Cloud9’s leaf targets revenge against Fnatic at Valorant Champions: “Next time it’ll be a lot easier”

Cloud9 leaf at Valorant ChampionsLance Skundrich / Riot Games

Cloud9 Blue’s Nathan ‘leaf’ Orf is hoping for a rematch against Fnatic following their 2-1 loss against the European team in their opening Valorant Champions match. 

Valorant Champions 2021 is well underway, with 16 of the world’s best teams vying for the first-ever title of world champion in Riot Games’ tactical shooter.

The opening day of the tournament on December 1 was headlined by an intercontinental series between Fnatic and Cloud9 Blue. The European team, who missed the VCT Stage 3 Masters event, showed no signs of rust as they ran out 2-1 winners in this keenly-contested match that came down to the wire as the final map, Fracture, was decided in overtime.

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Cloud9 Blue will fight for survival in the tournament against FULL SENSE

In a post-match interview with Dexerto, leaf rued the mistakes that his team made. Fnatic came out the better side on the opening map, Icebox, before Cloud9 responded on Split, hitting back from 11-6 down.

At one point on Fracture, Cloud9 were down 11-4 before they managed to bring it back to overtime.

“[On Icebox], we weren’t making plants fast enough, I guess, and that kind of hurt us with post plants,” leaf said. “We won the pistol, then they went up 3-2 and it was all post-plant defuses. They were definitely doing good retakes.

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“On Fracture, I played like trash and we lost both pistols, so that definitely plays an important part,” he said. “I think we made a good comeback though, which is really good, it shows mental resilience.”

Fnatic ran out 2-1 winners against Cloud9 Blue

Leaf explained that Cloud9 didn’t have enough information to go off of to fully prepare against Fnatic. The last time the Europeans played a VCT tournament was in July.

While Fnatic still dabbled in smaller tournaments, like the Red Bull Home Ground and LVP Rising, those didn’t really show the roster’s strengths and weaknesses. “We haven’t really had many VODs to watch from them,” leaf said.

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“They only played like once a month ago or something, but even then it was three matches and Bo1s, so you can’t learn that much from it. Fnatic are an anti-strat team too, so it was kind of bad that they had so many VODs of us and we didn’t have any of them.”

Looking forward, Cloud9 will be looking for revenge against Fnatic, but first, they will need to overcome FULL SENSE. When asked which team he’d like to face if they beat the Thai side, leaf mentioned Fnatic without hesitation.

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“We should’ve closed it out on Icebox and beat them 2-0,” he noted. “I think next time it’ll be a lot easier too because we’ll be familiar with them.”