In an interview, Jake ‘Stewie2K’ Yip revealed that he thought North American Counter-Strike still had a long way to go, and that he felt his team, Cloud9, were not currently in the top 10.
Cloud9 is an American team that is, at the time of writing, ranked 13th in the world. The side has had high expectations placed on them since they acquired Will ‘RUSH’ Wierzba and Tarik ‘tarik’ Celik during the player break in August.
Stewie2K is considered their star player and is known for his high skill level in the professional scene. His team was eliminated from DreamHack Open Montreal, a $100,000 tournament that ran until the 10th of September, when they lost 2-0 to the Danish team, North.
After the event, news site theScore esports interviewed him and asked about the tournament result, how the team is forming with the two new players, and what his opinion was on the North American professional scene.
When asked how they felt about their result in Montreal, Stewie2K said they now know they have a lot to work on before their next tournament on the 15th of September, ESL One New York.
”A lot of time we’re not on the same page and we struggle a lot on CT side. And when we get things going that’s when we become a really fearful team. And right now, we’re just struggling to find our own style.”
”This tournament we felt like we should be first or second, but since we didn’t get it we know that we have a lot to work on since New York is coming and we only have one to two days to prepare for that and we’re trying to make most of our time useful. We know we have a lot to work on because we’re really weak in our map pool right now.”
He was then asked about tarik, who has become the in game leader for Cloud9, and how his leadership has changed the team. He said tarik is a great in game leader because of his personality and that he works well with his teammates.
”In-game, he’s a good leader because he has a really good attitude and usually he knows how to work with his teammates. And he’s a really good teammate in and out of game because how he is in-game is how he is out of game and there’s no change in personality. He’s really genuine, really down to earth and I think he’s a really good leader for our team.”
Finally, the conversation turned to the North American scene. The first question focused on OpTic Gaming and asked what Stewie’s thoughts were on the their new European line up.
”I think the OpTic roster right now is really good because they have a lot of experience and a lot of good players that have played for a long time, so they can create new things really easily and a lot of them know how to play their spots, so it’s easier to play when you’re a brand new team. And down the line I think they’ll be a really good team.”
When asked about the state of North American CS:GO, he responded that the scene had a big skill gap. He stated there was still a long way to go for the scene as it continues to develop.
”I think the state of NA CS is still how it is right now because when you compare teams like Team Liquid, OpTic and Cloud9 to the rest of the North American scene, I think there’s a big skill gap. There’s like a mid-tier and a lower-tier for NA and there’s a big gap between that too. So I think NA has a long way to go still.”
Near the end of the interview Stewie2K revealed his thoughts on his team and their place in the NA scene at the moment. He said their team is still adjusting after tarik became in game leader and so it will take them more time to tell where their place is. However he did say he doesn’t believe they are a top 10 team in their current state.
”It’s really hard to say because our team has really good potential to be one of the top in the world. But how we are right now, we’re kind of like a brand new team right now. We have a new in-game leader who just joined the team, so it’s really hard for him to call. So I think we need a lot more time to tell where we are. But if I were to rate us right now, I don’t think we’re even top 10 right now.”
Stewie2K and his teammates are now preparing for ESL One New York where they must face the top tier teams of SK Gaming and Natus Vincere in the group stage of the $250,000 tournament.