Stewie2K and Cloud9 could not overcome FaZe Clan on North American soil again(cover photo: Cuauhtemoc Ramirez | RealSport | IEM Oakland 2017)
Despite being only 19 years of age, Jake 'Stewie2K' Yip is one of North America's best players. Coming off a victory at iBUYPOWER Masters 2017, Cloud9 made it through the group stages at IEM Oakland, beating the likes of Astralis, SK Gaming, and Gambit Esports to reach the Oracle Arena, where they once again faced off against European powerhouse FaZe Clan. Despite their best efforts, they were handed a quick defeat, only picking up 14 rounds across the entire series.
Elbert Nguyen (EN): Let's talk about your tournament run at IEM Oakland. You guys came into the tournament as an underdog, yet you made it through to the Oracle past some tough opposition. How hard was that path for you guys?
Jake 'Stewie2K' Yip: (Stewie2K): It's kind of tough to say because I felt we played two good teams, Astralis and SK. They should have been the teams that beat us; they were the favorites. Astralis weren't at 100%, device [Nicolai 'device' Reedtz] was sick, and SK didn't seem to be 100% when we played them, so beating them gave us a big confidence boost.
EN: So you said in an HLTV interview you were surprised after beating Astralis on Train, 16-6. However, you also stated that if they were at 100%, you could not beat teams of their caliber consistently. Is this a case of the differing play styles between North American and European teams, or was this upset because Astralis weren't at 100%?
Stewie2K: Personally, I believe we could beat a team like Astralis consistently. However, because we beat them by such a large margin, and against top teams like that, I'd expect games to be much closer.
EN: You guys defeated Gambit in the quarterfinals to reach the Oracle Arena to face off against FaZe Clan on North American soil once again. How receptive was the crowd out here, given you hail from the Bay Area [San Francisco]?
Stewie2K: The crowd was amazing. I think playing on North American soil is big for Cloud9 because we are one of the bigger North American teams, in terms of the fan base. It was a repeat of [ESL One] New York, where we were playing in front of a home crowd. Even though we were losing, the fans had our backs, and that's huge for us.
EN: At ESL One New York, you guys faced FaZe in the semis and got demolished, picking up only seven rounds in the series. Here at IEM Oakland, you fared better, picking up 14 rounds across the series., but still a crushing defeat. Do you think FaZe is your kryptonite?
Stewie2K: I wouldn't say FaZe is our kryptonite, but I would say they're the number one in the world because they have five really good, individual players with the drive and motivation to still be the best in the world and that's what makes them scary to play against.
EN: Thank you very much for the interview, Stew.
Stewie2K: Yea, no problem.