty, I might just be bitter. It just really sucks to lose a series that way. We should really be more prepared to handle the unexpected. Just sad.

Many people view C9 as a strong contender for that final VCT Champions slot, but most did not expect RISE to perform like they are. What were your initial thoughts going into the matchup?

C9 Xeppaa: I definitely think they are competitors and should not be underrated. They have been together as a core for so much longer than we have. For us, we have only been playing together for two months at most. You can definitely say we are the favorites, but they are really good. They have been a team that’s been playing since beta so you cannot take that for granted. In my eyes, they are one of the best teams here.

This lineup is interesting because, while new, it is 3 players from Chaos Esports Club in CS:GO. Vanity just joined the lineup, but you have played with him and Leaf before. Is there an adjustment period that was needed?

C9 Xeppaa: For me personally, there was no adjustment period to get used to Vanity’s VALORANT leadership. I can’t speak for my teammates, but I talk to him almost every day even when he was on Version1. We play ranked and unranked games together all the time, so he always felt like he was on my side. The only difference is that we get to do that more now that we are on the same team. 

As for Leaf, the same is for him as well. All the former Chaos Esports Club people are very close. We all get together and just play games together and talk about VALORANT. The only difference is I get to expand on that friendship with Leaf and Vanity now that we are teammates again. 

Vanity was a teammate of Xeppaa's on Chaos Esports Club back in CS: GO.
Vanity was a teammate of Xeppaa's on Chaos Esports Club back in CS: GO.

Let’s talk about that transition from CS:GO to VALORANT. What has that been like for you? Back when you were in CS:GO, was VALORANT something you eventually wanted to enter?

C9 Xeppaa: In the long run, I always knew that I would be able to achieve the highest level in VALORANT, not CS. There is a lot better practice in North America in VALORANT than there is in CS:GO. Still, I was hesitant because I loved CS:GO so much. At the time, Floppy was playing the matches and I was just on the bench because I was competing for the roster spot with Poiz. As a team, we knew I was not ready to play like a duelist so I put in work for two months just constantly trying to prove my worth. I just wanted that opportunity to get a shot at doing something in this game. Just glad to be in this position right now. It was a fun experience working my way up here.

Xeppaa talks about his learning curve moving to Valorant from CS: GO.
Xeppaa talks about his learning curve moving to Valorant from CS: GO.

What’s been the toughest adjustment for you then? Is there a specific difference in VALORANT that cause you to struggle a lot?

C9 Xeppaa: The biggest challenge definitely were the abilities for me. I feel like that is something you need to learn if you are coming from CS:GO. Getting used to understanding that my utility isn’t just flashbangs and smokes was an interesting learning curve because it did change how I would approach certain site holds before.

You are now in the loser’s bracket and you will face Gen.G next. Are there any teams that you are excited to face?

Well sure, I feel like everybody right now is a competitor for the Champions slot. I believe that C9 Blue is the best team here, but everybody’s doing well so we cannot just expect to be handed wins. We need to earn those wins and today we just did not make that happen.

Now, I am hoping we can make that loser’s bracket run and reach VCT Champions in Berlin.

Any final words?

I apologize for losing.  For myself, I played terribly in that final game against RISE so I am very sorry to Cloud9 fans who expected more of me. Aside from that, thank you for the support guys show us on social media. It really does so much for my own personal drive and you guys give me the energy to work hard. Thank you C9 fans.

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