Cloud9 is currently 5th overall, tied with Counter Logic Gaming. During the 5th week of the LCS Summer Split 2022, our colleagues from the esports.gg site were able to ask a few questions to Zven, the support of this C9 team, the opportunity to talk about the results in this summer season, of his Berserker partner and the recruitment of Zeyzal as a coach.
You are now 5-5 going into the second round-robin after the instability of the roster in the first few weeks, how is the team feeling at the moment?
Our record isn’t bad considering we’re 5-2 with this roster. But there are some of our victories… This match, for example, our victory against Dignitas last time too, and our match against CLG. They weren’t very good matches. And today, we were far behind, they had the soul point throughout the match. So some rough matches, but a win is a win.
I remember back then you said “losing is getting better” I think narrowly winning is also getting better [rires]. You can take a lot of stuff, that’s for sure. And it seems like you know, there were some difficulties. But now you have a chance to bounce back with a 2-0 on the week. Are you confident from what you saw today, tomorrow against the Golden Guardians?
I think we should have gone 2-0 last week against TSM and IMT. And this week we also play weaker teams in the league like Golden Guardians and Dignitas, DIG is the worst team in the league I believe.
We should have made it 2-0 last week. And it should be this week too. I don’t think our match today was very promising. We’ll see how Golden Guardians do, but I think we should be 2-0 this week, and if not, that’s a bit worrying. I think we had some good scrims and I feel good playing. But the show today was not very good. I think everyone felt a little left out today for some reason. It happens.
With matches in Bo1, sometimes things can happen. But on the other hand, it looks like the teams at the bottom of the table have improved a lot. You know, Dignitas, of course, who brought spawn today. IMT has looked better in recent weeks. Do you feel like the league is maybe a bit more competitive in this split?
I’m not sure it’s competitive. I feel like the top teams always have a good lead over everyone, like EG who are obviously solidly in first place without any challenge, TL, 100 Thieves and C9, are the top three teams after EG, which is like a top four, I guess, at this point. But there is a big difference between EG and the 2nd-4th place teams. I think Immortals is showing signs of life. But they still won’t be a contender, in my opinion, and won’t be a team to watch.
Even the Golden Guardians, they’re doing well, they might even win against us, who knows. But I still don’t think they will be a serious contender. I don’t see them making Worlds and doing well in the playoffs when it’s a best-of-fives and the stakes are higher. So I think the last two teams are doing better in Bo1 this year. They don’t just fall, they give the main top teams a cold sweat, but they won’t be playoff contenders.
I want to ask you what is your role in this team. Since you did half the split as a support, it’s a very different role for you. How was this adjustment for you and playing with a young player like Berserker in your lane?
I’m glad the competitor I’m playing with is in my opinion a good ADC, I wouldn’t play with someone I don’t consider talented and has a lot of hope for the future. Berserker has that, he has good mechanics and good laning, and I can see a lot of good things in him. I am happy to teach him. I think what it lacks is a brain [rires]. I don’t want to be that type of guy, but he’s good mechanically, he’s good at laning, and he’s good at teamfights, but he lacks map perception.
Sometimes he goes on autopilot and builds the same things every game, that sort of thing. And I help him with that. And it’s missing, you know, a few macro decisions here and there. I think he is improving every day. Obviously, there is the language barrier between us, which is the biggest difficulty for us. For me and him in particular.
So once we get over that, and he’ll have better English and I’ll get better at slowing down my speaking speed, because I speak really fast. I’m very optimistic, we’ve only had a month of training so far, maybe a little less actually. So with more practice, I think we’ll make it to the playoffs in our final form. And that’s when I’m excited to see how we’re going to get through this.
It’s easy to forget that you two haven’t had a lot of stage time together. But sometimes it feels like there’s a lot of natural synergy and, you know, talking a bit about Berserker, I remember OG Niels [rires]you see a bit of that in Berserker?
I think Berserker is a bit different from what I was when I first started playing, but I think I can see some aspects of it. I see the mechanics are there and the trust in teamfights is there. I try to be the one who teaches him macro, like I was taught macro and decision making in games. Maybe I’m the Mithy to him like Mithy was to me.
Your team recently signed a former player, Zeyzal, as an assistant coach. And he, of course, was a support at the professional level. Does it help you adapt to this role?
Yes, Zeyzal mostly observed our training sessions and gave me his opinion. It helps me form good habits. For example, one thing he really cares about is tracking wards. For example, if you press the Tab key, you will see that Rakan has three wards, then he comes back from a bush, he has two wards. So now you know there is a ward somewhere in this area. So you can exploit this river efficiently.
This is one of the things he cares about and appreciates enormously. That kind of stuff, you know, where we want to be, what to do in different matchups, champion building and stuff, he just writes notes between matches and I look at them when I have time. And we talk a little back and forth. And it helps a lot to have someone who is experienced in the role and has lots of good feedback and advice. It really helps me improve and have him in the team.
Are there other things he brings to the coaching staff for the rest of the team?
Zeyzal was mostly brought in to be a support coach, he’s not really like a team coach, he brings things that are relevant to the team as well. But most of the time it feels like it’s team stuff for me. It would help the support here a lot if we made this team or something, the same way Veigar helps our solo laners, especially Jensen. He is therefore more of a support specialist than anything else.
You mentioned earlier that you were hoping for a little more time and that you think that as the playoffs approach, you will be in your final form. Is there something fundamental you feel you need to work on or is it just time to work things out and train together?
I think we just lack a bit of team spirit and training at the moment. And it’s good. I think for me specifically, sometimes I have trouble following the game when I’m playing a champion, and I’m not super comfortable. So I have to spend more time thinking about my champion’s mechanics, how I lane, etc.
Whereas before, once you’ve played a lot of games with certain champions, like ADCs who play champions over and over and know all the mechanics, you can spend more time on, you know, the mini-map and what’s in the game, think macro, think team. So it’s probably more important that I train on champions in order to master them and not fall behind. You know, there are people who can play Singed support, Neeko or even Amumu, and I want to be that type of person too. But I gotta get good at Nautilus and Leona first [rires].