With skepticism at Cloud9’s side in the beginning of the spring split, Cloud9 has silenced those rumors and is placed first in the NA LCS.
As many predicting Team Liquid to win against Cloud9 in today’s match, C9 had proven why they are a veteran NA LCS team. A team’s success not only revolves around the players, the environment, and the coach but it also revolves around the guidance and foresight of the owner. After today’s game, a lot of people now wonder if their skepticism towards the C9 roster was at a misunderstanding.
After the game, Inven Global got to meet with the owner of C9, Jack, to discuss what his opinions were about the game. Let’s see what Jack has to say about his philosophy, Impact, and C9’s future plans.
¤ What were your thoughts after watching the game today?
I felt really good because there were a lot of doubts on how C9 would do this split. A lot of people were comparing my former players to my current players. On top of all this, they weren’t really nice about it. I am okay with people being hard on me or being hard on my team. However, I do not like it when they are hard on my players. To have a win like that, it is sort of redemption for the bad publicity they had gotten. Obviously, it doesn’t feel good when people say ‘your top laner is bad because he is s***.’ you know (laughs)? The guys are working really hard and I know they are good. This is a chance for them to finally say ‘Hey, I belong here.’ or ‘I should be playing on this team.’.
¤ When you picked Licorice as your top laner, did you expect he would perform as good as he is now?
Yes, I did. Licorice was a former Cloud9 player. He was really good. Afterwards, I traded him to eUnited, a Challenger team. Almost every game before our LCS games, we would warm up against eUnited. I would see Licorice vs Impact maybe 2 to 4 times a week, and I saw what was happening. I saw that Licorice could keep up with Impact. With Impact being such an amazing top laner, I thought to myself ‘this guy is good’. At that time, he was a rookie and not even a Challenger player yet. I thought ‘Imagine how good he could be if Reapered was teaching him or if his teammates were working with him.’. Because of this, I felt really confident when he came in he would play well.
¤ When you released your official roster, there were a lot of people, as you said, that were skeptical. As a owner of Cloud9, were you confident that you could prove that this roster was good?
I remember reading those things and thinking ‘What could I say to fix this’. There was nothing I could really say that would make my fans and critics go ‘Oh yeah that was okay’. All I could say was ‘I understand why you guys are unhappy, but you guys don’t have all this information I have when I made this decision’. All I could ask my fans to do at that time was to trust that I made a good decision. Afterwards, we could see what happens on stage. I knew the only way I could answer their questions were to show them on the stage with their own eyes. There was really nothing I could do except to ask my fans to have faith in us. A couple of them did while the others just said ‘you suck’ (laughs).
¤ Last week, we interviewed Impact and posted what he had said about Cloud9. Did you read that interview?
Oh yeah, I read it. That little s*** (laughs). No but seriously, I love Impact. He is a good true friend. I love that guy. I think he really wanted to hype up that game. It was nothing personal. I talk s*** all the time on twitter you know? It is fun, and it is just banter. Especially with Impact, I have a good relationship with him. I’m just really happy Impact got a fantastic deal with TL. I would have definitely taken that. It was great for him. I know he has no hard feelings about Cloud9 at all.
¤ Shortly after the game on reddit, Cloud9 fans were sad to see Impact upset after the loss. Do you feel the same way as some of these Cloud9 fans?
Yeah, of course. I gave him a hug after the game. Impact said ‘this is my gift to you’ (laughs). I’m like ‘I’ll take it’ (laughs). It was very nice of him. Even after he leaves, Impact still gives me a gift.
¤ The relationship between owner and head coach is very important. What are your opinions and relationship with Reapered?
He is a fantastic coach. Not only is Reapered a huge part of the Cloud9 LCS team but he is also a huge part of the company. He is a friend. Reapered is going to be working with Cloud9 for a very long time. Reapered is a very valued member of the team.
¤ A goal for an individual player for this season may differ from the goals set from a head coach or owner. What are your goals that you have set for Cloud9 this season or if too broad… this split?
Oh not too broad. We definitely set those type of goals. It is very important. Our immediate goal is to have 10 try hard players. We want not only our LCS team to do well but also our academy team as well. I want expectations that all 10 players are working really hard. The guys at the academy team can be called up at any moment, and they need to be ready. Someone could break a finger, and they have to be ready. The expectations are that the players are all professional. They need to show up on meetings on time. The members need to come in and give thoughts on how to make the team better. They can’t just sit down and not participate. You have to participate.
This will get us to our long term goal which is to get to semis or higher in international events. Winning in NA would be great, but that is not our true goal. There has always been this certain type of focus that our team has gotten at Worlds. The hunger to learn, and the hunger to get better. In prior years when we came back to NA, we lose that hunger. We don’t get it again until we are at Worlds. We started to think ‘What if we had that same hunger we have at Worlds here in NA.’. If we did this and go to Worlds, we would have much less to learn. We began thinking ‘How well could we do? Maybe we could do better than the semi finals?’. We are really trying to bring that hunger we have at Worlds here, in the spring and summer split. In this case, we wouldn’t have to suddenly work harder at Worlds. We would already be there. This is the big goal for us right now.
¤ Lastly, is there anything you want to say to your Cloud9 fans?
To the guys who had faith in us, I love you guys. You guys are awesome. I really appreciate it. To the guys who lost faith, it is okay. I still understand. We are all family. Next time, have a little bit more faith (laughs).