Despite quarterfinals defeat, Cloud9’s Worlds run was real

Nicholas James • October 30, 01:10

Cloud9’s quarterfinals run at the 2021 World Championship came out of nowhere. Cloud9 began and ended its time in Reykjavik with 3-0 showings, bookending a nail-biting performance in the group stage. With rumors of Perkz looking elsewhere, can C9 remain happy about its performance? Cloud9’s performance ended up being a miracle for savvy fans on Fandex as much as for the decorated roster.

From the group draw, fans and professionals the world over assumed that Cloud9 was dead in the water. After falling to both 100 Thieves and Team Liquid in playoffs, Cloud9 seemed to be at its weakest in some time. Seeded into Group A, Cloud9 was facing down the defending Worlds champions, DAMWON KIA, as well as LPL powerhouse FunPlus Phoenix. C9 and European team Rogue seemed doomed to be little more than collateral damage as FPX and DWG KIA clashed for the first seed. And one week in, that seemed like exactly what was going to happen.

Cloud9 chained together three brutal losses that left them teetering on the edge of elimination from playoffs contention. The first loss was a one-sided affair against Rogue, with losses following to DAMWON Gaming and FunPlus Phoenix in the coming days. Cloud9 looked scattered, unable to pull off its usual snowball-focused gameplay and uncomfortable answering international teams on their terms.

Cloud 9’s miracle day at Worlds

Week two was where Cloud9’s miracle run began. The first game against Rogue was a must-win, and Cloud9 came out of the gates swinging. Luka “Perkz” Perkovic and Robert “Blaber” Huang ran roughshod over Rogue. Blaber raked in a staggering 30% damage share, terrorizing the enemy team as a 6/1/9 Lillia. Perkz participated in just as many kills but didn’t have Blaber’s raw map presence and damage, ending up 5/1/10 on Leblanc. But it wasn’t just the mid-jungle duo that was impressing, as all of Cloud9 was coordinated and honed in.

The next game against FunPlus Phoenix was one-sided. Cloud9 absolutely destroyed FPX, taking a gold lead in the first minutes of the game and never letting it go. FPX floundered trying to match Perkz’s roams on Twisted Fate, with Nuguri and Tian failing to stop top laner Ibrahim “Fudge” Allani from putting on an all-star performance that gave new meaning to “NA Jayce”. These two wins were enough to push Cloud9 to tiebreakers against Rogue, since FPX had failed to win any games over the course of the day.

Cloud9 pushed past Rogue only to be swept aside in convincing fashion by Gen.G in the knockout stage. The Cloud9 that had shaken the League of Legends esports scene was suddenly nowhere to be seen. Poor performances from bottom laners Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Phillipe “Vulcan” Laflamme were key points of criticism from fans and casters. Many had thought Cloud9’s consistency issues were solved, but that was far from the case. The first game of the series came down to a close Baron Nashor fight, and Gen.G came out on top. The next two games, however, were not nearly as competitive.

Cloud9’s Fandex share price skyrockets

Cloud9’s performance on the fantasy-style stock exchange Fandex was one of the most potentially successful opportunities for wily fans. Cloud9 dipped below $10 twice over the course of their Worlds performance, once late in the first week and again just before their group stage run. Both times the price quickly rebounded, as speculative fans saw lots of possible profit for one or two upsets.

Picking up C9 at either of these moments set up lucky fans for success further in the tournament. With Cloud9’s share price topping out at $27.42, the team nearly triple its lowest point, creating huge value for shareholders. Once the team qualified for the playoffs, the price went down as many sold their shares high. Cloud9’s price sits currently at $18.78, still up from most of its run in the group stage. Cloud9 proves yet again that savvy buyers can turn upsets into upsides on Fandex.

The World Championship 2021 continues on October 30, 31, and November 6.

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