Cloud9 have secured their place in the iBUYPOWER Masters grand final following a 2-1 win over Liquid in the semi-finals in Santa Ana, California (Inferno 3-16, Overpass 16-5, Cobblestone 16-11).
Inferno kicked off the second semi-final in Santa Ana, with Liquid grabbing an early lead after the first three rounds went back and forth. It took Cloud9 a couple of individual plays to gain a little bit of a foothold, as Tarik "tarik" Celik and Jake "Stewie2K" Yip picked up triples on the way to their third round, but otherwise they couldn't find an answer to Liquid's offense.
Nick "nitr0" Cannella's men closed out the half with 12 rounds to their name after breaking C9's economy, allowing for a quick finish once they switched over to the CT side and picked up the second pistol round en route to a dominant 16-3 win on the opening map.
Cloud9 returned the favor with a massive Terrorist side on their own pick, Overpass, where Stewie2K shut down the first pistol round. Despite losing to Liquid's forcebuy in the following round as Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski stepped up with three kills, Timothy "autimatic" Ta's side quickly took control of the half with the man himself grabbing a quad-kill in a 2v4 situation and a 1v1 clutch later on.
Even when Liquid got early picks, they couldn't sway the rounds in their favor, with Cloud9 turning the disadvantages around and locking down several close late-round scenarios. A great effort from Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken in the second half, where his team was trailing 3-12 at the beginning, came to little fruition in the end, as two forcebuy wins allowed Cloud9 to force map three at 16-5.
Cobblestone was a much closer affair in the first half. Liquid got away with the better start despite losing the pistol after successfully splitting the A bombsite in the following forcebuy. At 6-2 in their favor, however, Cloud9 started coming back into it with a solid defense on each bombsite, equalizing the scoreline at six apiece and grabbing the last two rounds for an 8-7 half.
William "RUSH" Wierzba and Stewie2K combined for five kills in the second pistol round before Liquid replied with a forcebuy once again, but RUSH's triple in the third round swung the momentum back in Cloud9's favor. After a two-round buffer, Liquid pulled back the deficit to just one round at 11-12, but Cloud9 switched up the pace and exploded on each site for 14-11. Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham secured match point for his team with a 1v2 clutch, and Liquid's scrappy buy in the very last round wasn't enough to stop Cloud9's A hit for 16-11.
K - D
Russel 'Twistzz' Van DulkenTwistzz
68 - 43
Jonathan 'EliGE' JablonowskiEliGE
44 - 49
Nick 'nitr0' Cannellanitr0
39 - 43
Josh 'jdm64' Marzanojdm64
41 - 50
Peter 'stanislaw' Jarguzstanislaw
36 - 44