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C9 Zven: “I think we can easily win against everyone in the LCS right now”

We spoke to Cloud9 bot laner Zven following the end of the regular season and talked about rivalry, competition and the upcoming playoffs.

Thank you for sitting down to talk with me Zven and congratulations on the win. Starting off, Cloud9 had pretty firmly qualified for playoffs before this game. What was the attitude like going into this final game of the season?

Zven: Every match matters and it’s always nice to end the season with a good performance, especially against a team like Team Liquid. It’s kind of been like a rivalry for Cloud9 over the past couple of years. It’s important to end the season on a high note for sure.

So this was a pretty fast-paced game where the botlane received a lot of attention early on. Can you tell me about this game from your perspective?

Zven: I think we had some really good dives early. The first one we did at four minutes, we got first blood onto Leona and I think it was a well played dive. We got him into a stun-lock with the Braum passive and Twisted Fate gold card. It was just a free first blood for our team, which was pretty good.

I think our next bot dive and next top dive was kind of a disaster. I took two tower shots on the first dive and the second dive bot and in the top dive we didn’t kill anyone, which was really bad. We were confident going for the plays though and I think it was good practice for playoffs. The early game was a bit disastrous in the dives besides the first one, but overall a good game.

Jensen had a pretty good game on Azir though, making up 100% of Team Liquid’s kills until 10 minutes. At any point did this game feel like a race to stop Azir from scaling too hard?

Zven: I think it wasn’t a race because our composition deals well with Azir. We have a good split push which Azir can’t really deal with and their whole team composition besides Azir was pretty weak against our competition, so it didn’t feel like too much of a problem. At one point, when he killed almost all of us at Baron, it could have gotten scary if they had the HP to do Baron. Besides that one team fight, I don’t think he was too bad. He got a lot of kills for no reason, like the bot dive where I took two tower shots or whatever.

Speaking of that Baron play, it felt like Cloud9 had pretty clear neutral objective control up until that point. What do you think went wrong there?

Zven: We just took a team fight and didn’t respect the Azir enough. We went too far forward and Azir is very strong when you go into him. I had no flash that one teamfight and I think if I die, then we definitely lose, but if I have flash and I can flash on Azir’s ultimate then we would never lose. I think we took a team fight without my flash and we went too far into Azir and that’s what let Azir carry that team fight. I think it’s just about not going too far forward into Azir and that’s pretty much it.

I believe you said on broadcast that Blaber was contemplating taking the penta from you?

Zven:  He was definitely eyeing that one, I think. Jensen is his friend and I could see him trying to take that one for sure.

It’s good that you got to finish it off in time. You guys are advancing to the playoffs, but not as the first seed this time. Do you have any reflections on the Spring Split generally?

Zven:  I think we had a slow start because of the whole offseason ‘shenanigans.’ When I came back to the team we had a very slow start and we had a lot of bad drafts, a lot of bad strategies and bad play and it was just a mess the first couple weeks. I think the last three weeks or so we’ve been doing well. We only dropped games to Evil Geniuses and TSM, who I think are two of the best teams in the playoffs.

I think that we could have won against TSM very easily. The game was literally over at some point, they couldn’t win if we played slightly better but we messed up everything we could have messed up. Against Evil Geniuses we were also in positions at times. I think we can easily win against everyone in the LCS right now. We have what it takes if we have a good draft on the day and good preparation. I think we are in a very good spot right now.

Some teams have changed and improved since the Spring playoffs. Do you think that this post-season is going to be different in any way?

Zven: Yeah, I think that Evil Geniuses adding Danny is a big improvement for them. Their botlane is now an actual botlane that matters in games and before they were actually useless. That’s a huge thing for them, I also think that the meta fits EG really well right now, especially Jiizuke. His champions, Twisted Fate, Ryze, LeBlanc are all meta. When Jiizuke’s champions are meta he is generally really, really good but when they aren’t he falters. That’s just the Jiizuke story though I guess.

I think that EG plays really well together and has players that fit each other. I think they have been slowing down recently, same as 100 Thieves, they’ve been losing to some teams here and there. EG lost some games to Immortals and Team Liquid, so they’ve been slowing down.

You and Vulcan have been a pretty consistent win condition for Cloud9. How do you think you guys stack up against the remaining botlane duos?

Zven:  I think when I came back in the Summer Split, we were doing pretty poorly. We got made fun of by 100 Thieves in-lane. I remembered that and it was pretty embarrassing, but the last two or three weeks we’ve been smurfing in scrims and in LCS. We’re doing pretty well overall so I’m happy with our performances so far and I feel like Cloud9 as a whole, including our botlane, is on the right path.

Does ending the season with a win over a fellow ‘top’ team inspire some confidence?

Zven: It definitely does. It gives a lot of confidence to the team to go out with a win and it also makes people fear you a little bit more in the playoffs. It makes them think maybe you could pull out a draft that maybe you haven’t played before, like we haven’t played Camille and Twisted Fate before so teams will always have that in their mind now. I think it’s a good and very important thing to go out with a confidence booster.

Of course now games are going into the best of five series. Is this something you believe Cloud9 does particularly well in?

Zven: Yeah, I definitely think so. As a team we have a lot of experience since we have kept the same roster for a long time now and our coaching staff has a lot of experience as well. Overall, Cloud9 has a lot of experience in the best of fives and we also have a lot of games together this year. I think we’re looking pretty good for the playoffs.

Thank you Zven and good luck in playoffs!

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