Cloud9's Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert has been an anchor for North American Counter-Strike for years now. He's one of the few players that has attended every single Major so far and one of the few NA players that has achieved Legend at a Major.
n0thing spoke to theScore esports about how it feels for Cloud9 to be going into the MLG Major as one of the four NA representatives on home soil.
You guys have played a number of games since qualifying for the Major, at the iBP Invitational and ESL Pro League. How satisfied are you with your team’s performance in 2016 so far?
We’ve gained some momentum by winning the iBP Invitational and our recent Pro League games. If you asked me a few weeks ago I would say I’m not satisfied, but that’s slowly changing.
How has the team adjusted since Jake "Stewie2k" Yip was brought into the lineup? How does he compare to Sean "sgares" Gares, and how has your in-game leading been affected?
Well, Stewie’s experience is obviously trumped by Sean’s, and his role is a completely different one. Much to my surprise though, Stewie does have a good amount of a feedback on strategies.
My in-game leading has been affected because I know I have more players who like to be in the “action,” so I’ve had to add some systems of checks and balances to make sure we don’t overextend.
What does he bring to the table as far as the pre-Major preparations?
Stewie plays A LOT of Counter-Strike. That being said, he’s able to give us small feedback on strats that he picks up from all around the game. Sometimes the smallest details or additions can really make a strategy more difficult to play against. He also gives me a lot of help on pistol rounds.
This will also be Stewie2K’s first Major. How does he feel about it? How much of a factor will his nerves be competing in a tournament of this scale?
I think he’s already come a long way in terms of skill and poise. He’s learned quickly and I think he’ll be ready to compete with just the right amount of nerves :) I think his excitement to play will trump any nervousness.
This is the first Major in NA, and it will have more NA teams than any previous Major. But there hasn’t been a Top 8 NA finish since ESL One: Cologne 2014, almost two years ago. How much of this matters to you or the team?
It matters a great deal. The Major tournaments remain the only ones with that true extra aura and you really desire to be a champion of these events. As for NA, winning or being a finalist in any Major would be huge, let alone the current one.
Among the four NA teams at the Major, two have made use of EU talent (s1mple on Liquid and pita on CLG). What is your opinion on this cross pollination? How do you think this could affect NA’s competitive scene?
I did it in the past in 1.6, with a player you might know named lurppis [Tomi "lurppis" Kovanen], and it can be helpful because those players can reassure you on things that a lot of the top EU teams do as protocol or habit.
In reality, NA players aren't too much less skilled with guns or movement, it’s more about decision-making and having confidence in those decisions. I think it’s cool, but I also have a sense of pride that sometimes makes me want to avoid using foreigners unless they really align with our team.
We almost grabbed GeT_RiGhT [Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund] from NiP, because he wanted to join, we were friends with him, and he fit a role that we could have used well.
As a side note, what has your experience been with the FPL in-house league? Is it important for the growth of the NA competitive scene?
This type of “league” has been around for a long time in the form of what we called “10-mans,” only now there’s money. I think it being more official allows a path for semi-pro players to find their way in, which is very important for any pro scene.
What was the team’s reaction when you found out you were grouped with Virtus.pro, G2 Esports and Natus Vincere?
Tough group versus a lot of teams with experience, but nothing we can't handle if we play well.
How do you and the team feel going into the Major overall?
Pretty good, we just want to work on being more well rounded on all seven maps.
Beyond the Major, what do you or the team have planned for the future?
DreamHack Austin, the ESL Pro League LAN, and E-League in Atlanta for the $1.2 million TBS League!
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, Dungeon & Dragons and first-picking
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