After a disappointing 0-3, Cloud 9 have bowed out of the playoff race. The games were still of high quality and competitive, showing a fierce early game and the ability to win games, but they faltered towards the end-game multiple times.
Izento was able to talk with the humbled coach Reapered about their loss. Reapered enlightens us on his draft plans for the series, putting draft emphasis on Licorice, and his thoughts on facing off against coach Cain, his former assistant coach.
The casters and analysts were pointing towards the trend that you were placing ban emphasis on Impact. What was the objective for your draft phase?
We were trying hard to get tank matchups in scrims, playing tanks several times but it didn’t work for us. There was something lacking for understanding the game. For sure I knew how to play tanks and playing against them back in the day, but in scrims it didn’t work. On stage, we decided to not play their game, let’s play our game.
If you see Game 2, when Impact played Singed, that was a critical matchup for Licorice.
Did you expect the Singed pick?
Yeah, we knew it. We were scouting. Even then, we still went Fiora blind pick because Licorice thought it was a doable matchup. I was assuming Singed or Shen would be picked.
Speaking of scouting, how do you think the NA LCS have developed on scouting? It was assumed when Academy teams were mandatory, that all the LCS teams would use these teams to test certain picks in-house. It sounds like scouting has become more difficult. How does this compare to last year?
Well, obviously, tracking solo queue isn’t that hard, but if they want to hide their own pocket picks, then they’re using the Academy teams. At that point, you can’t track it (laughs). They prepare some champions and we face it, but that doesn’t mean that just because you prepare a champion, you’re going to win the game.
What do you think about putting more pressure on Licorice to perform from your draft phase in these playoff matches? How do you think Licorice handled this kind of pressure?
If we are going for tanks versus carries, he gets more pressure. He was kind of panicking in Game 2 every time they moved towards top lane. Usually you can hold your own tempo if you play Fiora or Gnar, those kinds of champions. He kind of couldn’t hold his tempo and lost his focus, as if he said “Oh shit, I don’t know what to do”.
To me, these drafts were the best options. If Ornn is picked, Sneaky dies. If Sion is open, Sneaky dies (laughs). We already saw this before. You can obviously counter in lane but even still, that doesn’t mean you’re going to win the game. Swain versus Gnar, it’s a good matchup for Gnar, but that doesn’t mean you win the match.
You got to face off against Cain. He was previously your assistant coach. What do you think his strong points are as a coach?
He’s pretty knowledgeable about bot lane, as he was a support during professional play. He’s good at team games, as he was the support, so he knows how to synergize with the jungler, so it becomes a team game for him. Those are Cain’s strengths as a coach.
Did you feel any extra pressure against him as a rivalry?
No, not at all.
What is Cloud 9’s plans for the offseason?
After everything was said and done, we’re pretty bad at making decisions. Before, Impact was a huge voice on the team. Everyone can make their own decisions, but when the situation calls for urgency, Impact would make the big boy call. “We have to do this right now, otherwise we’re going to fucking lose this game”. Currently, when we have an urgent situation, the team is like, “oh, I have to do this, or maybe the condition is not so good”. This is why it looks like they cannot make any decisions even when they’re ahead. In Game 1 and 2, we definitely had an advantage early, but they don’t do specific things and we lost. So, we need to figure out how to develop player decision-making. That’s my first goal, thinking about how we can improve that.
We’re going to scrim in the offseason. We’re thinking about how we can improve, how we can get better, we don’t want to go through gauntlet again (laughs).
What do you have to say to the Cloud 9 fans around the world?
It’s actually a big sorry, both for the Academy team and the main roster. We got 0-3’d, even when we were ahead with C9A, 10k ahead and still lost the game. Now, our team, we were 7k ahead and still lost the game. So, I cannot say anything, just say sorry. We knew the fans are the biggest reason as to why we play the game and I’m already trying to communicate to the fans…to say something. It sucks that we lost…I don’t like to say we lost because we’re a “memeing team”. We’re tryhard and we try to figure out how to play the game, how we can improve and what we want to do. Obviously, outside of the game we are super troll, but when it’s working time, we’re super serious. No doubt about that part.
Thanks for cheering for us and big sorry, we’ll be strong next split.