Facing Winstrike Team in the final match of the New Challengers Stage, the fan favorite organization avoided elimination with a 2-0 victory. This advances the team’s record in the group to 3-2, which qualifies them for a spot in the Legends Stage.
The opening showdown on Nuke hinged on either teams’ use of the AUG. Though the map has always been friendly to the CT side, the recent price drop on the scoped rifle has offered more options for controlling Nuke’s outdoor areas.
Cloud9’s Robin “flusha” Ronnquist used this to full effect, but David “n0rb3r7” Danielyan could not do the same for Winstrike. That matchup saw Cloud9 dominate the first half and lock down a quick 16-7 win shortly into the second.
Despite that efficient victory on the first map, Cloud9 was sloppy on Overpass. An impressive opening pistol round by Timothy “autimatic” Ta was followed by a flubbed full buy that gave Winstrike an early lead. Though Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey and Will “RUSH” Wierzba tallied the kills and pulled off the clutches to take control back, questionable economic choices and other small errors added up to Winstrike forcing overtime.
Though Winstrike seemed ready to force a third map, RUSH took it upon himself to carry Cloud9 to victory by notching nine kills in five overtime rounds to secure the 19-16 win.
The series was a fitting end to Cloud9’s run in the New Challengers Stage.
Despite possessing a talented roster, Cloud9 struggled with coordination throughout the opening to the major. The team can make dazzling plays in one round only to start the next by accidentally knifing one another in spawn. This made for clumsy wins over Furia and Grayhound Gaming, and devastating losses to TYLOO and Vici Gaming.
Cloud9 has already shown that it is capable of defeating teams in the Legends Stage, beating BIG and FaZe Clan at the ELEAGUE CS:GO Invitational last month. But if it wants to advance to the playoffs, it will need to find some consistency.