The series saw both teams take each others’ map picks, with OG getting the better of Cloud9 on Nuke and Cloud9 edging out OG on Overpass. A hot start for OG on Dust 2 proved to be insurmountable for Cloud9, though the Colossus squad still put up a good fight.
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The first map was Cloud9’s pick, Nuke, but it broke in favor of OG. Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen’s squad denied Cloud9 any space in the first half as no Cloud9 player managed to hit double-digit kill tallies. A 10-5 score at halftime seemed hard to recover from for Cloud9, but Patrick “es3tag” Hansen’s ninja defuse on the second pistol round helped the team’s morale. Things had started to look up for Cloud9 as William “mezii” Merriman bagged a few rounds, but it wasn’t enough to offset Aleksib’s strong play.
The OG in-game leader ensured a one-sided win for the squad on the first map, topping the scoreboard in OG’s 16-8 win.
Considering OG’s incredible performance, the second map Overpass seemed like a tall order for Cloud9. Instead, the team was in top form, posting a strong first half on the CT side. The Alex “ALEX” McMeekin-led roster bagged rounds by stalling out T-side executes and forcing out utility, leaving them to push sites dry. OG could only win four rounds on the T side and failed to recover from the poor performance in the first half. A final score of 16-11 in favor of Cloud9 pushed things to a deciding third map on Dust 2.
While Cloud9 likely had a boost of confidence from its win on Overpass, the team started poorly on Dust 2. The decider map saw OG dominate the first half, tearing down Cloud9’s defenses with ease. Cloud9’s CT sider was a sorry sight as the team struggled to keep OG at bay. The team desperately tried to find wins in the first half, but only snatched three rounds along the way.
The second half was a very different story as Mezii and Erick “Xeppaa” Bach showed up in the second half for Cloud9. The two players saved the second pistol round and were very strong for the remainder of the map. Their efforts brought the team back into the game, but OG was just too good to fumble such a large lead. Nathan “NBK–” Schmitt’s 33-kill showing helped OG seal the 16-12 win on Dust to lock the series 2-1.
With this hard-charged best of three, Cloud9’s journey will end in IEM Katowice 2021, as OG books a spot in main event. OG’s first opponent of the group stage will be revealed once the play-in stage wraps up.
According to esports bookmakers, the main favorites to win the tournament are Astralis with outright odds of 3.40; Vitality with 3.80 odds; and Na’Vi at 5.00 (source: esportsbettingtop.com