Cloud9 is making their way back up.
On the first day of Week 6, Cloud9 defeated TSM and started to climb back up from last place. Cloud9’s performance as a team hasn’t been the best during this split, but looking at their individual performance, Licorice has been doing great.
Licorice’s strong performance became a beacon of hope for Cloud9 fans, with many of them dreaming that the team would once again shine as the powerhouse of the NA LCS.
After their triumph against TSM, we had the chance to interview Licorice.
Congrats on the win! Cloud9 hasn’t been doing that well this season, but your performance is standing out. It’s like you’re one of the best top laners in the NA LCS this season.
Personally, for the laning phase and stuff, I’ve been playing really well. After that, it’s just a team game, so I think I share as much blame as anyone else regarding our ranking right now.
So you don’t give yourself that much credit?
Not really, we’re the ninth place now, so I guess I’m the ninth place top laner. (Laughs)
Still, your performance is so good. Do you think you’re on your way to becoming one of the best top laners in the NA?
Yeah, I think so. I’ve been fixing a lot of my mistakes since spring. I patched up a lot on the things I had to work on. Hopefully, at the end of the year, I’ll become a contender for best top laner.
It’s not sure whether you’ll get to any international competitions yet, but how do you think you’ll do against the top laners in the world?
I think it’s really hard to say because I have literally no experience playing against any team that’s not from NA. But I think as long as I’m confident in my play, and if I don’t get too nervous, I’m sure I’ll be fine.
Did you have any nerve issues when you first had your debut?
I was definitely nervous, but I don’t think I had any “issues” with it, but definitely, for the first game of spring, I was so nervous.
Which player did you look up to the most or like the most before your debut?
I’ve always looked up to Smeb a lot, and I still do. He’s really good at anything he can do for his team. He’s my favorite player for sure.
Before, you had said that CuVee is the best top laner. Do you still think he’s the best?
He might be, it’s kind of hard to say. I’d say, for me personally, I think the best top laner is between the two of them; CuVee and Smeb. They aren’t limited in any way, and they can play anything.
Then who do you think is the best top laner in the NA?
In the NA? Ooh. That’s actually a tough one. (Laughs) I think most people would say Ssumday, so I’ll go with that. He’s been doing really well.
Which aspect do you think that Ssumday has over you and you have over Ssumday?
I’d say my laning might be a little bit better than his. Thinking of the first game we played against them, it was like generally, he had a bit better game knowledge since he’s a veteran and has been playing so much longer. (A bit?) Yeah, maybe a little bit. (Laughs)
You said that Reapered told you that you’re a little bit dumb player, that you’re a no-brain player. What does he tell you now? Does he say that you got smarter?
He kind of avoids saying that [I’ve got smarter] now. (Laughs) But he’s told me that I’ve been playing well recently.
Are you good at dealing with criticism or with mean comments from the fans?
I think I’m fine about it. Ideally, I shouldn’t read any of it, but it’s hard to stop yourself. I don’t think it’s affected me too much reading those comments, although right now, most of it is positive. I guess I’d have to see, but I don’t think it would be a problem.
What’s your goal as a pro gamer? Is it money or honor?
I feel whenever someone asks a question like that, you have to say “honor”. (Laughs) You can’t go with money, even if you’re a person who's like “I just looove money!”, you can’t just say that so obviously it’s honor. (Laughs) I love the game, wanna be the best; money is a nice side bonus, so who cares really. (Laughs)
What do you think you’ll be doing after five years, in the scene or out of the scene?
I haven’t thought too much about when I’m done being a pro player. I guess I’ll just figure it out when I get there. I don’t really try to plan ahead for that. I might go back to school, or become a coach, or maybe something at Riot. Who knows?
Do you think you’ll be still playing or retired at that time?
Five years? I’ll be twenty-five. Maybe I’ll be still playing.
You’ve been playing with Svenskeren and Blaber. What are the pros and cons of those two players and which player are you more comfortable with?
For comfort, since I’ve been playing with Sven so much longer, I feel a lot more comfortable playing with him, but they both have very obvious strengths.
Sven is really smart about early game, and he’s almost always able to get us an early game lead. This split so far, we haven’t done too great in pushing the early game lead, but he’s always been a huge part in getting that for us.
As for Blaber, he’s just a really aggressive player which is something we’ve been missing as a team, and we kind of needed that. He’ll always want to fight them, and he’ll always just go in. It makes decision making a lot easier for us. Instead of us going like “Should we fight?”, it’s like “He’s fighting. Let’s go help him.” (Laughs) They definitely both have their strengths.
So Blaber is like a double-edged sword; sometimes it’s good and sometimes it ends up having the whole team like, inting?
Yeah, like in the game against TSM today, we had Baron and we were pushing, he kind of just jumped in and started hitting someone without saying anything, and we were all just like “Yeah, we’re fighting.” just going in and trying to help him out. (Laughs) It works a lot of the time so it’s good to play with him too.
If he's like that, doesn’t Reapered tell Blaber that he’s stupid as well?
Yeah. All the time. (Laughs)
There have been quite frequent changes in the roster for C9, and Smoothie was traded. Were there any issues within the team with Smoothie?
Within the team, no. The team decided that Zeyzal have the starting spot for the past few weeks. Smoothie is obviously LCS caliber. He wasn’t happy playing in academy, so they tried to find a solution that worked for both of them.
How is Feng?
I haven’t had the chance to play with him yet, but he’s really nice. I like him. He’s kind of funny too, so it’s good to have him around for sure.
What does the team C9 mean to you? Do you want to become a franchise star for the team and retire here?
I get along with everyone pretty well. Jack has made a friendly environment for everybody, and I really appreciate that. Would I want to be a franchise player? Maybe. I’m not opposed to it, but I wouldn’t be too sure. You never know what’ll happen.
How do you think of Reapered and Jack?
Reapered has been amazing to me, personally. He’s by far the best coach I’ve ever worked with. He’s just great. I can’t talk kindly enough for Reapered.
And Jack as well. He’s a really good owner. He cares a lot about the players, and he cares a lot about the success of the team. Although he has made some unpopular decisions this split, he does it for the best for the team, so I appreciate that a lot.
Any last comments to the fans?
Thanks for the support. Try not to go too hard on the other people at C9. We’re all doing our best on it.