I am highly critical of Cloud9 as a team. For the talent they clearly have there is not a single occasion where they have been able to clinch first place despite having beaten every major team in the world at least once in history. I also feel that Eternal Envy doesn’t know when he has a good thing going for him. This year he got rid of Aui_2000 and pieliedie, both incredibly highly skilled players that are as good as their replacements, and Aui_2000 moved onto something far greater, as mentioned yesterday, immediately winning the Dota 2 Asian Championships after joining EG. Pieliedie fared slightly worse, joining Team Tinker which then became Mousesports. I think the team had potential and, in my opinion, the organisation should have kept them going a bit longer so they could gel as a team. Last year as well, after TI4 where they achieved a very respectable 5-6th place finish, he replaced their mid player SingSing, regarded by many as one of the best players in Europe. He has also had a hard time after C9 but I can’t see how his replacement, FATA, is any better.
The problem when talking about C9 is that it is inseparable from Eternal Envy. The way C9 performs directly relates to how he is performing. He takes his role as captain very seriously and, while I find his attitude commendable and think he is very capable, it clearly takes its toll on him. He currently is not the official captain of C9, having ceded that honour to bone7, and I think that this can only help their performance.
I guess I should just go on and talk about the players since I want to talk about Eternal Envy. I find that people are quite divided. Either he is fantastic or awful. I think he’s a very competent, however, I think he is incredibly unreliable. I think that their style of play revolves around waiting for the enemy to make a mistake which probably stems from EE’s origin as a pubstar. I haven’t watched much of their play in 6.84 but I hope they have adapted their play a lot otherwise I find it highly unlikely that they will fare very poorly in TI5.
However, moving on to their midlaner FATA, he has a very large range of heroes and I think is probably going to be their make or break player in TI5. Frequently he doesn’t overtly win mid but also doesn’t lose it, choosing to help those in other lanes to benefit the team more. He has quite an interesting playstyle, one which I think is cautious but not overly so. Calculated risk is the best way to describe the way he plays, and thus I think he suits a team with EE very well.
Their captain Bone7 has been criticised for not playing many heroes but he stays close to the average number of heroes played this patch for an offlaner, and he is known for his Phoenix offlane, among other things. He prefers offlaners that can have a high pickoff and solo-kill ability. As all offlaners, he is very cautious and frequently gives up farm for staying alive.
However, despite all this cautious play their 3 top farmers have some of the worst Kill-death stats of any carry/mid/offlane players. I criticise their style because, while waiting for their enemy to make mistakes, they will make just as many and, when playing at a high level, at least half the time they will pounce, leaving no chance for C9 to react. It’s for this reason that the comeback meta of last patch suited them so well but, unfortunately, this patch favours more snowball heroes, early game push and teamfighting so any mistakes made early on are punishable half an hour or 45 minutes later.
Their two supports, in my opinion, are their best players. BigDaddy, having previously played for Team Secret, and Misery, having played for many teams, seem to have superior positioning and game sense to their team mates and, if anyone can win them the international, they can. But, at this point, I’m bored of talking about a team that I don’t really like or care for, so I’ll leave it at that. Cloud9 are an impressive team, and teamplay is their strong point, but there is no standout player, despite EE’s eternal efforts to become one.