Despite leading the 2019 LCS Summer Finals 2-1, Cloud9 was unable to close out the series against Team Liquid, and fell to the reigning champion 3-2. C9 will represent the North America at the 2019 League of Legends World Champions as the LCS' 2nd seed.
Cloud9 addressed the media in a post-match conference that featured Top Laner Eric "Licorice" Ritchie, Jungler Dennis "Svenskeren" Johnsen, Mid Laner Yasin "Nisqy" Dincer, AD Carry Zachary "Sneaky" Scuderi, Support Tristan "Zeyzal" Stidham, and Head Coach Bok "Reapered" Han-gyu to discuss the series against TL and look ahead towards the 2019 League of Legends World Championship.
Nick Ray; Upcomer. Sneaky, you were the only player on Cloud9 5 years ago when the team won its last domestic title. Did you have any choice words for your teammates after this match?
Sneaky: Yeah. I think we played well. I think we could have won game 4, and we all know that, but it's nothing to be too down about. Game 5 was hard, but it's okay, because we're still going to Worlds. A loss here does not mean the end of everything.
Tyler Erzberger; ESPN Esports. Looking towards Worlds, what Top Laners outside of North America are you most interested in playing against?
Licorice: Probably just SK Telecom T1's Top Laner, Kim "Khan" Dong-ha, right now. I think he's playing really well, so I'm excited to see how I match up against him. Aside from that, I don't know.
Nick Geracie; Inven Global. Svenskeren, in addition to your Worlds qualification, you've had a phenomenal summer highlighted by your first MVP award. Do the surrounding circumstances lessen the blow from the loss today?
Svenskeren: Yeah, I mean, I still think we're a good team. Losing in Finals really blows, but we still are going to Worlds.
Christopher Bilski; Ginx TV. Nisqy, it feels like you've experienced a lot of growth this year. Is there something about the C9 organization that's allowed you do so?
Nisqy: Every time I make a mistake in scrims, the coaches and every other player help me to figure out why I made that mistake, and what I should do instead. I think that's something not every team does, because oftentimes, people just think about themselves. Here at Cloud9, we think and look out for each other.
Travis Gafford. Zeyzal, what do you think went wrong today?
Zeyzal: I think normally we play through our Mid and Jungle, and because of that, we're very reliant on them getting ahead. They normally play very well, so it's rather easy for us, but Team Liquid prepared well and was able to shut us down in various ways. Honestly, not much went wrong. I think game 4 was in a pretty good spot for us to win; we just failed the execution as a team in terms of understanding where we needed to be on the map and things like that.
Joe Sloan; Checkpoint XP. Sneaky, this isn't the result you were looking for today, but historically, C9 has been the most successful North American team at Worlds over the years. How do you reset your focus for Worlds, and what is your expectation for Worlds this year?
Sneaky: It's been a while since we got to skip the NA Regional Final gauntlet, so it feels a bit different this time since we don't have to haul ass right after playoffs and prepare for that. Things are a bit more-stress free this time. We'll probably all individually review the games and see what went wrong and find out our weaknesses, then we'll go bootcamp to prepare for Worlds. It won't be very different from other years, except that we'll have a bit more time to ourselves.
Nick Geracie; Inven Global. Sneaky, you received criticism for your level of play this summer. Do you feel that you've re-established yourself as a top 2 ADC in North America after this series?
Sneaky: Yeah, I think I played pretty well. Game 5 was really hard for me. I couldn't even do damage *laughs* I was dying every time I tried. Aside from that, every other game went pretty well. I died a few times...I died a lot of times...who cares?! We're going for fights, that's the Cloud9 way.
Zane Bhansali; Cheddar Esports. Reapered, how do you use this extra time to prepare for Worlds, and what are you going to focus on or look to change?
Reapered: Going forward, we will have a vacation for a reset. We saw some weaknesses ourselves this series around Mid and Bottom; even Top. We'll individually review what our issues were in terms of playstyle and champion pool, and prepare by fixing them.
Christopher Bilski; Ginx TV. Reapered, do you have any predictions for who will be the 3rd seed at Worlds for North America?
Reapered: Clutch Gaming and CLG are looking pretty hot right now. The 3rd place match yesterday was pretty good, but I wonder if TSM can beat either of them. I would like to say Clutch Gaming for now, but we'll see.
Tyler Erzberger; ESPN Esports. Reapered, can you talk a bit about the impact Yeu-jin "Reignover" Kim has as the assistant coach for C9 in terms of being on stage and helping the team in general?
Reapered: He's a really smart person, and when he was a player, we know he was a really smart Jungler. I believe he's helped our players a lot, and he keeps trying hard to grind from a coaching perspective. He keeps asking me about how he can improve as a coach, so having him in the organization as part of our team is really good.
Joe Sloan; Checkpoint XP. Svenskeren, it feels like right now, there is more snowball focus and there are less comebacks in the LCS than other seasons. Is that a change in the meta, or is that a sign of North American teams improving?
Svenskeren: I'm not too sure it's really like that. In game 4, we were in the lead the whole game but still managed to throw, so that still happens.
Andrew Blanchard; State Champs Esports. Reapered, in Svenskeren's interview with Dash regading semifinals, he said that Cloud9 was going to sub in a player if you went down two games for a fresh look at the series. Was there any discussion going into game 5 about making a subsitution of either AD Carry Matthew "Deftly" Chen or Jungler Robert "Blaber" Huang?
Reapered: We had a conversation between us coaches about substitute situations, but the final decision is on me. At the end, I decided not to sub in any players because I believed my starters could handle the fifth game.
Travis Gafford. Reapered, I've heard that NA teams are planning on bootcamping in Europe instead of Korea for Worlds this year; you're nodding yes so I'm going to assume that's true. With the 2019 LEC Summer Playoffs still underway, how does C9 plan on staying sharp? It seems like there will time off in-between now and the bootcamp.
Reapered: I think it's true that all western teams are bootcamping in EU since Worlds is in EU. We don't to take two, potentially three, long flights in a row by going to Korea before Europe.
Based on this fact, it's going to be a really exciting Worlds for every League of Legends fan, because this is the first time the western teams are not going to Korea to bootcamp. We're not showing the meta to our opponents outside of practice and scrims just before the tournament, but teams will probably not show their best picks. It's going to be really interesting to watch, and it's going to be fun.
Christopher Bilski; Ginx TV. Zeyzal, heading into playoffs, how important is it to have a strong Academy team in helping you prepare?
Zeyzal: It's extremely important. A lot of the time, teams won't fully understand how you draft. That can be an advantage, but if a team does know how you draft and has seen you play a lot, they can exploit that. Our Academy team helps us see how we play and how we draft can be exploited by opponents, but our Academy team has to be a certain level of play to exploit us.
Having Cloud9 Academy is an advantage because we're allowed to see more cases regarding bad drafts or bad aspects to our playstyle and allow us to shift things around while learning to play in multiple ways.
Nick Geracie; Inven Global. Svenskeren, you are re being touted as not only the best Jungler in North America, but one of the best Junglers in the world currently. Would you agree with that evaluation, and also, what other players are top-tier Junglers heading to Worlds
Svenskeren: I've always thought the mark of a good Jungler is being able to play well with his team, so as long as I play well with my team, it'll make me look better. I'm looking forward to playing at Worlds, I just hope I get to play against DAMWON Gaming's Kim "Canyon" Geon-bu from the LCK or FunPlus Phoenix's Gao "Tian" Tian-Liang from the LPL. I really look up to both of those players.