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C9 Sneaky: "We have to be able to 2-0 Vitality, because if you have a 2-0 lead over someone in the group, that means you can just take one or two games off the other guys"

By Renato "Shakarez" Perdigão
Oct 12, 2018

After a tough loss to RNG, Cloud9 bounced back and clawed their way back into the game after being down against Vitality. We talked to C9 Sneaky about the importance of having a 2-0 over a group opponent, Kai'Sa itemization and the Nautilus pick


Renato (Shakarez): First of all congratulations on your win. After seeing Vitality's win over Gen.G and knowing how stacked your group is, did this game seem like even more of a must-win?

Sneaky: Yeah of course. I mean my original thoughts going into the group was that we have to be able to 2-0 Vitality, because if you have a 2-0 lead over someone in the group, that means you can just take one or two games off the other guys, like in total, and then you'll have three wins, and three wins is pretty insane for potentially getting out of the group. It gives you a tiebreaker I think, or you just get out. So yeah, that was our condition, and them winning actually inspires us a lot, because normally when you see a team playing, someone that's really strong, you think of them as so strong that they're potentially unbeatable. But then you see them get beat by someone, and you're like, "Wow, they actually have a lot of weaknesses." So yeah, it's pretty inspiring seeing them win.

And with that in mind, seeing them beat Gen.G, how do you rate your chances against Gen.G? We've only seen them in one game of course, and they're about to play their second one.

I think we can beat any team in this tournament. I don't know if we're the best team, but I think we can definitely take games off everyone for sure. We just have to be playing our A-game, which is a little difficult because there's a lot of random things that we'll mess up on every now, and then it'll snowball in the enemy's favor. But we're pretty good at playing from behind as well, I think.

Speaking of playing from behind, you guys were actually down 7.5k gold at one point. Did it ever feel like you guys were at a point where you thought, "This is a really bad spot, we don't have control of the game anymore and we don't have much of a chance"?

I didn't really personally feel that way. Maybe someone else that doesn't scale as hard maybe felt that way in our team. No one was saying it or anything, but for me, when I'm playing Kai'Sa, every game is winnable. I can just hit three items, and I have all three of my evolves, and I just can do so much more with my champion that it doesn't matter how much gold down, we can still win. But yeah, when they got that first Baron, we actually played it pretty well. We ended up stopping most of their pushes, so they couldn't really get a big lead on us. And then the next Baron, we ended up getting Elder for it. So it was actually pretty even from our own standpoint. When we have Elder, they can't really push their lead with Baron, and then it only gave them a minute or so when they had Baron when we didn't have Elder. So it was really hard for them to actually push their gold advantage on us.

So you think the trade for objectives allowed you to stall the game enough?

Yeah yeah, especially for Kai'Sa.

You spoke about Kai'Sa and your itemization. Your composition was actually pretty heavy on magic damage. Did you opt for the Stormrazor build instead of Rageblade into Nashor's because of that to get a bit more physical damage?

Yeah. I would generally say that I like Stormrazor more often than Guinsoo's first, because it gives you an earlier spike timing, and it gives you your Q evolve.

Yeah, by level 12 I believe.

Yeah. When they nerfed Stormrazor a little bit, it made it so you have to be level 12 for it. You used to only have to be level 9 with Pickaxe. So it's a little bit slower of a spike compared to last patch, but still, the Q evolve is a ton of burst that you don't necessarily get as AP Kai'sa. As AP Kai'Sa, your power spike at one item is so much weaker than the Stormrazor. But yeah, it's also with the physical damage portion. We needed a bit more. And then third item, I ended up going Banshee's. They didn't even have that much MR, but Banshee's is actually such a good item for Kai'Sa. It give you all three evolves and 60 MR on Banshee's Veil is actually insane. QSS/Mercurial only gives like 30 MR. It's like doubled, there's so much more defensiveness. And then you have the spell block, like LeBlanc can't really even bother trying to kill me anymore.

You guys ended up going with a Nautilus pick in response to the Thresh. I know it's a bit of a soft counter, if you will, but why do you think it's been showing up more now that before? We didn't see Nautilus at all until very recently.

Nautilus got a small buff. I don't remember exactly what was.

It was the shield. Shield duration went down.

Oh yeah, it has more up time.

Well, the shield duration in total is down. But since the cooldown is also down, you got more shields.

Yeah, so you can get more trading in. I mean, I don't think he's OP or anything, but Thresh is a pretty strong laner and Nautilus can actually have a lot of kill pressure on Thresh whenever he lands a hook. And then his ulti is really strong as an ability. He's still really squishy, which you saw a lot in that game, like he ended just hooking someone, and like, "Oh I'm dead." But yeah, he's a pretty decent pick. There weren't really too many options in that game for support that wasn't just like Rakan or something like.

Playing against this Vitality roster, they're a very aggressive team that just goes for a fight whenever they can. They buy into every fight. What is it like playing against a team like that? Do you feel you had to prep differently or play differently, because you know they're so aggressive?

Honestly, I would say that kind of feels like just the meta right now with most teams. A lot of the times, people just say, "I'm not going to the side wave. I'm going to go fight." I'm not sure how much better it is, because it might just have to do with a lot of the champions in the game right now and how much force they have. You know, like Ornn/Sion, even if you're not in a bad spot, they'll make you be in a bad spot because of their long range and how much engage they have. It's similar to Urgot/Aatrox, like Aatrox can catch you out, but that just kind of feels like that's the way the game's supposed to be played with how many fights you take in a game. And sometimes you'll see—I think in the Afreeca/Flash Wolves game there weren't really any fights at all, but that's actually pretty abnormal right now in this meta.

Finally, after watching yesterday and yesterday's game against Gen.G, were you guys playing extra extension to possible backdoors? They even tried to make a play, were you extra on your toes?

We talked about it a little bit. Even we were watching the game, we were like, "Yeah, this is the EU strat. They love doing this, just going for the end instead of going for the fight instead, or the Baron." So I wouldn't say we were really talking about it that much, but we didn't know we had to recall because that wave it was crashing on our turret and ended up TPing, but it was just a Gragas.

The interview above has been edited for clarity

Images via Lolesports Flickr

Renato "Shakarez" Perdigão profile
Renato "Shakarez" Perdigão
Shakarez has done work as a content manager for guide websites and also as a league analyst. As an enthusiast of good League, he usually rants about how teams are doing it wrong or instead talks about tank Karma being a great troll pick.
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