“We are competing against the best teams in the world as underdogs”- Interview with Cloud9’s refrezh
We sat down with Ismail “refrezh” Ali, who’s standing-in for Cloud9 during BLAST Pro Series Lisbon, to know how he reacted to the invitation to play, his thoughts on Cloud9’s recent results and his future as a player since he left Fragsters.
Cloud9 has been having a rough couple of months. After getting invited to stand-in in this event and practicing with them in the last few days, how do you feel is the atmosphere in the team?
refrezh: The atmosphere is pretty good, we don't have very high expectations for this event. We are competing against the best teams in the world as underdogs, and we will just see how it goes and hope for the best.
What was your reaction when you received Cloud9’s invitation for BLAST Pro Series Lisbon?
refrezh: I was really excited to play alongside such good players, it's something I've always dreamed of. Being at a big tournament and playing with some of the best players in the world is a really big thing. I am very happy for the opportunity.
You're also playing another team with a stand-in in the first round, MiBR. Not only that, there are a lot of rumors surrounding them and the future of the players. How do you see that match up, knowing these facts?
refrezh: I mean, if the facts are true, it could potentially impact their game but I don't really think about it. Stuff like that doesn’t matter when you are inside the game and you just have to try your best to play good against them.
Faze is your opponent on the second round, this time playing on Cache. Statistically, Cloud9 has been having better results in this map compared to them. What are your thoughts towards that match?
refrezh: I think that Faze are playing more individually, so if we can hit our shots and play a little smarter than them, then we can beat them if we do our best.
What are your expectations towards the arena day and the Portuguese fans?
refrezh: I hope they will cheer for us! Of course they won’t cheer when we play against the brazilians, but I hope they cheer for everyone on the stage.
Cloud9 has been playing with a mix of European and American players for some time now. How do you think you’ll be able to help them achieve a good placing in this event?
refrezh: Personally, I want to show myself that I can play against some of the best players in the world. Team expectations, I want us to succeed and not get stumped. I want us to put up a match and do our best.
And what about you - you just recently left Fragsters and find yourself without a team at the moment. Have you been receiving any offers lately?
refrezh: Yeah, I have some offers, but I have put a pause to all of that and will look into it after BLAST/New Year.
What are your plans towards the future and 2019?
refrezh: At the moment before BLAST I really didn't know, but after it is over I will look at things and, yeah, it's hard to say right now. I will find out in the upcoming days and weeks.
Do you want to leave a message to the Cloud9 fans that will read this interview?
refrezh: I hope that you will all support us and try to follow the matches and cheer for us. I know we don't have the biggest fan base in Portugal but I hope that the Cloud9 fans who attend the event will cheer for us.
I want to thank refrezh for the interview and wish him good luck for the tournament!