In a video interview with Fomos after Cloud9 clinched a spot in the knockout round of the play-in stage, Impact talked about his team’s potential opponents in the group stage, assuming that the team makes it that far.
“I was slightly concerned with WE, but we don’t meet them so I think it’s fine,” he said. “If we expand into the group stage, we’ll either be in Group A or C, and I think both groups are scary in their own way. Going up against SKT will be fun but intimidating, and EDG is a very good team as well. I think the group stage is all made up of good teams.”
Because no two teams from the same region can end up in the same group, Cloud9 would enter either Group A or C. Group A contains SK Telecom T1, Impact’s former team and three-time world champions, and Chinese powerhouse EDward Gaming. Group C contains last year’s runner-up, Samsung Galaxy, and G2 Esports, the top European team.
This is Impact’s first time visiting China, as he moved directly from SKT to North America’s Cloud9 after the 2013 world championship. Given the chance, Impact said he’s confident he would be able to pick up Chinese.
“I didn’t really start learning (Chinese) yet, but I think I can pick it up,” he said. “When I first came to NA all I could say was ‘hi,’ ‘hello,’ and ‘bye,’ but now I can actually communicate with people and understand what they’re saying. If I ever had the chance to stay in China, I think I’ll be quite good with the language over time.”
The top lane focus is magnified at this year’s worlds, with players such as SKT’s Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon, Longzhu Gaming’s Kim “Khan” Dong-ha, and Immortals’ Lee “Flame” Ho-jong in attendance. Impact picked out two in particular that he’s monitoring.
“I think we’ll have to play it out to see, but I think Khan is a very good player, and although I haven’t seen him on tanks like Maokai or Cho’Gath, he’s very good at carrying champions,” he said. “Huni was always good in terms of mechanics, and though he has games where he dies a number of times, when he does well his potential is explosive. Other than those two, not much comes to mind.”
When pressed about his confidence level against Huni, Impact smiled and added: “He’s good, but I’ve beat him once last year. I guess we’ll find out. I just hope we have a good match. I’m sure he’ll do well.”