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North America has finally done it. Cloud9 defeated Korea’s last hope, the Afreeca Freecs, 3-0 to secure North America’s first top 4 finish in seven years. Cloud9’s fast paced early game and aggressive playstyle propelled them against the Freecs, punishing their sub-optimal drafts. Cloud9’s jungler, Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen was instrumental in C9’s victories, often outpacing both Lee “Spirit” Da-Yoon and Lee “Mowgli” Jae-Ha in the early game

We had the chance to talk to Svenskeren following Cloud9’s victory about the match against Afreeca and the importance of advancing to the semifinals.

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A lot of people are talking about this being the furthest Cloud9 has gone at Worlds, but this is the furthest you’ve gone at Worlds. How does it feel to have a chance to play in the final?

It feels pretty crazy to go to semis. I didn’t expect to ever make it here. I was always fighting so hard to get out of groups. Being stuck in groups for so long was so depressing because groups are BO1 and you never really get to show how good you are, actually. Moving to the Best of Fives, I really like it a lot more because you can adapt in series. I think that’s something I’m pretty good at. In my former teams, we didn’t really shine in the Best of One system, but Cloud9 has always been good at it. I think being in Cloud9 really carries through the Best of One system. I’m just really happy to be able to perform in Best of Five.

You say that Cloud9 was able to perform well. What do you think made Cloud9 the better team today?

Overall, I think that we were even on skill or might even have the edge. We’re just a lot stronger at fighting for the river and fighting for the enemy camps. They weren’t really pressuring us most of the game except for game 2, where they killed top and mid. We didn’t feel pressure though… we believed we could still win. Our bot lane was getting huge advantages so it was still an easy win. We just kept fighting for the objectives and stayed aggressive the whole time.

That’s actually something I noticed. A big reason why you guys got out of Group B is because you were picking a lot of laning stuff. Is this really intentional? Do you guys want stuff that can fight early? 

Obviously, we realized that you can’t really sit back and farm in this meta. You need to be proactive. We just realized that we just have to keep fighting and have loud voices going “we’ve gotta fight, we’ve gotta fight.” I think we’re all just on the same page right now. It’s all about snowballing the game and getting early advantages. The game never goes on for too long.

I wanted to ask your team’s opinion on the Lucian. We saw RNG play it yesterday, but it didn’t really pan out. What did you guys do differently?

I think Sneaky just had a lot of confidence in his Lucian so he wanted to play it. Winning bot lane also just seems to be super snowball-y if you’re able to push it. We also won bot lane without playing around it as much as RNG did. I think it’s a big bonus for us that our top and mid lane are also really strong so the other teams try to shut down those lanes and play less around bot lane. We just wanted to get advantages in the 2v2 and the Lucian is strong if he gets snowballing.

Korea is dead at this tournament. What do you think the LCK teams did wrong? 

I think they just didn’t adapt to the meta fast enough. They came into the Worlds tournament thinking that they can just play their usual LCK style. They don’t really fight early game and just farm for thirty minutes followed by one teamfight… then the game’s over. In all the LCK games, you see there’s two kills, 20 minutes into a game. Coming into Worlds, we just realized that we had to fight. We’re not gonna win if we just go macro to macro with these guys because they’re going to have the better late game macro. We just gave up on macro and started fighting a lot more.

Do you think vision changes affected the way the game is played? Like Tracker’s Knife, trinkets, Sightstone, etc.

Removing Tracker’s Knife and adding Scuttle Crab made the game a lot more fight-oriented, where you’re not warding the whole time and playing off numbers because you see them on the map. It’s more dark on the map so you’re able to play more around vision and pink wards. You can actually trap a lot more without wards everywhere. It definitely helps the West that [the East] can’t play it slow.

For the semifinal, which team would you rather play?

I would rather face EDG. We scrimmed a bunch against Fnatic and they seem to really be one unit right now. Individually, we might be matching them, but they might be better in every role. Fnatic would definitely be a tough match, but it’s anyone’s game right now and anyone can win Worlds, so we’re definitely going to have confidence.

Just a question about the other side of the bracket… Who do you think will come out on top there?

iG versus G2? I think iG is going to win against G2. They seem super strong. We scrimmed them as well and smashed us. Definitely think that iG is going to win against G2.

Lastly, personally, what has been the best moment for you at Worlds?

The most memorable thing for me is making it out of groups. I think it’s something that’s going to stick with me for a long time because it was my fourth time in groups and I was finally able to make it out. Yeah, I’m just going to be fairly grateful for finally getting out of groups.

Photo: Riot Games

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