Steven R. February 16, 2019
Cloud9 stayed alive in the 2019 Katowice Major, but it wasn’t easy.
Cloud9 narrowly defeated Furia in a three-game series to prolong the team’s tournament run.
The match opened on Mirage in embarrassing fashion for Cloud9. Throughout the first half, the squad struggled with a lack of coordination and weapon accuracy. This resulted in botches and misplays that Furia took advantage of, culminating in a 16-1 loss for Cloud9.
While that flop suggested the team was doomed to an early exit from the major, Cloud9 fired back on Inferno. Timothy "autimatic" Ta and Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey found their grooves and posted their best games of the tournament thus far. Furia never found the necessary kills to chip away at Cloud9’s advantage, and Cloud9 flipped the first map’s score to win game two 16-1.
The deciding showdown on Cache was a much more competitive affair. A CT start for Cloud9 saw the team get comfortable with an early lead, but Furia stole multiple rounds in the first half with its unorthodox use of the squeaky door to defend bombs planted on the A site. The momentum swung hard after halftime, as Cloud9 leveraged the map’s T-side advantages and took over the lead. Furia kept swinging, but Cloud9’s veteran experience and Jordan "Zellsis" Montemurro’s clutch skills locked down a 16-10 win.
According to analysts, this series was the first time in the game’s history that teams have traded 16-1 maps at a Counter-Strike major. What’s more, the 16-1 losses actually came on each team’s choice of map. Cloud9 may reconsider picking Mirage in the next round.
Though this was an amusing turn of events, it comes with some sadness as Furia is eliminated from the Katowice Major with a 1-3 record. Cloud9 will play in the final round of the New Challengers Stage against Winstrike Team with the winner advancing to the New Legends Stage and the loser being sent home.