Vanity ‘happy’ with VCT Champions bracket but says Cloud9 can’t ‘overthink’ against Liquid like they did vs. Fnatic

Cloud9 Blue are playoff-bound with another crack at Europe on the horizon.

Photo via Riot Games

After three straight close series in the group stage of VCT Champions, Cloud9 Blue have finally reached the playoffs following a narrow three-map series win over Vision Strikers today. They became the first team from NA to advance to the next stage of the tournament.

C9’s in-game leader and “official Xeta translator” Anthony “vanity” Malaspina is confident about their chances in the playoffs but is still wary of making repeat mistakes.

Following their showdown with Vision Strikers, vanity spoke to Dot Esports about his team’s performance across their group stage matches, particularly their opening loss against Fnatic. C9 were too worried about what Fnatic was bringing to the server and not focused enough on their own play, according to the team’s in-game leader.

“Against Fnatic, we were trying to read too much into a team that hadn’t played any [official] matches,” vanity told Dot Esports. “So you’re trying to go off of information that you don’t really have, or if you have the information you’re not really sure if it’s true. I think we were going off of maybe five maps [of information], and they weren’t the same maps so were just kind of guessing what they do. They did a really good job of changing up their gameplay.”

Photo via Riot Games

Vanity had nothing but praise for Fnatic and their in-game leader Boaster, regarding him as one of the top IGLs among the field in Berlin. He credits the enigmatic leader for having a large role in the creative stuff that Fnatic comes up with and added that “decisiveness” was a critical part of what makes a good in-game leader.

C9’s captain said he doesn’t consider himself an IGL who likes to counter-strat, instead opting to focus on his own team’s strategies and strengths, relying on mid-game adaptation rather than pre-game preparation. He added that the team focused on themselves and on adapting to Vision Strikers today, and that they’ll have to avoid “overthinking” their strategy against Team Liquid in the quarterfinals.

Vanity relayed that he’s “happy” with how the playoff bracket has shaped up. He’s also proud of how his team has played so far, particularly in both leaf and Xeppaa in their official LAN debuts.

“We’ve just been getting continuously better throughout the tournament,” vanity said. “This is two of my teammates’ first LAN event, and neither are showing any difference in their gameplay; they’re still communicating, taking risks, giving ideas. That’s really all I can ask for.”

Vanity and crew will face off against Liquid tomorrow at 2pm CT.

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Scott Robertson
VALORANT lead staff writer, also covering CS:GO, FPS games, other titles, and the wider esports industry. Watching and writing esports since 2014. Previously wrote for Dexerto, Upcomer, Splyce, and somehow MySpace. Jack of all games, master of none.