What are your personal goals for 2018?
I guess a personal goal for 2018 would be to beat SK in a Bo3 in LAN. It's not just saying that because we play them next, it's because I've only beat them as best of one in LAN, and best of three is more prestigious in my opinion. That's a goal. Also winning a major of course, that's also a goal.
There were so many upsets at this Major. Which was the biggest in your opinion?
The obvious one would be Quantum Bellator making it to legends stage. I mean, making it to the major itself was an upset, so to make the legends stage is a super upset. I also think it was kind of sad that Astralis didn't make it through, because they're a solid team that can always put up a good fight for top teams, so the fact that they didn't make it through kind of sucks.
What's responsible for your "meteoric" rise in success: personal improvement or having the right pieces around you?
I think it's a mix of both. I always strive to make sure I don't make the same mistake twice. Obviously it's impossible to that, but if I make a mistake, or I do something wrong, I make sure that the next time I play I try not to do the same thing, and I did that for however many years. And I think it's important for me to have a defined team in terms of roles, like when I was on OpTic with stanislaw we had really defined roles. We had an IGL, set IGL, set AWPer, set lurker, everything. So I was really comfortable with where I was at, and then when stanislaw left we had no set IGL, and the roles got all messed up, like Mixwell stopped AWPing at one point. It was really hard for me to find my place, and that's when I had a streak of not playing well, but the whole team was pretty bad at that point. But that was granted because we didn't have an IGL. But the point is that, on Cloud9, the roles are really, really set in stone and defined, and I am really comfortable with the way it is.
If you weren't playing CS, what other pro in the scene do you think could fill your role on C9?
I think a player like Xyp9x would be good for me. I don't think he would ever leave Astralis, but the point is that he's a solid CT player. I think I'm similar in that. He's also a pretty rock solid T player, he's not really a flashy player, but he makes not many mistakes and I feel like I'm sort of similar to that.
Any rivalry between you and G2?
I would say right now there's an unspoken rivalry between us. I think most of us are friends though, outside of the game. So it's not like we despise each other. Even in-game I feel like we joke around, but I think there is a rivalry for sure in the making.
We've seen success stories from FPL like ropz finding success on mousesports. Do you think the same opportunities exists in Rank S?
The opportunity to climb the ranks into Rank S and get noticed is definitely there. That's the whole point of it, for players to grind in pugs and get noticed by pro players. But I think the way that the game is played in Rank S, and the way that the environment is it's harder for players to get better and show their true skill, because there hasn't been many players that have been in Rank S that have actually gone to a pro team recently. So I think right now it's kind of rare, but the opportunity is definitely there.
Why is NA CS no longer a meme?
I think NA has been on the rise the last few years because of teams like SK and Immortals coming to NA. They bring a lot of good practice, and I think it brings motivation as well to see them, even though they're playing in the NA scene, they're winning tournaments, being at the top of the world. I think seeing that helped a lot, and like I said, practicing versus them is also huge.
What makes Cloud9 so great to play for?
Cloud9 is good to play for because they have all the fans basically, and the org itself is huge. It kind of reminds me of OpTic, but I think we have more CS fans here on Cloud9, so I'm really happy for that.
What did you learn from your time on OpTic?
I learned on OpTic my true potential as a player, I think. I learned that I can play with the best at any moment and win a game at any moment as well for us, whether it be—because obviously, like I said, it's important to have the IGL aspect—so I think having an IGL that knows how to direct me is important.