Cyclops Athlete Gaming (CAG) may have one mouthful of a name, but underestimating them could see a team thrown flat on its back before it’s done saying the six syllables.
Going into the APAC Qualifier LAN for the Six Major Raleigh, CAG were a team to be feared, but were far from the favourites to qualify. Going up against an Aerowolf that seemed to have regained their top tier mojo, only the Japanese casters for the event had faith. Not only did CAG then defeat Aerowolf but also cleaned up the Australian favourites of 0RGL3SS to go through.
The team first announced itself in Season 9 of the Pro League, securing an absolutely massive 2-0 victory over NORA-Rengo and eventually qualifying to the APAC Finals ahead of three other teams that could have just as likely made it too. While they were defeated by eventual champions Fnatic, it was plain to see that they had what it took.
Bringing in Takuma “SuzuC” Nakajima and Hideki “gatorada” Nishida from the disbanded Sengoku Gaming Extasy squad proved to be the ticket, as the two hugely experienced players -- the former with two international LANs under his belt and the latter with a few APAC LANs -- solidified a consistency that CAG knew they needed to stay at the top in the long-term.
Now, leading NORA-Rengo by four points at the top of the Season 10 Pro League table and on their way to Raleigh, SiegeGG spoke to team captain Shohma “Shokei” Shiotsuka to find out more about his incredible team:
Your team lacks international experience except for SuzuC who was at the Six Invitational 2018 and the Season 6 Finals. How valuable will his guidance be?
SuzuC has brought better performances to overall CAG team, utilising the experience obtained from his previous team, Sengoku Gaming, and his own experience. Various strategies that CAG currently use can be attributed to him.
How much of an impact has XQQ had on your performance?
XQQ is a very legendary FPS player in Japan, and has always taught us lots of in-game knowledge. His advice is so accurate in filling in gaps of tactical perspective between players like us and outside observers.
How do you know when to play aggressively, pile on the aggression, or dial it back?
The timing to change our rhythm of assault is determined by each players’ judgement. We rarely have a specific IGL player during a match. Of our five players, who serves as the IGL is dependent on each situation. This manner works well for us.
CYCLOPS is the youngest team to ever qualify for a Major event -- how do you plan to tackle a possible loss of focus?
I guess we are the least experienced among all the teams in this Major. We will conduct effective trainings with added concentration especially given the lack of time to prepare.
Who is one player from any region you'd want to have in a 1v5 clutch situation?
JoyStiCK (Team Empire, EU).
What is more satisfying -- a nitro cell kill, or a frag grenade kill?
Whichever gets the clutch!
Do you have anything to say to your fans?
Since this is the first ever international event for us, we will do our best to achieve a great result!
The Six Major Raleigh 2019 is taking place from the 12th of August to the 18th, where Cyclops Athlete Gaming will be pitted against the best teams on the planet, starting off with G2 Esports, Rogue, and Team Secret in Group B, and will be aiming to secure at least one win in what is certain to be an incredibly tough group for them.