Cloud9 and Blaber have gone undefeated in their first three games of the Summer Split, showing that they're just as dominant as they were in Spring. While we never got to measure them internationally, it's no secret they're still at the top of NA. Robert "Blaber" Huang talks to us about his time playing with Dennis "Svenskeren" Johnsen, how he leveled up during their tenure together, and how his play is helping lead Cloud9 to so many domestic wins.
And it seems the student has truly become the master, as Blaber more than doubled the total gold that Svenskeren made in their game, going 9/1/5 on the Olaf. Additionally, he explains some of how they're able to be so dominant, from player strength to draft, and how that might change if they were facing off against better teams in different regions, especially given the change in meta.
Blaber, you just absolutely decimated EG and you're 3-0 this Summer. So tell me, what is it about Cloud9 that is making you guys continue to be this dominant, even as we enter into a new split?
I think for us, we're just practicing as hard as we've always been. I think everyone is really hungry to win this split, especially because it's summer, and going to Worlds we want to have a strong performance. It really sucked that we couldn't play at MSI, but I think we're just working insanely hard.
Yeah we gotta get you guys to an international tournament. We've seen you play Olaf three times in a row. How are you able to dominate so well on him? We talked to Daniele "Jiizuke" di Mauro, and he said everyone is bad at playing into it when it's specifically you on the champ.
Well, he didn't look so great against it either soooo...
OH! Sorry, I said Jiizuke, I meant Yasin "Nisqy" Dinçer. My bad.
Oh okay hahaha. Yeah I think I'm really good at Olaf in general, and I think it's a champ that utilizes priority really well, and I think my team sets me up really well with good pushing picks. Like you see we have the Karma, and Jiizuke counterpicked with Kassadin, which is crazy, but... He can do whatever he wants. But yeah if I'm able to take dragon whenever I want and Herald whenever I want, I can just run over the game.
There's a really big narrative this Spring about how you came into this team, replaced Svenskeren who was the MVP of the Split last Summer, Cloud9 was super dominant and EG started off really bad. So everyone was comparing you two, like is Blaber way better, is he just really lucky? But you're still here being extremely dominant, and just beat Sven again today. So I'm wondering if you feel like you're coming into your own a little more and moving past that era of playing underneath Svenskeren?
I don't really think about it that often, I mean regarding starting on my own now, that's obviously nice to not be sharing time, but I don't take my time playing with Svenskeren for granted. I think I learned so much from him and playing with the LCS team in general really made me a lot better. And I think I'm definitely coming into my own as a player because I'm on my own and not splitting time, but I think that time [with Svenskeren] is the time I learned the most, honestly.
Could you say confidently right now that you're the best in North America?
I mean I always think I'm the best, and right now we're in first so yeah I'll say it. I guess we're tied with Liquid, so maybe Broxah is up there too, tied for first.
Yeah and that's an interesting one since he didn't play that well last Split, but he is now. So since we've established most of these teams can't compete with you, and we brought it up earlier, I'm wondering what you think would happen in international play with the higher level of competition.
I think it's hard to tell honestly, because right now we aren't really challenged individually, and although I think our teamplay is really good, it's always easier to play from ahead than behind, especially if we're always ahead. So we're really practiced at playing from ahead, but if we're not winning lanes or not winning jungle internationally, then maybe it would be harder for us to play, or it'll just be a new experience for us. So I think it's hard to tell right now, but I think we'll still be fine, honestly.
Given that they have a different meta and the drafting is different, etc. how do you think Cloud9 would need to adapt your comps, or would you keep that and just shape up how you play a little bit?
I think going internationally our draft will change, because I think there are some flaws in our drafting and it's stuff that we know. Like obviously someone who is better than us can punish, cus a lot of times we say in draft, "If we were on the other side of this matchup, we'd be really happy," or, "We would just win both sides," is also something we say a lot.
So if teams aren't able to punish us in NA, then we can draft however we want, but I think if we are going to get punished internationally, we can't draft however we want, we have to draft accordingly to our strengths compared to theirs. So I'd definitely say it's not the easiest for us if we just drafted however we wanted internationally.
I've seen a ton of really bad drafts in NA this season, like you mentioned earlier, the last pick Kassadin was really interesting this game. Is this something you run into in scrims a lot? Or is it just getting fumbled a bit more on game day?
Uhh not really. Most NA teams draft extremely normal, but I'm sure other teams thing that about us when we play scrims because I think we have the most ridiculous drafts by far. There's a lot of stuff that we don't pull out on stage that we play in scrims, obviously. We haven't really played anything new. But we have a lot of crazy picks that we try, but yeah otherwise I think most NA teams draft pretty normally.
If you could be associated with any one champ, like Svenskeren had the Sejuani painted with him on the wall last Summer, who would you personally want that to be?
I think it's hard to choose one champ, I think I'm already pretty well known for my Kindred, and I think Lee Sin and Gragas is what I was known for most last split, so I think if it would be for my last split's performance, it would probably be one of those. And I've always considered my Rek'Sai to be one of my best champs as well, so probably one of those.
There's a whole lot of them! Cus Nocturne is one who I also consider, and then this Split it's all Olaf! But yeah, thanks so much. Anything you want to say to fans before we check out?
Yeah thanks for keeping on supporting us, we're gonna keep winning for you guys. Thanks so much!
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