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Post-Match Interview with valens: "We were pretty comfortable when it got to overtime"

After Cloud9’s narrow win over Winstrike, I spoke to their coach Soham “valens” Chowdhury about their preparation going in to the match, their struggles during the match as well as his opinions on Winstrike.

After quite a convincing CT side you guys began to struggle on the T side, what was the mentality in the team like when Winstrike began to make the comeback?

I think you see the numbers keep on going up on their side of the tab and you start to get a little bit worried, and then you’re like, no its 13-7, no worries. What happens is, at that point, when the comeback starts to happen, if then we lose a round where we made a mistake then it starts to compound. Whereas, if those kinds of mistakes are happening earlier in the half or earlier in the game, then it's much easier to get over. So those mistakes probably got to us a little more, because it's happening while the comeback is going on, a little bit of doubt starts creeping in. Overall, we had a game plan going in, it was icing on the cake to start CT side as well, because we have a strong CT side. But we always knew that if we had a poor CT side then we could come back on T side. Obviously the score line didn't show that today for T side but we were confident going in, we knew how they rotated and the blind stacks that sometimes happen from them, one caught us off guard, but overall I think it was scary for sure.

So what do you think made you guys struggle on your T side, what did they do that caused you problems?

I think a couple of things is that their halls pushes are coming at a time, where I'm sure they watched how Martin "STYKO" Styk works halls and where the gap is. So a couple of rounds he was getting caught of guard but in some rounds he was going one for one, so he was punishing them in some ways but they were also punishing us, that kind of stuff. Usually our banana control on T side is much cleaner, today we were getting naded and mollied down quite a bit and they slightly changed their molly timings from what we expected and overall we never got the car control that we usually do, to then set up the rest of our map. So we’re just like, “forget banana for a little bit, lets swap the order of it”, when we did that and tried to split B, they had a blind stack, with three B. Even though they were having so much success controlling banana themselves, so it was kind of an odd stack. From their perspective, I wasn't sure why they would call a blind stack B that round, so that was surprising.

How has your preparation going in to matches changed since you made these roster changes?

The structure? There is like 2 changes that are happening. This was kind of happening even when Tarik "tarik" Celik and Pujan "FNS" Mehta were on board. We kind of introduced it around at that point where Jake "Stewie2K" Yip left and FNS came on board, where we just trying to get a little more structure with our review process. When we are scrimming and several things, I am taking notes during the scrimms and the big issues, we will discuss before the next day of scrimms start. So we are kind of implementing a review process with our sports psychologist to make sure we are reflecting on the big mistakes, so that when it's crunch time during a match, we are not making the same mistakes we literally just went over. So that is the process change, that's one of the changes we have been going through. The second thing is obviously the IGL game style change with Maikil "Golden" Selim. I think this is the first time that C9 as a whole is trying to implement this kind of European / Swedish playstyle where everyone needs to be, not only on point with their aim but also with their decision making, its very common in NiP and Fnatic and some teams in EU. Where we need to be able to play off each other and not hesitate, and it's really important in the system that if the person in front of you is making a move that you disagree with, that you still follow up in a way that can take advantage of it. I think that's the most trouble that we are having, is that sometimes, players on a team, they see something that their teammate is doing and don't really understand “why?” Instead of following up on it anyways so we have the best chance to win the round, we are kind of freezing, because they’re like different philosophies. So bringing that in to a philosophy that everyone on the team is on the same page with, is something that Golden is obviously trying to do. I’m on board with it, the players are on board with it, now we are just trying to execute it.

So going in to the overtime, what did you and the team say to each other after that comeback by Winstrike?

I think we were extremely lucky that at 14-14 we won the 15th round, so going in to the 30th round, we were kind of relaxed a little bit. The fact that they won the 30th round, but we had kind of just broke the curse of losing, whatever it was, seven rounds in a row or something, we were kind of pretty relaxed going in to overtime because we were like “ok this is where we reset.” We had a clean T half, I think it was 3-0 and basically from that point onward, we knew we didn't have to deal with their blind stacks and this is when they were going to start to play a little bit more of what we have seen. When it's crunch time that's when players really start to play, especially on CT side, the way that they are most comfortable with. So we knew that those two on their A side, would be pushing halls a lot, because that's what we saw in the demos. We knew that their awper was probably going to be alone on arch side. These kinds of things are stuff that teams will fall back in to when it's crunch time, so we were pretty comfortable when it got to OT.

One last thing, there was some comments made by William "draken" Sundin about Winstrike that were a bit controversial, what's your opinion on Winstrike as well as these comments?

As far as why draken said what he did, I actually think he’s a pretty nice guy so maybe he was just saying it to get a laugh or two, and jump onto the bandwagon of maybe not everyone should return to the major, that did well last time. I don't think he really thinks that they are a bad team or anything like that, I think he has more respect than that for most teams. So that's about draken. My impression about Winstrike is very similar to what my impression of Vega coming in to here. I think Vega is a step ahead of how they are changing their game style to be less predictable than Winstrike. I think by the next time we meet Winstrike, they are going to be, basically how Vega is now, very unpredictable which is very hard to read because of that and I think they are doing a great job in the CIS region.


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