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Why did Cloud9 bench interz? Here are answers from team members

After the painful Rio Major loss Cloud9 decided to refresh their roster. They switched Timofey "interz" Yakushin for Timur "buster" Tulepov, and that change wasn't welcome by everyone — especially after the failure at IEM Katowice 2023. Interz was considered one of the best anchors on the scene, not very flashy, but always reliable. So, was it really a necessary substitution? Let's see what Cloud9 members had to say since the roster change.

Why did Cloud9 bench interz?

Three C9 members discussed the change quite thoroughly. First, team analyst Ivan «F_1N» Kochugov said that the squad needed this as a signal to improve, and interz wasn't the one to blame here.

I am very sad that it happened. Interz has been with us from the very beginning of the team. Replacement is a forced decision. It's not because Interz is a bad player. It's like a signal that the team needs.

It's like we're writing on a page but there's nowhere to write anymore. You have to turn it over. The problem is ink and paper, interz has nothing to do with it. He works very hard.

[How can buster help the team?]

He must play the necessary roles, and handle them well. The process of integrating buster into the squad is going well, the guys are working hard. We'll see in the future how it works out.

Ivan "F_1N" Kochugov
"We didn't run away from problems, we tried to solve them". Ax1le on last season issues, disappointment in Rio, and personal growth
A conversation right before the IEM Katowice 2023 starts.

Sergey "Ax1Le" Rykhtorov said the decision was made by the management and the coach. And even added that interz may return to the main roster, if there will be serious issues.

Basically, the coach and management come to the decision to replace the player. We took part in the selection of players during the try-outs.

After losing the Major, there was a little depression: I understood that most likely someone would be replaced. Timofey is a very good person, I still keep in touch with him, we have a lot of local memes. It was sad to say goodbye to him.

I believe interz will be back at the tier-1 CS in a short time. He is playing FACEIT now, keeping his shape. There is always someone who needs such players. In the near future, he most likely will be called somewhere — I'm sure that he will not disappear.

[Do you believe that interz can return to the main roster?]

It might happen if our results will be very bad. But I can't be sure.

Sergey "Ax1Le" Rykhtorov

Vladislav "nafany" Gorshkov spoke about the change the most. From his words we can come to the conclusion that interz was reliable, but had issues acting on his own, when the team needed something more creative and unusual.

Obviously, with the new player, we have more space to create new things. We can change the game on many maps, and we have already done it. Hope, everything goes well in the future. The main difference is that interz is just doing his job. He did everything great. But buster was a breath of fresh air for us. He can fill in the gaps on some maps. It was necessary to change the player. We played as one team for 2.5 years. This is a lot of time.

<...> Buster differs a lot from interz. He can play more roles, so we can change them sometimes. As far as I can see, buster can bring a lot of new things to our team. For example, Inferno is not our best map, and he can help us with it because Outsiders played it very well. These are the main differences between buster and interz.

But also you need to understand that interz was the guy who was... If you say "go there and do this", he will do it. He didn't really think about it — like why is he doing it? He just does. Buster is trying to make life difficult for our opponents.

Vladislav "nafany" Gorshkov

Communication is the main Cloud9 problem. They have three IGLs

Nafany often discusses it in interviews, and overall Cloud9 talked about communication for the whole season. Even in the days of Gambit, for example, they admitted the cadiaN clutch was successful only because of miscommunication in TeamSpeak.

We have communication problems. It's not about a new player, it's about me, Hobbit, and sh1ro. I can't say more about it, as we don't know how to use it in an ideal way. <...>

Even with interz, we had a lot of voices in the chat. It's very difficult to be an IGL when you have Hobbit and sh1ro on the team, because sometimes our vision is very different. It's hard to call when someone disagrees. Buster doesn't talk much during the game, but we don't need it. We already have three players who can call. All we need is to find understanding between each other.

Vladislav "nafany" Gorshkov
"If you don't have trouble communicating but you're not top-1, you do have a communication problem". Cloud9 analyst on mentality, interz swap and Comeback9 meme
A thorough conversation.

However, F_1N disagrees with the captain. He is sure that issues with communication are present in every team and it's not some special weakness of Cloud9.

Communication problems are the basis of professional CS, it has always existed. Look at any team on the pro scene, there are always “communication problems” on the list of reasons for the lack of results and defeats.

You can judge the form of the team by communication. If such problems appear, it means that other moments are exacerbated, which in turn provoke difficulties in communication.

When a team communicates at a very good level, it's very difficult to beat it. Problems with communication aren't our special weak link, they are present in each roster to a greater or lesser extent. If you don't have trouble communicating but you're not top 1, you have a communication problem. Well, or a problem with your general level of CS.

Ivan "F_1N" Kochugov

Cloud9 believe they can find an ideal system when having three IGLs is better than any other system. But the hard part is finding that balance.

This is a two-sided question. It all depends on the quality of game communication. If everything is alright, this is an ideal scheme for the game. Sh1ro and Hobbit talk a lot during the analysis, they bring a lot of fresh ideas.

At the same time, each one of the trio is well versed in his own range of activities. Taken together, this adds up to an incredibly pleasant game plan.

But such mechanism indeed contains a possibility of dissonance — yes, it can happen. But if everyone thinks the same way, then it gives a huge boost to the team.

Ivan "F_1N" Kochugov

Cloud9 are currently performing on ESL Pro League Season 17. The team already demonstrated first results, demolishing G2 Esports 2:0. But since the biggest issue of this roster for a long time was stability, it remains to be seen if they will keep up to this level as the event continues. In their next match C9 will meet Outsiders on February 26.


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