Virtus.pro spoil new-look Cloud9 debut
The Flashpoint 2 group C opener went the way of CIS side, who swept the new European roster on Inferno and denied their comeback attempt on Overpass for a 2-0 victory.
The CIS side, currently ranked #15 in the world, limited their opponents to just five rounds on their first map, Inferno, but Cloud9 was able to show more on Overpass. A new face on the top level, William "mezii" Merriman, displayed his potential with a 1.29 rating on the map and was the team's best performer alongside Özgür "woxic" Eker. However, Dzhami "Jame" Ali's brilliant late-round play and some misplayed advantages for Cloud9 cost them a chance to push the series to the decider.
Retaking B worked out for Cloud9, earning them their first-round played with the new lineup, but the excitement was short-lived as Virtus.pro bounced back with a second-round force. After Sanjar "SANJI" Kuliev denied mezii's clutch attempts twice, the CIS side was up 5-1, with Jame's 1v3 clutch ensuring a strong T-side for Virtus.pro.
ALEX had to step up with two triple kills, one on A and one on B, to earn Cloud9 two more rounds on the CT side, but that was all for the half as Virtus.pro ran up a 12-3 lead. Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis added to that with a quad kill from Pit in the pistol, and after some force-buys being traded, Virtus.pro closed out their map confidently, 16-5.
A scrappy, clutch-heavy start to Overpass resulted in Cloud9 taking a 3-1 lead, with rookie mezii leading the way for the European mixture. Jame stepped up in a couple of key rounds that followed, seeing Virtus.pro regain the lead and build on the momentum to finish the half 10-5 up.
The deficit Cloud9 found themselves in was increased as Jame won a 1v3 in the second pistol, his fourth clutch on the map. A hero play from Patrick "es3tag" Hansen with the USP-S translated into an eco victory for his side and gave them a chance to recover on the defense, with Ricky "floppy" Kemery's Deagle triple really kicking off the comeback. ALEX and co. pulled it all the way back to 15-14 and overtime looked guaranteed as they found themselves in a 4v2 situation, but Timur "buster" Tulepov and Alexey "qikert" Golubev stole away the round to conclude the series 2-0.
|Cloud9||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Özgür 'woxic' Ekerwoxic||35 - 36||-1||69.1||1.08|
|William 'mezii' Merrimanmezii||39 - 35||+4||73.2||1.04|
|Alex 'ALEX' McMeekinALEX||36 - 42||-6||81.9||0.99|
|Patrick 'es3tag' Hansenes3tag||34 - 42||-8||85.4||0.99|
|Ricky 'floppy' Kemeryfloppy||22 - 37||-15||56.7||0.70|