Cover and thumbnail image via @UnEeVen
There are very few brands in esports which are as recognizable and as big as Cloud9. The organization was quick to realize the potential of mobile esports and picked up a roster in PUBG Mobile towards the end of 2018. However, it would be a short lived affair as it just wasn't meant to be. In August of 2019, C9 announced their return to PUBG Mobile, picking up another roster comprising of some of the best players from the NA scene. In a short amount of time, the players managed to qualify for the PMCO Fall Championship, after placing 1st in the NA qualifiers. Their performance was impressive as the team placed in the top 5, in seven out of ten matches, picking up two chicken dinners to cement their place in the top spot. The team will now play against some of the best teams at the Fall Championship Finals, which are set to take place in a week's time from now. We spoke to Cloud9's Tybalt 'UnEeVen' Mallet, who was the top fragger for the NA region to get his take on all things PUBG Mobile.
Hi Tybalt. Congratulations on winning the PMCO NA Regional Qualifiers. Please introduce yourself for our readers.
Hello my name is Tybalt Mallet, or UnEeVeN in game, and I am a fragger for the Cloud9 pubg mobile team.
How confident were you going into the matches and who were the teams who you thought would challenge your team?
It is always very important to remain confident in not only yourself, but your teammates abilities when entering a top tournament. Without confidence, there is no trust, and without trust, your synergy in team fights and other similar situations will weaken. That being said, cockiness can hurt a teams ability as well, so we never underestimate our enemies, and give full effort in tournaments as important as this. Our biggest expected challengers were always Tempo Storm and SSG.
Unlike some of the bigger regions like SEA or South Asia, the NA Regionals were online. Would you have prefered for it be a LAN?
Yes, I believe a LAN with more games similar to the ones done in SEA and South Asia would be a more accurate showing of who truly are the strongest teams in NA, specifically who will perform the best on stage in a similar situation to what the global finals will really be like.
The Prelims for the PMCO Fall Championship will be played out before. Now that we know which teams are playing, what are your thoughts on which teams will make it through?
It is fairly well accepted that the South East Asia region teams in the prelims are the strongest, and that every other team from different regions are underdogs. That being said, I believe in NA’s ability and how well we’ve improved these past few months, and hope that either Tempo Storm or Omen Elite also make it through.
Do you think it's fair to say that Asia is a much more competitive scene for PUBGM? If so, do you think that teams from EU and NA will be at a disadvantage since they are used to a different meta?
I believe that the Chinese and SEA regions have more experience because of all the LAN opportunities that they are given, as well as the higher amount of teams that participate at a high level, which pushes the region as a whole further along. With the limits given to us as regions, we have to work harder on theoretical strategies, as we have less opportunities to apply them, but I believe that through studying of other regions and refinement of our macro play, a solid performance from one of the teams from the other regions is very possible.
Tell us a bit about how you started playing PUBG Mobile and how you decided that you wanted to play the game competitively?
I just started playing because my good friend Perkisas was already established as a pro in the game, and I thought it’d be a fun pass time to try and get to his level. Because of him I had exposure to high level scrimmages and tournaments which eventually led to me getting picked up to a team by Zootay, the current IGL of Omen Elite, which began my career as a pro player.
Give us a brief introduction as to how you met your teammates, and how you came to be a part of Cloud 9.
I met my teammate Perkisas through Vainglory, multiple years ago, and he began playing PUBG mobile professionally on a top team long before me, but as I worked myself into the highest level of the NA scene and had more and more team opportunities, I eventually ended up being able to join his team. A few weeks after that, in an attempt to have our team become one of the best in North America, we picked up another top player called Pyrrha, from another top team called Supervillians, and with that roster we got picked up by Misfits Gaming. After Misfits left the scene, we recruited Beowulf to replace our IGL, and with such a powerful and proven set of players we were able to attract the attention of Cloud9, who was looking to enter the scene.
Unlike traditional esports, the average age for players in PUBGM is much lower. How does this play out in terms of being a pro player? Are there times when players have to prioritize their education before the game?
We often run into scheduling problems with teammates whose parents force them to prioritize education for LANS, and occasionally for scrimmages, such as Perkisas not being able to attend PUBG Mobile Star Challenge World Cup in Saudi Arabia.
What is one thing that being a part of an organization such as Cloud9 taught you that you probably would not have figured out by yourself?
Cloud9 has taught us as a team tons about how professional esports organizations work, specifically with social media presence, branding, and other things that were necessary to appropriately represent Cloud9 and what they stand for, as well as to personally have a personality/social media presence that we are proud of.
Tell us a bit about how you guys are preparing for the Fall Championship.
We are putting a lot of work into studying the specific teams in the tournament, and what mistakes we can capitalize on, vs. what strengths we should avoid in certain situations. As a fragger i am personally putting in a lot of time to practice on the phone that the tournament will be on, to assure that my mechanical skills are on par, or better than the rest of the competition, and make sure that I get the important trades that I need to get.
Since there is a high degree of randomness and variance in battle royale titles, there are questions with regard to how competitive these titles can actually be. Can you explain why and how good teams are able to minimize the luck factor and continue to win?
The large amount of games we play in tournaments helps decrease the impact that luck has on the overall standings and the points. Our macro play and positioning is designed around minimizing rng, and assuring that no matter what scenario were put in, we have the highest chance of survival. Obviously, there are always scenarios that will occur in which a team has no chance of rotating successfully, but all we can do is prepare ourselves to minimize the amount of times that happens, and to be ready for every other situation that we can capitalize on, and make sure we don’t mess up our opportunities to get points when we’re given them.
What according to you were the key reasons behind the Chinese teams dominance at the Spring Championship?
They’ve had the game for a lot longer than the international teams, which just lead to more experience, and more time on LANs and LAN phones. And they are just a larger region in general, and the more players they are, the better the region will get over time in most cases.
Which teams do you think stand to gain the most in the new points structure of the PMCO?
Teams that prioritize frags will benefit from the new system, as the kill point values are proportionally increased. However, I don’t believe that it will shift the teams performances too drastically, because the majority of the time, the teams who dominated excelled in both placement, and kill points, as the two usually coincide.
Who according to you are the most individually skilled players in PUBG Mobile at the moment?
It is very hard to say, there are players that are extremely mechanically skilled that aren’t able to perform at the highest level. Oftentimes the flashiest players with the best highlights and clips, and the fastest movement, aim, ant etc. aren’t the best performers. Based simply on statistics it is fair to say that Paraboy is one of the most individually skilled players based on his consistent top fragger titles at high level events. But the impact he has on his team can’t truly be known without being on the team yourself, there can be extremely skilled players who bring teams to victory through IGLing, and rotations, while it not being reflected in the statistics, that you could argue are more individually skilled.
If there was one message that you and your teammates had to give to the other teams who will be attending the Fall Championship, what would it be?
Practice as hard as you can, don’t underestimate anyone.
UnEeVen and the rest of Cloud9 will be playing in the PMCO Fall Championship finals, which will kick off on the 29th of December. Stay tuned for all the action and news from the event ..