Slingshot’s Andrew Kim caught up with Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen during Week 2 of the North American League of Legends Championship Series.
Andrew Kim: Congratulations on your greuling 2-1 victory. A lot of things were going on with Jeong “Impact” Eon-young back-dooring, and the rest of the team trying to contest the Baron. How was communication during that insane situation?
Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen: I think we have a pretty good understanding on how to pressure the map, even when we’re behind. So even when they had Baron, they didn’t really have the opportunity to push with it. We’re really good at stalling out the game, so we just kept pressuring them through side lanes, using the Shen to pressure as well. So I think even though they got Baron and stuff, I think we just became a really, really good team on the macro level, so it was really hard for them to push the advantage.
AK: Despite the popular rhetoric right now about CLG not performing well these past few weeks, they gave you a very good fight. Where do you think you had trouble against CLG?
NJ: I definitely think they played better than expected, but I also think that we made more mistakes than usual. I think personally I played really bad myself, made a lot of mistakes, and I think some of the drafts, especially the last one, weren’t really ideal. I think we just had a lot of early mistakes that we don’t normally do, so we kinda gave them a small advantage, whereas usually we’re really good at getting ahead in the early, but it didn’t really happen too much this series because we all made a lot of mistakes we don’t usually do. So I think overall they played very good, and we played worse than usual.
AK: When considering the goal the team had in mind going in the split, did you find that it would be easier to reach with 4-0 success so far?
NJ: I don’t think we set any goals specifically. I think we’ve just been going with the flow honestly, and it’s been working out great so far.
AK: A lot of teams have said that despite the dominance in Cloud9, other teams have been doing very well in scrims. As a member of C9, did you expect your team to go 4-0 in the first two weeks?
NJ: I’m not sure what I expected, honestly. I didn’t expect us to do this well, I think, because we replaced Meteos (William Hartman), who had a big voice in the team, with a guy who’s more quiet, at least to begin with, and a really young player. So I didn’t really expect us to be at the very top from the beginning, though I expect us to become one of the best teams, if not the best in NA.
AK: Speaking of the new jungler, Contractz has been quite impressive so far. As a mid laner who has to be in tune with the jungler, what do you think the changes are like to go from Meteos to Contractz?
NJ: I think I have an easier time getting along with Contractz. He’s also really young so I can kinda teach him, in a way, like how I think the game should be played. We get along really well, so it’s just easier for me to communicate with him, and I’d say we’re playing really well together already, even though we made some mistakes from time to time. I think as time goes on, we’ll probably be the best mid-jungler duo in NA for sure.
AK: On the topic of new teammates, you guys picked up a new sub top laner, Jeon “Ray” Ji-won. Compared to Impact, how would you rate Ray as a player?
NJ: Right now I think Ray is kinda new to the competitive scene, so his macro is a little bit worse than Impact’s, but Ray excels a lot of carry tops, so I think once he gets more experience, and perhaps if the meta changes a bit more towards carry tops, I think Ray can be a really really strong player. But Impact is obviously one of the best top laners, and he’s really good at understanding how to play the macro, and he has a pretty vocal voice in the team as well. So I think it’s kinda more comfortable to play with Impact right now because he talks a bit more, and he makes a lot of calls as well. So right now, we do a bit better with Impact, but as time goes on Ray can definitely be up there with Impact.
AK: You guys also signed a new coach, Jang “Cain” Nu-ri as well. How has he been doing for you in terms of strategy?
NJ: He’s mostly been helping bot lane with reviews after games and stuff, so I think he goes over bot lane stuff that happens together with bot lane, and try to help them out as much as possible. Yeah, he’s been pretty helpful.
AK: Many veteran players have been noticing injuries. Do you have any pain that came from being a pro player? If you don’t, what do you do to prevent it?
NJ: I’ve had pretty big issues with my wrists, but they’re gone now. We also do weekly wrist exercises for an hour-ish. We have someone come in that teaches us how to take better care of our wrists, like every week, so mainly to prevent it from happening. Because Impact’s wrists are pretty bad, so it’s something Cloud9 is helping us with and taking care of.
AK: As one of the well-known members of Cloud9, do you think the mid lane has more or less of an impact in game now that the meta shifted to a more jungler-centric one?
NJ: I would say generally mid lane has had a pretty big impact, but I think right now jungle’s the strongest early game leading up to mid game, so I think it’s really important that mid lane and jungle synergy is on point, because you need to be able to assist your jungler as much as possible. So you also need to have really good communication with your jungler, and you play together mostly because mid lane is the center of the map. So it’s really important that mid lane and jungle works well together right now. Especially right now because junglers are so dominant.
AK: Now that Cloud9 is on a winning spree of a 4-0, how long do you think it’ll continue?
NJ: It’s tough to say because we haven’t played all the teams yet, though we have played against most of the top teams. I’m not sure, actually. I think if we keep improving, it can go on for a very long time, because I think we definitely have the potential to be the best team, and we probably are right now. But I also think other teams aren’t playing at the level they should be because they probably had longer breaks or didn’t practice as much as us. We can go 18-0, but who knows?
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games, illustration by Slingshot