Cloud 9 looked fantastic as they secured their place in the Grand Finals last night against SK Gaming. Amidst the celebration, Tarik tarik Celik seemed cool, calm, and collected as he sat with us, revealing his mentality in-game and how he maintains it out of game.

Word on the street is you are from Brooklyn, how long have you been away from home?

I’ve been away from home for about two months now that I’ve been in the gaming house in California but actually I’m going home after this to visit for a week.

What do you miss the most about home?

Friends and family for sure. Obviously Brooklyn is great, it’s where I was born and raised, but my friends and family are hard to be away from.

Is there anything about where you were raised or how you were raised that you think is a factor in how you play?

I don’t think being raised in Brooklyn, but I think my personality and the people I hung out around maybe has a contribution to me being a calm person and me being relaxed and level headed in high pressure situations. I mean, I don’t have those, I don’t encounter those in general but in general my personality and who I hung out with and I think that contributes to how I play in game and I think you can see that out there.

Invariably you’re going to get caught off guard no matter how calm you are. Is there something you do when you need to reset yourself in game?

I’m human I get rattled too, I get pissed off there’s time where I [die to a surprise spot] or I’ll get screwed over and something unfortunate will happen and I’ll get really mad about it. The way I go about it is it’s in the past. If you dwell on it it’s not going to change anything, you can think about it all you want but there’s another round coming up, there’s more rounds to play and the more you think about what happened the less you’re able to think about what’s going to happen and so you miss out on chances to win. I don’t like to focus on the negatives, I like to focus on the positives and stay level-headed.

Since you’re in the spotlight so much more with ELEAGUE, playing so much more often, does that stress you out more being in the limelight so often, getting those games in? Do you find yourself working harder or do you like that kind of scenario?

I personally love the pressure, I feel like pressure makes me play better. I wish there was more pressure, I want there to be a lot of pressure because that’s when I play my best. I want the whole world watching.

You’re a showman then?

Exactly, I like to impress people and I like to win in front of people and I think it makes me better when everyone is watching.

What do you do in your downtime to help prevent burnout?

Yeah, so I started going to the gym about 2 months ago and that’s been really good. I feel like it helps with my mindset and I think that’s important to stay not only physically fit but it helps your mentality when you play. Apart from that I stream, anything that’s fun and I have a good time doing that, those are probably my two main hobbies.