IHC shock Cloud9 and eliminate them from IEM Katowice
The Mongolian squad spoiled Timur "buster" Tulepov's debut event with his new team.
IHC continued to surprise analysts and fans alike after another major win, this time against the CIS giants of Cloud9 — a team ranked 24 spots above them. The narrow 2-0 victory eliminated the Russian squad from the competition and avenged the Mongolians' loss to them in the first stage of the event.
Spectators were surprised by the quality of Counter-Strike brought by IHC at the Polish event as they defeated paiN and world No. 9 FURIA in the first phase of the tournament. Their underdog story then suffered a brief setback as they failed to close out a 9-1 lead against Liquid on Inferno, relegating them to the lower bracket after a flat 0-2 defeat.
Garidmagnai "bLitz" Byambasuren's men, however, still have a long journey ahead of them before they are able to claim a playoff spot, with a match against Finn "karrigan" Andersen's FaZe in the Group A lower semis on Monday at 19:30 , and a subsequent lower bracket final match for a spot in the Spodek Arena if they manage to surpass the European combine.
IHC kicked off their pick of Inferno in good form by taking the first pistol round of the series before extending their lead to 4-0 against Cloud9's defense. The Russians quickly hit back by claiming their first round with just a saved AWP and a few upgraded pistols, stealing the momentum away from the Mongolian squad. Cloud9 then executed a series of dominant defensive plays as Sergey "Ax1Le" Rykhtorov locked down the A bombsite to power his team to a nine-round winning streak. Their advantage was only limited to 9-6 due to a crucial Tuvshintugs "Annihilation" Nyamdorj 1v2 clutch before the break.
bLitz's squad continued to surprise after switching to the CT side with another pistol round victory and a short streak to level out the scoreline. The captain was a rock for his team on the A bombsite and also contributed greatly to IHC's many fruitful retakes, which propelled them to a narrow 16-14 victory. Cloud9 kept the map competitive, but struggled to maintain composure in the later rounds before fading out with an unsuccessful A site push.
Cloud9 continued to struggle after moving to their pick of Mirage despite a second-round force buy that allowed them to take an early 4-1 lead. IHC halted the Russians' advance to the B site with just a few Deagles to turn the momentum in their favor and carried that fire all the way to halftime, which they entered with a slight 7-8 deficit, courtesy of a Tengis "sk0R" Batjargal triple-kill in apartments. Dmitry "sh1ro" Sokolov ended the half with a 1.85 rating, while Vladislav "nafany" Gorshkov struggled to find any impact on the offense.
Konstantin "groove" Pikiner's boys again struggled to keep cool after switching sides and failed to build on their first pistol round victory of the series. IHC and sk0R thrived on the offense, and after punishing Cloud9's force buy on round 22, the Mongolians secured a 13-11 lead. The Russians' economy never truly recovered from that point, and IHC fought their way to a 16-14 victory, denying Cloud9 the chance to reach the playoffs — a dramatic turnaround from their previous match on Mirage in the Play-In, which went the way of Cloud9 (16-5) after a convincing performance.
|Cloud9||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|54 - 35||+19||99.0||1.45|
|50 - 34||+16||87.3||1.27|
|41 - 39||+2||73.0||1.17|
|29 - 40||-11||54.7||0.78|
|25 - 43||-18||55.4||0.74|
|IHC||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|47 - 36||+11||90.8||1.25|
|39 - 42||-3||74.2||0.98|
|31 - 36||-5||62.7||0.97|
|42 - 44||-2||61.4||0.90|
|31 - 41||-10||67.2||0.81|