Slingshot’s Andrew Kim caught up with Cloud9’s Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen after Cloud9 defeated Phoenix1 3-0 to clinch a berth in the North American League Championship Series spring final.
Andrew Kim: First off, congratulations on the very one-sided 3-0 victory. Did you expect you guys to crush the opposition in this way?
Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen: Honestly I thought they would have improved more since we faced them last time, because last time we won 2-0 as well. I figured after rough losses, you usually go over the games a lot and try to identify your mistakes and stuff. I figured they’d come better prepared, but it was honestly pretty easy, yeah. I was expecting them to maybe take a game. I was confident we were going to win the series, but I thought it would be harder for sure.
AK: What was the final result to look like?
NJ: I expected like 3-1, maybe.
AK: Obviously you are popular in North America and one of the best NA has to offer. I want to ask you about living up to that kind of pressure when playing against players like Bjergsen (Søren Bjerg) or Ryu (Yoo Sang-wook). Does your mentality shift whenever you hear voices saying you’re one of the best?
NJ: Honestly not really. I don’t really care too much about who I play against because I don’t think your play style should change depending on who you’re playing against. Sure you’re more aggro or whatever you can play differently, but I’m not scared playing against people with certain names. I just play my games and focus on myself and I think that’s the best approach.
AK: When you prepared against Phoenix1, which was a dark horse team that not many people expected to do this well, was there something you did differently or something you anticipated that they didn’t do this time?
NJ: I actually didn’t think they were going to blind pick LeBlanc, but other than that I think everything went how I thought it would play out.
AK: With the Mid-Season Invitational coming up, it’s a lot longer, bigger, with more teams. What are your thoughts on the new format?
NJ: I think it has it’s pros and cons. Generally I don’t like really small tournaments where you can get eliminated after one match. For example, when we went to IEM Cologne way back, we played one series and we were out, and then flying all the way back to America, those kind of trips feel really bad and shitty. At the same time, really long events can also be annoying because MSI is during the off-season, so we basically wouldn’t have any break if we were to go to MSI. That’s the downside, but generally I’m a bigger fan of playing as much as possible.
AK: Is there a particular team that you’d love to go up against in MSI?
NJ: I’d like to go against SKT again. I think I kind of created a bad name for myself after my first time playing against SKT, so I’d like to change that.
AK: This morning KT defeated Samsung with a clean 3-0 making it to the finals against SKT as many people expected. Do have an opinion on who might go out on top?
NJ: Honestly if you asked me yesterday I would say SKT for sure, but KT looked really dominant when they were up against Samsung. I think it can go either way. Not really sure, don’t really have a preference, either, but both teams are looking really strong.
AK: Tomorrow is going to TSM vs. FlyQuest for the other finalist. Seeing as how Cloud9 and TSM seem to have a long history of NA LCS finals, do you ever get tired of them?
NJ: I guess? It (would) be cool to play a different team, but TSM is the team that looks the best right now. It’s probably going to be TSM, and at the same time I think it’s good to play against the best teams because then we can learn a lot ourselves even if we lose. Hopefully we would win, but playing against the better team is usually more fun to me because if it’s too easy you get complacent, and I wouldn’t say it’s boring, but it just doesn’t feel as rewarding. So I’m hoping for a strong, tough opponent for finals.
AK: One of the hot button topics has been the awards for the LCS. Were you at all surprised by the results that came out?
NJ: I’ll say a little, but I think it’s understandable. I can see from everyone’s perspective, but I think it kind of makes sense. But I was hoping that I’d be high up. It’s all right.
AK: I want you to give me a chances break down of the match between TSM and FlyQuest, and of the two, which team you’d rather face.
NJ: I think it’s like 90:10 to TSM. I think FlyQuest’s only chance of actually winning games is if they get some sort of cheese or lucky early game where they snowball. I just think overall TSM is way better looking right now. I mean if I wanted to win, I’d rather play against FlyQuest for sure and I think it’ll be a cool storyline as well because they’re the old C9 but I’m pretty sure we’re going to play against TSM.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games/illustration by Slingshot