After drawing the reigning champions SK Telecom T1 in their first group stage match of the League of Legends World Championship, Cloud9 rebounded by winning its next two games to close the opening weekend 2-1. Slingshot’s Andrew Kim talked to Cloud9’s Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi after defeating I MAY on Sunday to talk about Cloud9’s week, turning points and expectations for next week.
Andrew Kim: What were some of the things you talked about in preparation for today’s game for I May?
Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi: We just kinda talked about our draft as a whole. There’s been a few comps that we’ve been seeing. I think G2 ran it today where it’s just like, Orianna, Karma, and like Kennen and stuff, oh and actually Lee Sin jungle too, really low CC lock down like, not really too many plays being able to be made. So if you look at that comp, it’s really hard hard for them to do anything, so we kinda just were like, “OK, maybe we don’t want to pick all those exact champions together.” We did play blue side. We were purple side last two games, so it did change up our draft just in that way, but we just looked at our draft as a whole.
AK: What do you think were the largest issues at the beginning stages for Cloud 9? Was it the shot calling, was it the picks, or was it just everyone not feeling their best?
ZS: Our first game was pretty oddball. It’s just like, Jensen died to the gank mid, and they just snowballed from there. It wasn’t really too much we could do, just given all the champions together. We had pressure bot, I think we had a little pressure top but there was just a gaping hole mid lane we couldn’t do anything about it. Also Syndra’s a pretty broken champion as we’ve seen, so when she gets ahead it’s just like pretty doomsday for anyone involved. Even Vladimir is the supposed counter because he can not die as easy as others? So. I don’t know it was a weird first game. Second game similar story, except we kind of walked in top lane to a TP behind us, which got us four manned and dived three people. I don’t know. It was weird games. They weren’t really like what we normally see when we lose. It was just really odd stuff. I think a lot of teams experience similar things where one lane just falls over and you don’t have any play-making abilities. I mean it’s probably just the result of the bad draft.
AK: You’ve laned against one of the best AD Carries in the world Bang from SKT. Were you nervous about it and how was it laning against one of the best in the world?
ZS: I wasn’t nervous, no. I think it’s just my personality. I don’t really think too much about anything I’m going into. I’m just playing another League game. It’s just whatever the matchup is specifically; I was playing Sivir-Braum into Alistar-Ezreal so we were able to get pressure down there. You know you’re against a good player, but you always need to be doing your best trying to hit your abilities, dodge theirs. So I didn’t feel any extra pressure. I mean, it’s really hard to judge things like that as well, just because even though they’re really good players, it’s only as much as the champion can do and how much you over-extend yourself.
AK: Back on the topic of broken champions; Aurelion Sol. In both games where he showed up today, he steamrolled the opposition. Do you think as a team you’re going to ban him or pick him first?
ZS: We’ve seen Sol a decent amount in scrims. I don’t know if he’s that good. I remember in Apdo’s AMA thing at the top of Reddit a week ago or something he was saying like, “Yeah I’m glad they nerfed Sol so those dirty one-trick-ponies cannot get the free wins they were getting anymore.” He went into some details like if you look into one-trick-Sol players, they’re in really low elo compared to now when they were in top Challenger, they were just Diamond 2 before. So he could be just insanely broken, because he’s un-nerfed this patch compared to live, but I don’t know he has his counters for sure. He’s not the most broken thing. Maybe as a counter pick he’s that much better.
AK: Worlds is insane this year; no team has gone undefeated this week, Albus Nox is 2-1, INTZ took a game off of EDG. Given all these surprising statistics and results, has that changed your perception of how you’re going to approach the world championship at all?
ZS: Not specifically, because we definitely weren’t the strongest team coming in. You kind of just have to keep learning off of others, and that’s really the only way to improve; you just keep seeing what better teams are doing. Maybe their drafts are super good and you have to take away what exactly they’re doing and what are they thinking about it. Same goes for just in-game plays like, why are they going these plays, where can we make our own plays, how can we snowball leads. It is really interesting to see all these, so not expected wins and losses. I thought ROX would just clean sweep the group but, they had some really shaky games, they almost lost vs. G2, they had a really shaky early game against Albus Nox. I don’t know it’s all over the place. Everyday is full of upsets.
AK: This has only been Week 1. Week 2 is coming up in the group stages, so what is something that Cloud9 is going to do in preparation for the next few days for the next bunch of games?
ZS: I think it’s just we gotta put a lot of more effort into fully understanding how to get the best draft on each side. What are some interesting things we can do with our bans and picks that can throw people off guard. I think if we can round that out, Week 2 will be much easier. Like, the first 2 games we played we just had insane trouble starting fights so if we avoid that kind of stuff, we should be able to do well.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games