After dropping out during the group stage of DreamHack Winter, Cloud9 was left to qualify for ESL One Katowice after a series of top eight placements in every major so far. Now Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert and his team are back for the main event in Katowice, so we spoke about the North American scene, other regions and the tournament ahead.
ESL: Congratulations on earning a spot at ESL One Katowice 2015 at the offline qualifier! You’re now back at a CS:GO major once more. How strange did it feel to actually qualify instead of being invited as one of the Legends?
Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert: Well, it felt good to qualify regardless of how we got here. We had a disappointing showing at DreamHack and that’s not going to cut it if you want to be considered a Legend at each event. We’re looking forward to being back in the Spodek!
ESL: With the latest shuffling of the NA scene, its presence at the offline qualifier was significant, with you, CLG and Team Liquid all being present. How important is it for the NA scene to have at least one team constantly taking on the top teams in the world?
n0thing: Very important. Our community still lacks confidence, and understandably so. Our top teams have failed to produce consistent results so far in CS:GO, but the potential is there. That being said, I look forward to any other American team stepping up their game, but hopefully it’ll be us who claim the first title for the USA :D!
ESL: Your qualification was done after just two matches, but the outcome of both couldn’t be more different. After the 16-2 win over INSHOCK, how high was the stress level when you faced mousesports?
n0thing: Well, I don’t know if the stress level was exactly high, but we were definitely focused. We all were confident playing mousesports even though they had just played dust2 and ours was sloppy at the time. We just felt we could probably catch them off guard, which didn’t exactly work out but solid individual play by us secured us the game.
ESL: You’re joining CLG, Vox Eminor and Keyd Stars as the non-European teams at this fifth CS:GO major. Do you think this reflects the spread of CS:GO worldwide? Which region do you think will be next to be represented at a major?
n0thing: Well, ever since the inception of CS, many continents have been involved that aren’t yet that big in the CS:GO scene. This includes Brazil, of course, India, China, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan and Japan. I hope to see more of the Asian countries getting involved rather than playing Counter-Strike Online or Crossfire.
ESL: A lot of big NA organizations have joined the CS:GO circuit recently. Team Liquid acquired a North American team, but TSM and EnVyUs have picked up European teams. What do you think would need to change in order to see big NA orgs with NA teams?
Tres “stunna” Saranthus: Ideally, the bigger that our beloved game continues to grow, the more attraction it will have to the bigger organizations from all over the world, including NA ones. However, if we as a community want to see this game maximize on its potential, we will have to simply stop going down the routes we have that could be directly responsible for killing the game (i.e. match fixing, cheating, etc.). When these powerhouse organizations look into our game or a newcomer looks to start playing CS:GO competitively and the first headline that pops up are as negative as the topics I mentioned, can you blame them for being hesitant about furthering their involvement? The fate of this game’s growth is ultimately in our hands… Let’s stop screwing it up.
ESL: HellRaisers and Fnatic sent you packing at DreamHack Winter and ended your Legend streak at CS:GO majors. How hard are you working towards regaining this status?
Sean “sgares” Gares: Going into this event, we will be taking a slightly different approach than we did at DreamHack Winter. Previously, we were focused almost solely on our own gameplay in an effort to fix flaws that other teams were exploiting against us. This time around we look to take the offensive by mapping out our opponents and using our newly defined roles as building blocks against them. We have been studying, in-depth, the strategies of our opponents and will continue to do so through until the end of our bootcamp.
ESL: Do you have anything special planned to prepare in the time prior to the tournament?
stunna: The squad will begin traveling to Katowice on Tuesday March the 3rd in order to attend a pre-arranged bootcamp at the ESL office in Poland. We learned from our previous bootcamp what is effective with this group and what is not, and hope to do nothing less than build on that. The length of the last bootcamp proved to be too much and we feel we have adequately arranged for the best conditions possible this time around.
ESL: You already know the crowd of Katowice from last year. Do you have any idea how to get them cheering for you this time around?
n0thing: Play well and show our emotions! It’s always fun to put on a show, but it’s even more fun when you’re winning. The crowd was awesome last time around, so we look forward to sharing the venue with them!
ESL: Thank you for your time, guys. Any final words?
stunna: Absolutely! First and foremost, I would like to thank the fan base that has been supporting us through the harder times both on and offline. It truly speaks volumes of our supporters when the going gets tough and they are there to stick with you through it. Thank you to the Etienne family and Cloud9 staff for making all of this possible. Huge shoutout to our sponsors G2A.com, Logitech, HTC, Alienware, ZAM, BenQ, HyperX, Nvidia and of course NEEDforSEAT! We also cannot forget the friends and family who have been there since day one.
From March the 12th to the 15th, you can watch n0thing and his team play at ESL One Katowice 2015 – follow the action on Facebook and Twitter as the ESL Counter-Strike team keeps you up to date!