We sat down with Jack Etienne, manager and owner of Cloud 9, to talk about the team’s experiences during Katowice last year as well as their expectations for this year and where their strength lies as a team.
ESL: Welcome, Jack, and thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Season 9 is the second season Cloud 9 will be at the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship – can you tell us about your experience last year?
Jack Etienne: Last year’s Intel Extreme Masters was our first time playing in front of a massive audience and the feeling was like nothing we’ve experienced before. We’re very excited to return and this time with our CS:GO and hopefully Hearthstone team as well.
ESL: What do you expect to be different this year?
Jack: We’re coming to this Intel Extreme Masters World Championship with quite a bit more experience under our belt. That experience should result in us adjusting to the difficulty of travel and different playstyles faster.
ESL: Are there any teams you’d love to play against or any teams you’d rather avoid?
Jack: We really would like to see how we stack up against the Chinese and Korean teams. We so rarely get an opportunity to play against them and each time we do we walk away learning something new.
ESL: Your lineup hasn’t changed for more than two years – how much do you think this has contributed to your success?
Jack: We’ve got a level of comfort, familiarity and history with each other that no other team has. These qualities have helped us overcome adversity that potentially would have broken other teams.
ESL: It’s Season 5 now and you’ve played a good bunch of matches on the new version of Summoner’s Rift. How well did you adapt to the changes and is there anything you’re still working on to improve your play?
Jack: We’ve clearly had a few bumps along the way this season but we seem to be hitting our stride now and I’m optimistic about the rest of the season. I believe we’ve worked out the kinks that plagued us in the beginning of the season.
ESL: The Intel Extreme Masters World Championship in Katowice is another international event – how do you prepare for these matchups?
Jack: We spend a significant amount of time studying our opponents’ past competitive games to come as prepared as possible. Study, scrim, solo queue and sleep.
ESL: You got your ticket to Katowice by winning in your home town. How does playing at any other event differ from an event only minutes from the place you, your team and your fans live?
Jack: Traveling around the globe versus across the city of course requires a ton more preparation. This year Cloud 9 has the support of both G2A and Logitech, who will be setting up a bootcamp for us in Katowice, so that’s a huge help. We’re going to miss our fans from San Jose but we’re excited to see our fans in Poland again!
ESL: Thank you very much for your time. Is there anything you’d like to say to the fans who’ll be there at the Spodek arena?
Jack: Thank you for welcoming Cloud 9 back to Katowice! Please visit us at our meet and greets during the event – we will be bringing Cloud 9 G2A wristbands this year to pass out to our fans!
It’s hard not to get excited for Intel Extreme Masters Katowice this year, so make sure you keep an eye on the Intel Extreme Masters Twitter, Facebook and ESLGaming.com to keep up with all the latest Intel Extreme Masters news!
Tickets are currently still available so head over to the ticket page to get yours so you can see all the action live!