C9T Yusui: “I think we have the highest amount of individual skill out of any of the challenger teams”

Rachel talks to C9 Tempest’s mid-laner Yusui, about his 53-0 win streak in solo-queue, his expectations in the AlphaDraft tournament and his greatest strengths as a mid-laner.

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After redeeming himself in his game against Elomingle, David “Yusui” Bloomquist, the mid-laner for Cloud 9’s challenger team, Cloud 9 Tempest, took time out to discuss his performance in the Alpha Draft tournament, his strengths as a mid-laner and his amazing win streak on his solo-queue smurf account. We also took some time to talk about C9T’s goals for the summer split and the reason behind NA’s tendency to disregard their own domestic talent.

GameSpot: What were C9T's expectations coming into the AlphaDraft tournament? What were you looking to get out of it?

David “Yusui” Bloomquist: Our team’s main goal is to get experience and exposure. Going into the tournament with a new roster and not having played as a team for long definitely led to some shakiness at the beginning, but I think that people watching can expect to see us improve throughout the tournament. We’re hoping to play to the best of our ability and we should be able to win the tournament if we do.

Your team seemed to struggle against Misifts. What went wrong?

There were a multitude of errors but I want to say our biggest flaw was in pick and ban. But we’ve improved significantly in that area following the loss. I was playing on Corki, a champion I wasn't comfortable with, and our draft, in general, didn’t play to our team’s strength. Misfits played really well around the map and, coupled with my misplay in the mid lane, they were able to take complete control of the game and outscale us.

How does the shot-calling work for C9T?

Our shot-calling early game is really clear-cut since it revolves around Tony’s (C9 Hard) next gank or invade. As a team, we also talk about the current status of our lanes and any cooldowns that might’ve been used. Moving into the mid game, I would say the primary shot callers in team fights are Solo and Sheep. Lod and Sheep make the calls for most of the rotations. We all do our part in talking and making sure things are structured.

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As a team, what do you think your biggest strengths are? And personally, what do you think your biggest strength is as a mid-laner?

Our biggest strength is knowing how to rotate around the map and abuse a lead, especially with split push champions. I think we have the highest amount of individual skill out of any of the challenger teams. And personally, my biggest strength as a mid-laner would probably be my champion pool, the number of play-styles I can adapt to and my decision making and mechanics in the later stages of the game, like team fighting, wave control, split-pushing, and getting picks.

On that note, how do you feel you've adapted to the new Cinderhulk/Juggermaw meta? Do you think the mid-laner's role has shifted and changed from before?

While the tank meta has had a pretty negative impact on my experience playing solo-queue as a mid-laner—for example, it’s harder to carry when there are 3k HP jungles at 20 minutes—I think that the role is more or less the same in competitive play. The majority of gold is still funneled onto the two carry roles and, while the meta champions have changed to a certain extent, the role is still to get farmed and carry team fights or make a big impact somewhere else on the map.

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You were on a huge win streak on one of your smurf accounts going 53-0 at one point, playing mainly jungle. How did this happen? What goes through your mind when you're in champ select? Do you follow a strict jungle path or do you look at the match-ups and let that dictate your pace in game?

Jungle has always been an amazing role to play in solo queue if your goal is to carry the game. With the introduction of Cinderhulk, you can make a huge impact early and still scale insanely well into the mid and late game. I know for a fact I wouldn’t have kept up my streak playing mid lane simply because you can’t make the same impact. In champion select, I focus on picking a jungle with a strong level 2 invade, like Nidalee or Rek’Sai, and aim to kill or at least deny the enemy jungler’s first buff. Either that, or I pick a champion that can build Cinderhulk and scale really effectively, like Gragas or Zac. I would say the best way to play jungle in solo queue is keep your primary focus on staying ahead of the enemy jungler and use your item and level advantage to control the pace of the game, making plays around the map. Don’t gank too much early on or you’ll fall behind the rest of the map.

What are C9T's goals for the rest of the season?

C9T is playing to make LCS so the goal would be winning this upcoming NACS split.

You've mentioned a couple times on Twitter that NA has a tendency to disregard their own talent pool. Why do you think that is?

The three main reasons that come to mind. First off, NA solo-queue is not reflective of skill and is generally a big “trollfest” unless you get into a game with multiple LCS players on their main roles. There aren’t many players actually capable of succeeding in the LCS, and a lot of the challenger talent are still in high school and don’t want to risk their academic futures to make it into the LCS.

So we have the finals this weekend with TSM vs. Cloud9 and the third place decider TL vs. TiP. Any predictions?

Last weekend I predicted a 3-2 TL win and a 3-1 TIP win so I guess you can call me the reverse prophet. In that spirit, 3-1 C9 incoming.

How do you think NA stacks up internationally now after IEM?

It’s hard to say because I think the GE Tigers lost because they were trolling and underestimating WE. Overall, I think that Korea is still the strongest region with China trailing very slightly. NA and EU are really far behind, with the exception of TSM. My order of regions if I had to make one would be:

1. Korea

2. China

3. EU

4. NA

Lastly, is there anything you'd like to say to your fans?

Thank you so much for the continued support and I promise to do my best to make it up to the people who believe in me by proving myself on the big stage.

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Rachel Gu

Rachel writes about League of Legends and is also a Chinese/English interpreter.

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