Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Vanity believes Cloud9 needs to “turn back the excitement” at VCT Champions

The first clash between North America and Europe on the VALORANT Champions Tour Event in Berlin gave the fans everything they could ask for. Cloud9 and Fnatic went back and forth in a nail bite series, working overtime on the third card, Fracture.

Though Cloud9 struggled tooth and nail, the series went in Fnatic’s favor. The defeat tasted bitter for in-game leader Anthony “vanity” Malaspina, but in an interview with Upcomer he remained optimistic after the end of the series. He reflected on the growth of his team over the past few months and the lessons learned from it.

Constant improvement in the team

Vanity, the latest addition to Cloud9, took on the role of in-game leader after joining the organization in August. As an outsider, he had watched the team’s games and it was clear to him what was missing from the line-up. “I watched them play and I could see that someone was missing who would just say,” We’ll do that. “It’s really important to have it,” explained Vanity.

Realizing that building structure is one of his strengths, Vanity worked with the team to clean up internal communications. “I think the biggest improvement we’ve made as a team is listening to each other,” he said.

Vanity names the team atmosphere of Cloud9 as one of the reasons that constant improvements were possible. Mitch “mitch” Semago, Nathan “leaf” Orf and Son “xeta” Seon-ho have been playing together for almost a year.

As for vanity itself, he also has a history with two of his current teammates. He was the in-game leader of Chaos Esports’ CS: GO lineup, where he starred alongside Erick “Xeppaa” Bach and Leaf. Even when they weren’t on a team together, they stayed in touch almost every day, according to Vanity.

Preparation for VCT Champions

The dynamism of the team is key to Cloud9’s tournament preparation. The team had to go through the Last Chance Qualifier in North America to get a ticket for the VCT Champions and went to Berlin on a thin rope. The entire team provides input in devising strategies to defeat the opponent.

“We’re really good at having open discussions,” said Vanity, “someone is going to see something and we are discussing it to see if we should implement it.” Being open to feedback is vital, he added, and was happy to see the openness of his teammates as they prepare for the VCT Champions.

Photo courtesy of Wojciech Wandzel, via Riot Games

International competition is tough at the VALORANT World Cup. Scouting opponents from completely different regions is difficult, said Vanity. Instead, Cloud9 focused on itself and tried to improve its own gameplay as much as possible.

“I think a lot of teams at this level are absolutely able to adapt spontaneously,” said Vanity, evaluating his opponent. He found that the flexibility of the other teams makes it difficult to find consistent counter-strategies for the opponents.

However, Cloud9 is more than capable of doing the same, Vanity said: “We’re not getting stuck playing any particular meta-comp. I think it’s important to give players flexibility to learn how to play the game no matter what agent you’re on. “

Learn from the loss to Fnatic

With VCT Champions lost to Fnatic, Vanity thinks his team needs to be more flexible. Especially on the third card, Fracture, the newest card from VALORANT. “We only practiced two comps with it and went back and forth between the two. [Fnatic] did a really good job and they had a really good game. That is the risk you take when you play a new card. “

Another factor of vanity cited that day as contributing to his team’s demise was their excitement. Throughout the series, both Fnatic and Cloud9 joked vigorously across the stage. Vanity recalled it fondly: “It’s just fun. Even though there are only ten people on a stage, people get it that way. I don’t think many take this personally. That’s pretty important. “

However, Vanity feels that his team has gotten a little too carried away. He noted that this affected the communication from the team they had worked so hard on over the past few months: “I think it was getting a bit hectic. We’re really energetic, but I think we need to reduce our excitement by 5%. “

However, all is far from lost. During Cloud9’s LCQ run to qualify for the VCT Champions, the team suffered an early loss to Rise and dropped back into the lower category. In the final, when they faced Rise again, Cloud9 swept the floor with a strong 3-0 streak.

Vanity has similar hopes for his team at VCT Champions. “I think it’s important to lose. It sucks, of course, but it’s a competition. I’m pretty happy with the way we played. It wasn’t our A game, but I think we showed a lot of good things. “

On Sunday, December 5th, Cloud9 will face Thailand’s FULL SENSE in an elimination series. Vanity took note of his team’s story of do-or-die situations with a smile: “We are Cloud9. The organization is known for lower bracket runs. So I think we have a pretty good chance something will happen. “

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