C9 Mitch: “There’s been nothing but close matches whenever EU and NA play.”

|
C9 Mitch 1

Last Updated on: 2nd December 2021, 02:09 am

Cloud9 opened their 2021 Valorant Champions tournament run on the losing end by falling to Fnatic after playing a fierce series that lasted for all three maps.

By splitting the first two maps, which included an emphatic turnaround that saw C9 win seven consecutive rounds after being down 11-6, the North American team looked to settle the series by attempting to win in Fracture, a map that was introduced to the game less than two months ago.

Even as C9 commandeered another miraculous comeback that forced overtime, they couldn’t close Fnatic all the way at the clutch as they fell 14-12 to set a date against Southeast Asia’s FULL SENSE in the first elimination match of Group D.

Of those who received the bitter taste of defeat was Mitch “mitch” Semago, Cloud9’s longest-serving member and primary sentinel player who went 43/52/18 with a team-low 172 ACS for the series.

Following C9’s loss, mitch spoke with The Click to discuss what went wrong in the series against Fnatic, being a part of history by playing in Fracture for the first time in VCT history, his thoughts on the rest of Group D, and much more.

C9 Mitch on series against Fnatic

It’s unfortunate that C9 lost their first match of the tournament against Fnatic but I’d like to ask your initial reaction after extending it overtime and losing in those final two rounds.

Mitch: It was a great feeling to bring it back on Fracture. I think we won six rounds straight after being down 12-6 so we were all pretty hyped about that. It sucks to lose in the way we did but I think we’re pretty happy with how we fought. We kind of gave it our all. It also marked our first match on Fracture so I think we have a lot to take back from it, so we’re going to get better from this Bo3 for sure.

Looking back at the entire series, you guys had a pretty tough first map in Icebox. And then in the second map, you were close to losing the series before making that spectacular comeback by winning seven straight rounds. What will you take away from this series considering that it was a back and forth sort of affair?

Mitch: First of all, I gotta hand it to my teammates for not ever giving up no matter what the scoreline is. I feel like we had a really good mental [state] going late into the game and I’m really happy with how we played and how we came back and just took it round by round basically. Obviously, they were really close and very winnable, but if we just clean up a few mistakes, I think we’ll be good.

For the third map, you guys played in Fracture, thus marking the first time it has ever been played in a VCT event. What was it like for you to play in that map? And were there any sort of difficulties you’ve seen while playing against Fnatic?

Mitch: I guess the map is kind of hard to read since there are four different ways you can come in and do whatever you want. But to me, it feels like a random map. You pick a spot, people fight it, and then go from there. It’s all about mid-rounding and pushing things. You can’t really sit back on that map. I think the map is decent, but we need to actually look over our match and get better from it. There were some pretty obvious mistakes that we made in the match that we weren’t happy about, but we’ll go over it.

READ MORE: Sammyboy hopes to lead D2 Hustlers to additional glory in 2021-22 NA DPC

Was it mostly mental mistakes that cost you guys the series, or was it a failure of executing tactics?

Mitch: I think there’s a little bit of both. At times, we weren’t fighting, voice comming, or speaking together. We had a good strategy going throughout the attack side for sure. Vanity was shot-calling really well, but there were those small micro peeks and individual plays that I feel cost us the map.

Given what you said about Fracture, do you expect any other team besides yourselves to play it again for the rest of the tournament?

Mitch: Oh, yeah, for sure. I know a lot of these teams have been practicing Fracture. So yeah, we’ll probably see it again.

C9 Mitch on appearing in an international LAN and the EU-NA rivalry

Looking towards yourself, you are appearing in an international LAN for the first time in a good while. Of course, you participated in international tournaments back in your CS:GO days, but how does that compare to now?

Mitch: Honestly, it kind of feels the same. I feel the European playstyle was a lot different from the NA playstyle where it’s mostly individual peeks and individual plays. There is super firepower in NA, but in EU, it feels like there’s a lot more teamwork and communication going on. They have a really good strategy and they have really good teamwork so it’s tough to play against but it’s also a lot of fun at the same time.

Is there a resemblance between what you’ve seen in CS:GO and Valorant?

Mitch: Yeah, I would say it’s the same thing. I feel like the top EU teams right now are not that far ahead, but I think they are a little bit ahead and that was basically the same thing in CS:GO.

Given how the series played out right up until the end, is this indicative of the current state of the EU-NA rivalry?

C9 Mitch: Yeah, for sure. I think there’s been nothing but close matches whenever EU and NA play so we’re still battling for the top. There’s no clear winner, yet. I guess we’ll see after Champions.

READ MORE: V1 effys on becoming IGL for NA LCQ, playing with Oderus, beating FaZe

C9 Mitch on rest of Group D

Cloud9 Valorant Champions 2021
Credit: Riot Games

Compared to some teams that had to wait two to three months before competing again, C9 gained experience in between Stage 3 and Champions by participating in the NA LCQ. Did that give C9 an edge heading into champions since you wouldn’t be as rusty as the other teams?

C9 Mitch: I don’t know if we got an edge for it. These teams have been practicing longer than us and I feel like they had a lot of time to think about compared to us. Because we weren’t even sure if we were going to be in Champions, we never practiced Fracture for a couple of weeks. That’s just one example. They had like a couple of months of preparation. I don’t really think playing in LCQ helped us that much because all these teams that had a lot of film on us, a lot more practice, and a lot more time to mold their gameplay.

Moving forward to the rest of the tournament, C9 will face FULL SENSE, who similarly qualified for Champions through the LCQ, in their second series of the group stage. How are you guys going to approach them?

C9 Mitch: Basically just coming in with our own game plan, keep our communication high, have full confidence C9-style, and just try and dominate. We’re just going to play our own game.

By sitting in a very open group, you also have to face up against Vision Strikers if the opportunity presents itself. How tough do you think it is for your team to advance out of the group and reach the knockout stage?

C9 Mitch: I don’t think any of us are doubting anything right now. We had three close maps that could have gone either way, so we’re still confident we can make it out of groups.