C9 won eight consecutive rounds to finish the game, finish the series, and finish with a semifinals berth in their pockets, the first time in less than two years that it reached such a threshold.
Having eliminated FaZe Clan from IEM Dallas, BLIX.GG spoke to C9's IGL Vladislav "nafany" Gorshkov to discuss the series, how they prepared for their opponents, the mental fortitude required to win the series, and much more.
Pedro Romero: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview, Nafany.And so, first of all, what a series that you've played alongside the rest of your team, I just like to know, having defeated FaZe Clan. How are you feeling right now?
nafany: Of course we are. It's a great feeling because it's the first time we beat them in their new lineup. I've also noticed that everyone in our team was really good today, so yeah.
Indeed, it was a pretty long series for the team to overcome. Each map in the match lasted approximately 30 rounds. Talking about maintaining your mentality as the maps take longer to complete. How were you and the rest of the team able to maintain your mentality and endurance against a team such as FaZe?
nafany: Actually, I don't really think that something special happened because we were just trying to enjoy the game and enjoy each other. That's how it worked with us today.
Cloud9 found itself being FaZe numerous times throughout the series before eventually coming into fruition, obviously. What were the comms like within the team?
nafany: I mean, it doesn't really matter. When you play on stage, it's more about having the will to win. I don't know how to say it in English, but it's more about us. We have really strong motivation to prove that we can achieve really good results under this tag. I mean, if C9 did a lot for us, and we want to say thank you to them. So there is only one way we can do it. It's obviously one as much as we can.
Since the end of the group phase, you guys had to rebound and focus on playing FaZe, so what did the team focus on in preparation for this kind of series?
nafany: I don't think that it was something special, we just prepared as always. I mean, we just played well, and that's how this.
There are going to be many things fans will point out when it comes to studying how this series transpired. For instance, many fans will point out the performance of individuals like Ax1Le against FaZe in this match. Talking about not just him but the rest of the team, how were you guys able to improve your play as the tournament continued?
nafany: I mean, the only one way you can improve it's obviously grinding, so we're just trying to grind as much as we can, and nothing, and that's all I mean, nothing special.
With that, you now look over to the semifinals, where a date with BIG. What are your thoughts on your next semifinal rival?
nafany: It will be like our second semi-final in LAN and in front of crowds. I believe that the crowd will support us and we will just show our best game.
What does this victory over FaZe Clan say about C9?
nafany: I don't think that it says something because we didn't want them--this tournament is important for us but not for every team. I mean, I don't really think that after the [Antwerp], Major FaZe Clan was training a lot as we are. We're just focused on this tournament more than others.
So it's basically business as usual for you guys considering the extent taken to adequately prepare against FaZe?
nafany: Yeah, but this time it's special because our previous result of [the Antwerp] Major was awful, so obviously, we want to say that we're not so bad as everyone says.