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[EXCLUSIVE] G2 Valyn after beating Cloud9 2-0 “We'll be able to beat anyone we want to”

[EXCLUSIVE] G2 Valyn after beating Cloud9 2-0 “We'll be able to beat anyone we want to”

10 May
Ganesh Jadhav

VCT Americas Stage 1 Playoffs kicked off yesterday with the Knockout rounds. In the first game of the playoffs, G2 Esports and Cloud9 took on each other to stay in contention.

With elimination in sight, both teams played their best to survive. Ultimately, G2 Esports came out on top, defeating their North American brethren in 2-0 fashion.

Following G2 Esports' victory, Strafe had an opportunity to interview the team's IGL Jacob "valyn" Batio. In an exclusive interview, valyn talks about the game, the team's recent struggles and their next game against KRU Esports.

[Interviewer] Congratulations on your (G2) victory, it was a clean 2-0. How are you (valyn) feeling after the win, especially when Cloud9 were heavy favorites coming into this game and Oxy has been on a roll, putting up strong numbers.

I'm feeling good, obviously, coming out with a clean 2-0. We knew going into it that if we are able to stop this kid from just dropping like 30 kills a map, that it'll be a lot easier for us as a team, just because I think they rely on him too much. I think Cloud9 is a team that most of their wins come when he is performing phenomenally.

But we know how to kind of stop players like that. And I think we were able to execute that today, and that's why we were able to get the two clean wins. Ascent could have been better, but there were some mistakes on our part.

The first map saw G2 Esports comeback from a 0-4 deficit on the attack-side Lotus to close out the map 13-6.

[Interviewer] G2 Esports completely outclassed Cloud9 on Lotus, you got free sites every time, was that preparation for the game or calling?

I would say it wasn't that much preparation. I think it was just calling, because we had to go to the Chinese consulate to get our visa stuff figured out. Nate had an issue come up, so we weren't really able to prep and practice that much for this match.

So it just came down to us playing our game today. And the calling felt good. We were able to kind of read their defensive setups and call their bluffs a bit.

So that's why we were able to get into bomb sites for free. And yeah, I mean, the team put the pieces together really well today. So that's why it looks so clean on attack.

Cloud9 whipped out a surprise Skye-Viper composition on Ascent. The map extended to 28 rounds, with G2 Esports closing out the map with a 15-13 victory, securing the VCT Americas Stage 1 Playoffs Upper Semifinals.

[Interviewer] Ascent, however, they played a new comp altogether. Did that comp surprise you (G2) even a bit? I know it's a normal comp now, but when a team plays a certain comp, they play their own way. Do you think that played a part in the map going overtime?

Yeah, I think so. We were prepped for their KAY/O-Sova, and they pulled out the Viper. And I remember in the freeze time, we were just talking about what to expect versus this team running this composition.

We scrimmed against it a lot. And like you said, it is pretty common, so we weren't that surprised going into it. But I think because they played an off comp, all the studying or VOD footage doesn't really apply here.

So it just came down to who was the better team on Ascent, and that's why it came so close. If we were able to clean up some rounds on attack here and there, and likewise on defense, I think it could have been more dominant for us. But they played a great game on Ascent, and we were just able to close it out when the pressure got high today.

In their last Stage 1 Regular season game, G2 faced LOUD and looked lost. They needed to come back stronger after the game to avoid elimination today.

[Interviewer] You(valyn) recently played LOUD, and it didn't go in your favor. What do you guys talk about after that game in order to come back stronger today?

After the LOUD game, we knew that we had all the preparation and strats. We didn't get outclassed because of our strategy, and more so just individually. We got in our heads way too early on Icebox.

And so we had a lot of team talks after that match about just mental. Nothing about strategy, not even VOD reviewing the game that hard, just a little bit here and there. And just mainly focusing on, guys, what went wrong.

And it was the mental crumble for us versus LOUD. And it happens, you know, when you play against such a legendary team like LOUD, and they're starting 5-0, kind of owning you every round. It's like, you know, it feels hard.

And from there, we just, yeah, like I said, we talked about mental and trying to stay focused even when we're down. And it showed today, because we were down 4-0 on this. And it could have been, likewise, it could have been a crumble again.

But we just locked in, we stayed locked no matter what the scoreline was, and we just played low. Like, we just chilled out a bit. And that's why we were able to make the comeback this time.

G2 Esports added Icy before the Regular season started, replacing neT. The young rookie seldom struggled to put up the numbers. In the playoff series against Cloud9, Icy was the team's best performing player.

[Interviewer] Icy performed really well today. He has been struggling a little bit. As an IGL, what did you tell him before the playoffs started?

You know, Icy came to me about two nights ago when the practice room was empty. And he came up to me, he's like, 'Jake, like, I feel like a little bit in my head. And I don't feel that confident. I'm frustrated with myself.'

And I talked to him for like about 30 minutes, and I just kind of eased his mind a bit. He has a lot of expectations.

The kid wants to win. He knows he's a good player. We know he's a good player.

But the results just weren't hitting for him individually. And I just tried to calm him down - 'Go home and chill out. Don't play too much.'

'If you can reset the mental, you'll go out and play phenomenally.' And I'm glad, I'm very happy that he was able to apply that today. And now, I think the kid is going to start frying.

G2 Esports will face KRU Esports later today. In their previous encounters, G2 Esports has managed to get a upper hand against the Group Alpha leaders.

[Interviewer] Your(valyn and G2's) next game would be against KRU. And since you were in the same group, you couldn't play those guys. Did you scrim them before?

Yeah, we've scrimmed KRU a little bit. Not too much, honestly. So we're not that familiar.

And we also played them twice during the Kickoff

They had mta at the time instead of Heat. So I think they upgraded in getting Heat. He's been playing phenomenal for them.

So it's definitely going to be a challenging match for us. But I think we're going to feel prepared. I think, especially after this win, confidence going into the match is going to be high.

And we're going to work hard tonight to make sure that we feel ready for this next match. Because we want it so bad. And I know KRU does as well. So it's going to be a great match.

[Interviewer] The statistics do favor you against KRU. What do you think? Is there anything you specifically prepared for them?

I think preparation for this match kind of goes into trying to tame the duelist. Keznit is always going to be a player that's going to pop off. That's just 100%.

He's an insane player. But what makes us try to beat those kinds of teams with that kind of star player is just having good fundamentals. Make sure we're trade fragging.

Make sure we're using a lot of utility. Be overwhelming. There's more to this game than just aim.

And so if we're able to come out and do that again tomorrow, I think we're going to be able to maybe tame Keznit a little bit. Maybe he doesn't have 30 kills. Maybe 25 kills instead of 30.

And that can be the difference maker sometimes. But like I said, it's going to be a really hard match for us because he is so good. But we're ready for it.

[Interviewer] Can you talk about the team’s performance thus far as an IGL of the squad?

Yeah, in scrims, like practice, I think we've always been performing well. And with our coaching staff of Shaq and JoshRT, we're always ahead of strategy, I think. We're always innovating new strats, trying to beat the meta.

So in practice, it's always been well for us. Obviously, we have hiccups here and there, where practice feels hard. But you learn a lot through that.

And yeah, overall, as the IGL, I feel pretty happy with how we've been performing in all. And now I just hope that with our focus on mental and focus on feeling confident in the server, we can translate that into the matches. And if we're able to do that consistently and think clearly and perform well on stage, I think we'll be able to beat anyone we want to.

[Interviewer] Best of luck for that game. And thank you so much for your time.

The KRU Esports - G2 Esports game starts 14:00 PT. You can follow the games on Twitch and YouTube. You can also follow along with the action on the Strafe Android and iOS apps, as well as the Strafe site.


Featured Image Credits: Photo by Marv Watson/Riot Games

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