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Title Photo: ESL

By Taras Bortnik

Special to VPEsports

When Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro joined Cloud9 as a trial member this last December, he could not have possibly known the pressures involved with playing in a Major. Now, having just gotten past the Challengers Stage, Zellsis is learning on the fly. The rifler spoke with VPEsports before their match with Made in Brazil.

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What a series you just had against Winstrike! Have you been able to relax yet?
Second map was kind of rough for me personally, but I think everything we tried to do didn’t work out. I mean CT side. Our emotions were high, we just wanted to win and close out the game.

 

Why was the second map against Winstrike so close?
We were just getting into our own heads. We had a lot of reads during the game and I think we played a lot of the situations properly. Once we got to the situation, however, we played poorly and they just capitalized on it.

 

Can you sum up the performance of Cloud9 during the New Challengers Stage? What happened in matches against Chinese teams?
I think that Chinese teams were unpredictable. We didn’t know how they are going to play so it was hard for us to play against that kind of team. They came a bit more prepared to play against us, I guess. Simply, we just didn’t play our game. The matchups against other teams are a little easier for us in bo3’s. It’s more about how you can play in bo3’s than bo1’s.

 

Your matchup against FURIA was short and impressive. From your perspective, what is the reason behind these one-sided maps?
I think that right now CT side is super overpowered with AUG. And on our pick – Mirage – they started for CT side, just as every team came to play–same for Inferno when we started on CT side and showed the same score. On Cache it was like a battle for us. It was a battle between two teams and I think that we had few more clutches which definitely helped. It could’ve gone either way.

 

Do you have any thoughts to how fix CT side?
Hoping developers will increase cost of AUG even though I think people will probably still buy the AUG. That would make it have less utility or maybe they can buff M4A1-S or M4. I don’t really know, honestly. But for now they have to nerf the AUG and the easiest way to do it – increase the price.

 

For now, do you feel that your adaptation among the roster is over? Do you feel like you are at a 100% comfort level with this group?
I am not comfortable yet, because I think with Cloud9 I am still trying to find myself as a player. A lot of the roles that I play now I haven’t 100% played in a past. I’m just trying to play my own game and then see what works. After all, I am a player of Cloud9 for a very short time even though people think that it’s not. The actual people who understand the game, they know how short that time is for me. I am happy to be able to play with such great players.

 

In your mind, how much time do you still need?
I feel that I just have to play more matches with the team. I am just getting into form and sometimes unlucky things happen inside the game, I guess.

 

Before the interview I checked your twitter. There was a quote from Rocky Balboa. Do you find inspiration in such things or it was just for fun?
It was an inspiration for me and I wanted to express emotions. I like to just express what kind of feeling I have in the moment. I am very open. I don’t like to keep things from my fans, who support me. I think that it’s a super important part of being pro player in esports.

 

So you are open to fans but that coin has to sides – it makes you vulnerable for haters, has this been an issue?
I definitely received a lot of hate about my performances, but I also got a lot of love and a lot of people believe in me. Anyone who has played have people who doubt them or don’t support them. Overall, haters can turn into supporters so I just have to keep grinding and prove to them that I should be here and maybe one day maybe all those haters will respect me. I definitely think haters can respect you even if they hate you.

Where else are you looking for inspiration?
A lot of inspiration comes from music actually. I listen to a lot of it in my off time. Anything from country to hard rock. Recently, I’ve been watching inspiring videos on Youtube when people give speeches and stuff. And also the background of my life inspires me to play more.

 

That is your first Major. What expectations did you have before the tournament and how have they changed over the Stage?
For me it was about having little goals each match. And obviously I want to win a Major, that’s a big goal, but for me it’s just to get out of the group stage, get to the next stage, get to the legends and see it from there.

Cloud9 – one of the teams who won a Major before. Do you feel that you deserve this star on your T-Shirt?
That’s actually kind of funny, cause I’ve got a lot of hate about that. “Oh, Zellsis had a star.” I am sure if I was like a better player or like a known player I would be less hated. I have a little pressure from that, but people from the community don’t control me. It only matters what my teammates thinking me because they are my team, not community. As long as they believe in me, I’ll be alright.

 

Your teammates are very experienced players. Did they give you advice before the Major?
They help me a lot with rough situations and toughen me up a little, they have been amazing.

 

Any specific examples?
In that moment I cannot remember one, but they try to make sure that I am comfortable in a team.

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