Cloud9’s top laner Fudge spoke with Gamelevate after their win versus Dignitas QNTMPAY about returning to top lane, improving in the Summer Split, and teaching Berserker English words.
After a rocky Spring Split, Cloud9 made several roster shuffles in the offseason heading into Summer. One of which was returning Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami back to the top lane. Now, with new players in tow – Fudge looks to return to top form as a top-performing player.
The following interview has been edited for length and clarity
Fudge, thank you for speaking with us. Before we begin, in reference to your clip shown during the game, did you think you **** on Gamsu today?
Yeah, I would say that I played a lot better than him in this game. And I think that if it wasn’t for the fact that I sort of could just push it everywhere on the map, we probably would have lost the game. So I would say I did pretty well against them.
I want to ask about this messy game. I know for you guys, It was not your cleanest. Can you talk to me about how you thought the game went?
I think that, as you said, was quite a messy game. We seem to be very lost with what direction we needed during the game to get to a point where our comp would out scale and our comp does outscale them because obviously Yuumii, Zeri are very, very annoying champions, Udyr will just farm faster than Poppy and become way tankier. And Orianna is obviously really, really good against the majority of champions in the game. We just really need to figure out a way to get to the late game teamfights as a comp, and I think we made a lot of really bad decisions. For example, the top dive where Blaber sort of messed up mechanically, and then died to Gragas and we lost dragon because of it. There were a couple of teamfights where we sort of just misplayed with Gragas got a flank. Bot whilst it was sieging, bottom Tier two and stuff like that. If those things don’t really happen, there’s no way for them to really lose the game, I feel like.
Last time we chatted was in the summer of last year. So a lot has happened. I know you’ve it’s been a little bit of an up and down split for C9. But how would you feel about your return to the top lane? I know you’ve been asked this a lot, but I’m still curious.
I think now that we’re in Week 5, It actually feels kind of like overly comfortable for me. Like I feel like I’m having such an easy time getting used to all the champions and the matchups and the roll is so comfortable for me. When last split in Week Five, I remember like being completely anxious about like, “oh, no, like, what am I bad at.” Like, “oh, I’m gonna play bad, I’m not good at this role. And I don’t feel like I’m like good enough right now, stuff like that.”
Nowadays, I’m just really comfortable. And I just go into every game sort of having a pretty good idea of what I need to do, and generally a better idea of the enemy top laner. And I think that it’s definitely easier compared to last week for me to play. Like, at this point of the regular season. I do think that I still have a lot that I need to get better at, for sure. And mainly, I think the thing I’ve been recently working on what I don’t think is really to do with the game specifically, is just recovering from a mistake and not dwelling on it during the game. And that’s something that I’ve been really working on when I’m trying to remain mindful during the game and try to just focus on every single moment. Because the amount of information that you can take in and the league game is almost infinite, the variables are so large and the amount of variables is so large that if you’re constantly thinking about something that happened before, that’s not really relevant to the next decision you’re gonna make you’re just missing out on possible better decisions. And that’s something I’ve been working on a lot and I think being good at the champions already without having to focus on the mechanical aspects of the champions like it was in mid-lane. I think helps me improve it.
I know Gnar has been a staple in top lane competitive play ever since its release. But recently across the world, we’ve been seeing a lot more of it. In talking with other top laners, I’ve noticed Gnar was first picked a lot and in the LEC for example. Is there a reason why Gnar is becoming the priority pick in the top lane?
Gnar is a champion where it feels like you will almost always be strong at Rift Herald, which I think a lot of competitive teams tend to value quite heavily. Being strong at the herald because that’s usually around level seven for Gnar. And Gnar at level seven tends to win a lot of matchups because this Q cooldown becomes lower, and he’s a lot stronger than most champions because of Mega Gnar. So I think Herald is definitely a big factor in why people see it a lot.
I think it generally will never really get *** on in lane unless someone plays some insane counterpick like Draven top or Irelia top, you have to play very well (which is usually not what people do with Irelia.)
I think it’s a champion that’s always going to be a staple, strong champion in the early game that doesn’t necessarily get too much weaker at two and three items. And the six items compared to like Fiora, Gwen and Camille and all those champions, obviously get outscaled, but tends to get decent advantages within mid game and finds a way to be useful and most of all teamfights.
Has Draven top been a thing?
This was like an idea from like last year with Draven top into champs like Renekton and stuff like that, because Renekton is obviously a champion that was strong and lean and very high priority. It was a champion that could just beat it straight out. And that was something that was an idea. I was like flirting with, I guess. But it’s not really too big of a thing anymore.
Right now, Cloud9 is 5-5. And I know you’ve been in similar situations, especially last summer when you climbed your way out. But this is still a newer roster. You guys didn’t have as much time together. What has it been like acclimating these newer players and trying to make sure you get as many wins as possible to qualify for playoffs and even make a further push into the playoffs and worlds qualification?
In terms of like the newer players, obviously Berserker came in last year. And Zven has already been like friends with Blaber and Jensen. So I would say for Zven, at least he’s not I would consider him needing to acclimate or get used to the players, I think he always has a really good idea of how they think. And he already can already build rapport with them.
I think for Jensen, he was I wasn’t really like I didn’t really know him until he joined the team, but he was already friends with Zven and Blaber. I trusted them that he was a teammate, and that he would play well. And obviously, he had taken a split off before that. And I think he came in and he showed a really good attitude towards scrims very good teammate, and he’s constantly playing, I would say pretty well. So I’m pretty happy with how the team like the newer players of this roster, I guess, have joined and played
As to how they’re improving: I would say they’re improving quite a bit. So I’m happy with that. In terms of our performance right now in the regular season, and what it would be like going into playoffs, it’s obviously it’s always going to be a question mark no matter what. I still have confidence that I will personally be extremely impactful during playoff games and that I will play very, very well and consistently beat my opponent and be more impactful during the game. So I’m very confident myself. I’m not sure obviously, how my teammates will do. It will depend on how they think about the champions and how they can also remain present during the games not get in their own heads about the players they’re playing against. Because obviously, it’s very easy to get to focus on who you’re playing against, rather than what decision you should be making in the game. If I’m playing against Alphari, for example, it’s I’ll probably make different decisions than if I am playing against Gamsu because I’ll get in my own head and I’ll start thinking like, oh, maybe he knows something I don’t maybe he’s like doing this decisioning game because he knows he’s team is here or when in reality, he’s making a mistake. But I overthink it. And I think it’s really easy to do that, especially when you’re playing against players you played against for a long time or that you might have had trouble against in the past. So obviously we’ll have to see during playoffs. How which players can remain the most mentally strong. But I have a lot of confidence that we all as players have played enough. Berserker is obviously one of the newer players on our team. But I think we all have a lot of experience playing very high pressure situations. And I think that we all have a pretty good I would say we have a really good team environment for remaining calm under stressful situations.
Speaking of Berserker, I saw a video in the earlier in the broadcast that you guys teaching Berzerker new English meme words. I think you guys taught him “kekw.” Why are you guys teaching him meme language?
we just want to make sure that he feels like he understands what we’re talking about because we are gamers, we’re always on the Internet and we always say weird stuff. Gonna make sure that he understands it and that he doesn’t feel like he’s left out. it’s also really fun to just to Berserker in general, because you can almost like see him learning new words as the conversation goes on. it’s really fun to see him like sort of start to understand the language a lot better throughout the split and throughout the year. It’s obviously really fun to just explain and see his reaction to like the sudden woods.
Lastly is there anything you’d like to say to Cloud9 fans who are reading Gamelevate’s articles?
I will continue to be the best top laner by far in North America and we will win Summer Split.