"We need to be smart about vetoing maps": an interview with Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert

Cloud 9 is a new name, but it presents veteran faces. The former compLexity Gaming squad comes to Cologne with a chip on their shoulders, an ESEA performance that makes them a favorite and the knowledge that they perform well overseas. Right before the event began, fan favorite Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert took the time to address their roster and organization change, the map pool and expectations for the event.

ESL: First of all, thank you for your time. You are a team in flux - change of roster, change of organization, but you are going into the competition as a ‘Legend’ team. Does that apply more pressure?
Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert: Well, we apply pressure on ourselves to do well, so the added pressure from being a Legend team is a welcome thing for us.
ESL: How do you handle all the changes?
n0thing: Well, we just try to be as open as we can in terms of communication within the team. Knowing what people are comfortable doing and what they aren’t helps us maintain composure in-game. The changes can be unfortunate, but the roster changes were necessary.
ESL: Why did you decide to leave coL and join the North American Cloud 9?
n0thing: Our contracts were expiring with compLexity and Cloud 9 simply offered a more lucrative deal.
ESL: Is there pressure to perform for the Cloud 9 debut in CS:GO?
n0thing: Same pressure as always! As a pro, you try to apply this pressure even while practicing at home, knowing that eventually you are expected to perform well.
ESL: You have been a top eight team at both majors so far. How confident are you that you can repeat those performances once more?
n0thing:  Well our team feels confident we can beat literally any team in the world, but the best of one format provides a tricky challenge in making sure you are prepared for the right maps versus each opponent. Especially with the additions of Cobblestone and Overpass, we really need to be smart about the veto process with maps.
ESL: After those majors, the buzz around you calmed down a bit. You stuck to regional competitions and lost the number one NA spot to iBUYPOWER. How has this time been for the team?
n0thing:  It hasn’t really gotten to us mentally too much. Our loss at ESEA wasn’t as big of a deal to us as many people might have thought. We obviously wanted to beat iBP, but the fact that we took down three teams who could have been considered the best three teams in the world was an awesome feat for us. 
ESL: Overall you seem to be a team that plays better when in the big spotlight. The best example of this is the ESEA Season 16 Finals in Dallas, Texas last month. Out of nowhere, you took second there - did you expect that result?
n0thing: We did not expect that result. We knew we were going to change out anger so our practice going in wasn’t as … ‘inspirational’ as it usually is. So yeah, we didn’t really expect to beat NiP or Virtus the way we did.
ESL: How do you explain that surge for the major competitions against the best teams in the world?
n0thing: Confidence and experience, combined with also having the skill to match any team in the world.
ESL: What’s the difference between playing teams like Na'Vi or NiP compared to iBP or Manajuma?
n0thing: Less hesitation by the Europeans, who obviously have more confidence and practice than the Americans. It’s no news to anyone in the competitive CS:GO scene that the Europeans have a much better environment in terms of training. I believe that a lot of American players and teams would surprise the general public if placed in Europe for months on end.
ESL: Shortly after the ESEA LAN, anger left, and now Canadian shroud seems to be the new fifth. How does he fit in so far? Why did anger leave? 
n0thing: Anger was removed from the team because there was lack of chemistry between himself and players on our team. Shroud is a very skilled player who gets along well with us. We are looking forward to him blossoming with experience.
ESL: How is your preparation going for this event? Have you been doing anything special?
n0thing: We are at Freaks4U in Berlin doing a short three day bootcamp, which also helps us adjust to the time zone. Unfortunately, we came so last minute that we had to use backup computers, which don’t have more than 150 FPS on most our resolutions. Also, three people are using 60hz monitors. Freaks4U is a great place, though, and normally I think it would be an awesome bootcamp. Hopefully the lower performance computers help us train by making it tougher on us.
ESL: Do you think NA teams will have a slight advantage with the map pool, seeing as de_cache is already played very regularly in NA competitions like ESEA, Cevo and others?
n0thing: I do not think this will help us, no. The Europeans are just as good or better on cache at this point.
ESL: What are your thoughts about the map pool overall?
n0thing: I think it’s not very smart of the organizers to add in the two new maps without much pressure testing, although it is a way to get everyone’s attention on them. I like the other maps, though.
ESL: In Cologne teams as far away as India and Australia will be competing. Who do you look forward to playing against the most?
n0thing: I mostly like to beat teams that are ranked above us, but I enjoy meeting players from countries that aren’t usually around at big events.
ESL: What are your expectations for this event?
n0thing: Play hard, go pro 😀 Translation: hopefully top three.
ESL: At the end of the day, who do you see as the strongest and best team in the world at the moment?
n0thing: NiP still seems to have the most solid teamwork, although Virtus.pro is a great competitor. There’s a handful of teams that can beat anyone, though, so it’s hard to say right now.

ESL: Thank you very much for your time, Jordan!

For more interesting CSGO content, interviews, updates and much more, head over to the official ESL One website and get your tickets for the already sold-out gamescom. Witness the American heroes walk into the European lion’s den and try to bring home the trophy!


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