Zeyzal thinks Cloud9 can beat Team Liquid in Summer Split finals

Olivia R. July 20, 2019

Cloud9 had a dominant game against 100 Thieves today. This latest victory helped Cloud9 maintain their second-place record in the standings. The only team above them in the standings is Team Liquid.

Cloud9's support, Tristan "Zeyzal" Stidam, thinks his team has a chance to bring Liquid down this season. WIN.gg spoke with Zeyzal after the match to discuss his team's greatest strengths and their goals for the summer. 

How did the win against 100 Thieves feel today?

Zeyzal: The win felt pretty good in that. We’ve been looking a little weaker after Rift Rivals. Although we got the win against Team SoloMid, it wasn’t at the standards we wanted. Playing a game where we were dominate throughout felt pretty good. 

Well, you guys were sick at Rift Rivals! 

Yeah, but you also just lose confidence from losing over and over. 

100 Thieves was being uncharacteristically aggressive in the early game today. How did you guys counter that strategy? 

We were actually aware of certain tendencies that 100 Theives have. We prepared for them. Whenever they did try to make a play, we were ready to counter it.

There was one exception. At one point, Amazing killed me and Sneaky. We weren’t quite prepared for that. But it ended up being okay. That was potentially their game-winning play. 

At what moment did you realize the game was in your team’s favor? 

When they failed to kill Svenskeren. I think the gold swing had to happen then. We were already hitting bottom turret at that point. 

What are your team’s greatest strengths right now? 

I think our main strength is fighting. We are good at finding ways to start fights. And understanding why we’re fighting. We fight for reasons that give us an advantage. We have good top control because Licorice is a strong top laner, and we can play off that often. 

Is Yuumi still a priority pick after Patch 9.14? 

It’s hard to tell in competitive. I think she’s still strong. But she's mitigated early. You might not have as much pressure levels one through five. But once you get your mana regeneration items, you’ll still be the same Yuumi. 

It’s looking like Team Liquid may be the final boss of this season once again. How are you liking your chances against TL right now? Do you feel you could topple them and take the title? 

I think if the meta favors fighting and early game pressure, generally we will do better. But as the games start to go slower, I think their players are really good at contorlling and playing the map. We can falter in that regard. It largely depends on how aggressive and fast the meta is. They also have good laners, so it’s not easy to capitalize on them. 

Are there any other teams that you think may also be a worthy opponent for TL or your own team? 

We’ll have to see. CLG could be quite strong. We play them Sunday, so it's hard to gauge today. But they have a pretty good shot at being a top four team, up there with TSM as well. They’re always pretty strong. 

In the past, you’ve played multiple roles, including jungler, bot laner, and top laner. What has led you to becoming C9’s main support? 

The main reason I swapped was that my comms were always very dominant. I was the main shot caller. I felt I had to play support or jungle. I didn’t enjoy jungle at the time. So I swapped for that reason. 

What do you like about this role? 

I have a lot of freedom in how I communicate.There's a lot of down time compard to other roles, so I can watch other parts of the map. I have options to help my team in more ways than just the gameplay itself. 

You’ve been on C9 for a little over a year now. How have you liked being a part of the team overall? 

I’ve liked being a part of Cloud 9 a lot. They’ve given us everything we’ve asked for as a team. It helps our growth a lot as players. They've given us the resources we need. We have a personal trainer. A nutritioniist. A chef. Three coaches. It's a lot of support. 

How did it feel when you guys made history at Worlds last year, as the first North American team to make it to the semifinals in the modern format? 

It felt good. It was a really big bonding moment for all of us. All the late nights. Staying up till 3 AM together. It was a really big moment for our careers, and for us as a team. It was sad we had the team broken up. But for the four of us, it was just huge for us. We came together as a family.

What are your goals this year and how do you guys plan on getting there? 

Our goals are definitely to win the split. We’ve been trying to win for so long now. Sneaky hasn’t had a win since 2014. He’s the most veteran player on the team. We all want to win for him. We’re all doing what we can in this split in particular.

We have higher solo-queued games played and higher rankings on the ladder. We're trying really hard to get better invidivually after seeing how important it was at last year’s World Championship. Individual players like Perkz and Caps shiened so much. They were insane indivudally, and you could tell.