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Stunna: ”You can’t force players to play roles they don’t want to, it’s a ticking time bomb”

av Tobias Lundgren
Tres ”Stunna” Saranthus. Photo: HLTV.org
Tres ”Stunna” Saranthus. Photo: HLTV.org

After an eventful silly season on the North American scene, Cloud9 came out on the other side with two new players in the roster.
And with clear-cut roles for every member, the team is now looking to prove themselves at their first international event this weekend at Gfinity Spring Masters.
– Everyone knows it’s time to play lights-out Counter-Strike not just for themselves but for North America as well. Cloud9 will place Top 5 at Gfinity, manager Tres ”Stunna” Saranthus tells Aftonbladet Esport.

The Cloud9 CS:GO lineup has been going through some turmoil in the last couple of months. After a disappointing run at ESEA Season 17, Spencer ”Hiko” Martin left the organization and was replaced by Shahzeb ”Shahzam” Khan. With a dedicated AWPer, the team seemed to have solved one issue at hand, but with the exception of a second place at Clutch Con and fourth place at Gfinity Spring Masters I, the results were still lackluster for the team.

”Can’t force players to play roles they don’t want”

As the North American roster shuffle started rolling once again, Cloud9 acted and picked up Ryan ”fREAKAZOiD” Abadir and Tyler ”Skadoodle” Latham to replace Kory ”Semphis” Friesen and Shahzeb ”Shahzam” Khan. Now, manager Tres ”Stunna” Saranthus tells Aftonbladet Esport about the reasoning behind the shuffle.
– Apparently, the whole of North America seemed to be waiting for someone to make the first move in the roster shuffle and we fired first. It felt like there were different variables going on within every team given the status of a few players being undecided but it was very clear cut what we wanted. After the drawing board had been worked and re-worked again multiple times we knew what we were gunning for in terms of roles. You can’t force players to play roles they don’t want to and if you ask them to do so and they agree to play through the pain, it’s only a ticking time bomb.

”Shroud will be the miracle worker”

Earlier, Sean Gares had more or less reluctantly picked up the AWP in the team. Now, with Skadoodle who’s already made a mark since joining Cloud9, the team has a top sniper and will have their players in distinct roles.
– The truth is that before, even back to the days of when Hiko was on the lineup, our roles were a bit skewed. We went with ShahZaM as a dedicated AWPer and really liked the idea of that. However, it is unfortunate that didn’t pan out how we would have liked to. We are comfortable with the new roles we have established and are looking forward to perfect this setup. Having every piece of the puzzle will propel us to where we need to be.

”It’s obvious we have a better feeling internally”

The manager has already noticed changes in the mentality within the team.
– The new lineup has brought a breath of refreshing air across the face of the Cloud9 CS:GO division. Prior to the change, there was quite a bit of struggle as to what we needed to do to make effective changes. Once we felt we figured out the right course of action, it seemed that something else would go wrong in another part of the plan. Now with new faces and a fresh start, its obvious that we have a better feeling internally.

How do you think your new recruits have handled themselves so far?
– So far, my guys have handled themselves exceptionally well. There was one hiccup with fREAKAZOiD and a stream incident prior to any of the announcements but all in all there was no harm done. In fact, it’s moments like those that make our scene more exciting, especially during time of roster shuffles.
During Katowice, a lot of talk was about the difference in communications between NA and EU teams. Is this something you’ve acknowledged and if that’s the case: How have you been working to improve that aspect?
– After the YouTube videos were released showing the glaring differences it was definitely an eye opener. We knew something was off within the unit itself whether it be rotations, or other certain aspects, but when you are able to examine the very fundamentals of team play such as our communication and see the flaw in real time you have to quickly work to fix it.

”I stress the importance of staying off the forums entirely”

 You always seem to get a lot of criticism from disappointed fans, no matter what you do at events. How do you handle this as a team? 
– This is something that seems to boggle my mind every time it happens. I can remember before the roster swaps happened and even when winning online we were being stressed for a roster change by the public. One thing I have learned by being able to step back and read between the lines is that: Even if you go undefeated until the last match of an season and lose it, you can bet your ass that a community that praised you up until that point will for a large part immediately tend to jump ship and go for your throat. What causes that? Is it betting? I do not know. As a team, I stress the importance of staying off of the forums entirely, especially during LAN events.

Predicts Cloud9 will be top 5 at Gfinity this weekend

With a 3-0 streak in the ESL ESEA Pro League, Cloud9 will travel across the Atlantic and play their first international tournament with the new lineup, as Gfinity Spring Masters II takes place this weekend. Saranthus says that his squad is up for the task of proving that they belong among the very top teams in CS:GO.
– This lineup is one of the most hungry-for-victory lineups I’ve worked with in quite some time. Everyone on this team now knows it’s GO time, no pun intended, and knows it’s time to play lights out Counter-Strike. Not just for themselves, but for North America as well. Cloud9 will place Top 5 at Gfinity.

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