Cloud9 leaf surprised with VCT Americas run: “I thought we would definitely have some bad losses”
Cloud9 are guaranteed a top-two finish in the regular season of VCT Americas after going 7-1 before the final week of competition. Cloud9’s Nathan ‘leaf’ Orf spoke with Dexerto about his early season expectations and the team’s mentality.
Cloud9 came into the VCT Americas split with a drastically new roster as the North American squad dropped in-game leader Anthony ‘vanity’ Malaspina and star player Jaccob ‘yay’ Whiteaker shortly after a top-16 finish at VCT LOCK//IN.
Their replacements came in the form of Jake ‘jakee’ Anderson and Dylan ‘runi’ Cade, two players with almost no prior tier-one experience. Not many people had high hopes for Cloud9 heading into the season, and even the team’s players have been caught off-guard by the amazing run.
“Not 7-1 for sure,” leaf said about his expectations. “I thought that we would definitely have some losses that were bad. You know, like map losses.”
Cloud9’s leaf on his team’s success in VCT Americas
If Cloud9 and LOUD end the regular season with the same number of victories, the Brazilian side will claim the top spot due to having the head-to-head advantage. Still, Cloud9 currently have the best map (+12) and round record (+71) in the league.
“I feel like we’ve been in control most of our games, and we’ve had good game plans and good reactions and adaptations. So, I mean, can’t expect more than that,” he said.
The team has not dropped a map since their series against NRG in Week 4, with their closest map in the last four matches being a 13-9 win against FURIA on Fracture.
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Despite Cloud9 consistently winning decisively, leaf said his team always has something to talk about in practice in terms of what can be improved, and that the squad is always looking to change things in terms of strategy and composition.
“I think that we kind of still have more and more to learn and with each week, it’s not really like a disappointment with the rounds that we lose, because we still need to learn, like it’s a given,” he said.
Cloud9 have already locked in their spot for the playoff stage of VCT Americas, where they will only need one win to qualify for VCT Masters Tokyo. In those next stages, Cloud9 might face new challenges and adversities, but the team is not too worried about how they will react to those scenarios, according to leaf.
“We just make sure that everybody knows what to do if they’re uncomfortable and speaks up about it. Just making sure that we’re an actual, like, team. I think that adversity will be very hard to break us. Obviously, you can always lose a game, but I think it’s very different losing a game and then like mentally shutting down and then instantly getting destroyed in the next game that you play and stuff like that. I think that that’s where we’re going to be good. I think we’re going to be able to bounce back [from losses] pretty easily,” leaf said.
Cloud9 will end their VCT Americas split with a match against the winless KRÜ Esports on May 19 and will start their playoff stage campaign on May 24 as one of the top two seeds.