Greyson "Goldenglue" Gilmer has been busy this spring. Not only did the Cloud9 Mid Laner lead C9 Academy to a 1st place finish in the 2019 NA Academy League Spring Split, but he also made his LCS debut in week 8 of the 2019 Spring Split in leiu of Yasin "Nisqy" Dincer falling ill. While Goldenglue failed to secure a win against Echo Fox, he would get another chance when Cloud9 started the entirety of Cloud9 Academy for the final day of the LCS against Clutch Gaming.
Chae "Piglet" Gwang-jin was starting in the Mid Lane in a strange experiment from Clutch Gaming, but it was a situation in which Goldenglue was all too familiar. Goldenglue had been benched on Team Liquid during the 2017 NA LCS Spring Split in the first renaissance of "Midlet". For Goldenglue, the stakes of a game completely irrelevant to either team's season were quite high.
Goldenglue and the rest of Cloud9 broke the game open early through the Bot Lane. AD Carry Yuri "Keith" Jew, with the help of Support David "Diamond" Bérubé, secured four kills on Jinx by eight minutes into the game. Robert "Blaber" Huang outpaced Nam "LirA" Tae-you in the Jungle, and C9A Top Laner Ziqing "Kumo" Zhao withstood the early pressure of Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon long enough for Cloud9's Bot Lane advantage to spread to the rest of the map.
Cloud9's stomp of Clutch Gaming featured the largest gold lead at 15 minutes for any Cloud9 game in the entirety of the 2019 Spring Split. After defeating Clutch Gaming, Goldenglue joined InvenGlobal to talk about C9A's LCS debut, Cloud9's full roster dynamic, and double playoff preparation.
Goldenglue, you were favored to win today, but we didn't expect a stomp of that magnitude. Was this dominant of a win expected from you and your team?
Honestly, I wasn't expecting it to be that easy. I was really proud of how my team played, especially Diamond and Kumo since it was their first time playing in LCS. Keith hasn't played on stage in LCS in a while either, so overall, I was really proud of how everyone played. Our Bot Lane had an insane 2v3 outplay and even avoided dying to the Karthus ultimate. After that play, it felt like we kind of just rolled over Clutch Gaming to victory.
This is the first time we've seen C9 Academy play as a full roster on the LCS stage. Was it any different than when you play together in the NA Academy League?
Everything was very calculated and just really good. I was honestly not expecting everyone to be that calm and collected on stage. When there were chances to fight, we took them aggressively, and when we needed to play safe, we realized it.
I feel like we really didn't have many hiccups at all, so I was really impressed with everyone and how they acted on stage. It's definitely way different than playing at home for academy games.
Last time you started on the LCS roster, you weren't able to secure the win against Echo Fox. Was it nice to get your first win by getting your revenge on Piglet in the Mid Lane?
I did not want to lose to Piglet at all costs. I love Piglet, me and him are still really good friends and I hugged him before and after the game, but I really wanted to beat him. I'm glad we won.
It was announced the night before the game that Cloud9 Academy would be starting in place of the LCS roster for the final game of the split. Was this something pre-planned?
We had planned all week to start Cloud9 Academy on Sunday if the main roster won on Saturday. It's a win-win situation, because the LCS team has been working really hard, so they get a little break and some extra time off before playoffs. Licorice, Svenskeren, and Nisqy came out to watch the games and they were having a lot of fun. On the other hand, the academy players got to play on stage and get both experience and exposure.
Nisqy and Licorice's signs...
Yeah, I saw them. *laughs*
Jokes aside, the main roster seems very supportive of C9A, and that must make things like this easier.
Yeah, we're all really good friends. All ten of us basically live together and we all have a really good relationship on the team. There aren't any people who are egotistical and everyone has a really healthy relationship.
In addition to this LCS win, Cloud9 Academy also secured 1st seed in the 2019 NA Academy League Spring Playoffs. Will this LCS game be helpful heading into academy playoffs?
I think after our win today, Team Liquid Academy is shaking in their boots. They should be worried given how we just played on stage, and going into that matchup I don't think we'll have any stage nerves. Any stage nerves we had we were able to get out today, so I think it's really helpful for us.
You and Blaber are LCS level players in your own right, but where would you put C9A as a whole amongst LCS teams in terms of level of play?
We definitely really showed up today and played our best. If we were in LCS, I think we could finish top 6 and make playoffs. Of course, it's all hypothetical. We scrim against a lot of LCS teams and we do pretty well. Scrims are a lot of different than playing on stage, but I think we proved today that we can play on stage. It's hard to say exactly where specifically, but I'd say we're an LCS caliber team, no doubt.
Is there anything you are specifically focusing on before playoffs?
I'm just really excited to get the chance to play on stage again. It's always really fun to play in high pressure matches. In my last playoff appearance against TSM, I came in when we were down 1-2. I love playing in high pressure matches. High pressure used to be something I was terrified of, but now I live for it. This whole year I've been waiting for the playoffs to start.
You've become a clutch player in your own right. Was there a turning point in your career where you were able to start seizing these big moments in your career?
I don't think everyone else realized it at the time, but it started clicking for me when I got replaced by Piglet in the Mid Lane for Team Liquid in the 2017 NA LCS Spring Split. I went by myself to South Korea to bootcamp for a month or two after that. I recognized my weaknesses and went to the "Hyperbolic Time Chamber" to work on those weaknesses. I really focused on myself and worked with sports psychologists. It has been a gradual process, but that is when the change started.
I don't think it ever stops. I'm still improving and I always have room to work on things. It's not that I don't have stage fears — I'm still nervous to go on stage every single day, but how I deal with it has changed a lot.
A lot of riding out that type of energy is accepting it and coping with it in a healthy way. You have to accept it and harness it instead of trying to control it.
Yeah. I'm not a robot who has no emotions.
Exactly, you have to figure out the best way to handle it, so it's great that you've found ways to do that for yourself.
Cloud9 seems to get a lot more out of their Academy team in multiple ways than other organizations in the LCS. Is that because of the players, or the organization?
I think it's two parts. Our staff, management, and infrastructure is second to none. I think we have the best of everything that you need to improve as a player. Also, I think Cloud9 put together the right personalities and players. The organization did its due diligence on scouting the right players to sign. C9 signed players like me and Keith who have been around for a while, but had never had high highs in our respective careers with the objective to help develop us.
At the same time, we help develop brand new talent like Kumo, Diamond, and even Blaber last split. It's a good balance of picking up players who aren't completely new and picking up players who are brand new.
That's a great dynamic to have. Thanks for talking with me Goldenglue, and congrats on the win. Is there anything you'd like to say to the Cloud9 fans or the #VaultBoy fans before playoffs?
I just want to thank everyone for continuing to support me. It kind of sucks that I don't get to play every week on stage, but it still means a lot when I have so many people come and support me when I start.
Thanks to everyone for being so supportive of us pulling up our entire academy roster to LCS. I feel like the community was very open to it and accepting of it, and that was nice for me to see; not just for me, but also to see my teammates welcomed in that way was really nice.