Cloud9 edge past 9z to advance to Roobet Cup semi-final
The IEM Dallas champions have secured a top four berth, but it didn't come without hardship as 9z fought valiantly in a close series.
Cloud9 are through to the semi-final of the Roobet Cup after narrowly surpassing 9z in the opening round of the bracket stage, only just managing to overcome the South American side in a three-map series that saw the teams exchange wins on each other's map picks before going the distance on Overpass, with Cloud9 only just edging out a 16-14 win.
The elimination and 5-8th place finish ends what can be considered a successful run in the event for 9z, who beat FURIA twice in series play during the group stage after coming into the tournament following the fresh addition of 17-year-old AWPer Lucas "nqz" Soares. Cloud9 will need to tighten up their game as they now delve further into the playoff bracket, where they will next take on BIG on Wednesday at 15:00 .
Cloud9 came out of the gates swinging on Mirage, securing a pistol win and converting the ensuing two rounds for an early lead. It took back-to-back triple kills from nqz and Martin "rox" Molina to get 9z on the board, but from there they were in control for much of the remainder of the half, recovering from a 3-5 deficit to take a 9-6 lead heading into the break.
A pistol win and subsequent conversion helped 9z widen that gap to 11-6 after the side swap, but once gun rounds were underway, the tides quickly turned. It was a stalwart defense for Cloud9, led by mutli-kills from Sergey "Ax1Le" Rykhtorov and Dmitry "sh1ro" Sokolov, that saw 9z's lead slowly evaporate as they were unable to find entry into bombsites round after round, adding only two more to their tally as Vladislav "nafany" Gorshkov's troops stole away the victory, 16-13.
Despite faltering on their own map pick, 9z didn't look shaken on Dust2. A back-and-forth brawl unfolded at the onset of the map as the teams battled for control, and initially it seemed like Cloud9 would pull away when they won three rounds in a row to tie up the score 5-5 on the T side. However, Maximiliano "max" Gonzalez and rox took it in turns to shut down Cloud9's attacking attempts for the remainder of the half, helping 9z to double their score.
Cloud9 managed to narrow that gap considerably after winning a force-buy on round 17, but 9z recovered once they had rifles in hand and put up a strong performance on the T side, picking apart their opponent's defenses en route to securing a 16-10 win to force an Overpass decider.
There, it seemed like Cloud9 were finally about to run away with things as they kicked the map off with a strong CT effort, posting an 8-3 lead. 9z began to fight back though, max and nqz leading the way to help their side garner six rounds by halftime before Cloud9 again widened the gap with a pistol round win.
On the CT side, 9z showed a much better face and began to pick up momentum, managing to tie up the score at 12-12. It was at the final hurdle that things fell apart though, with Cloud9 reaching match point shortly afterward before they shut down a last-ditch comeback effort from 9z, edging out a 16-14 victory to take the series.
|Cloud9||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|61 - 44||+17||71.3||1.16|
|57 - 53||+4||76.0||1.06|
|51 - 55||-4||73.4||0.98|
|41 - 59||-18||57.5||0.77|
|34 - 52||-18||51.4||0.76|