Cloud9 clinch final BLAST Fall Showdown spot
The Russian superteam edged past Spirit in a two-map series to make the Showdown.
Cloud9 have completed the BLAST Fall Showdown Europe team list after winning RES Eastern European Masters Fall, narrowly defeating Spirit 2-0 (16-14 Anubis, 16-13 Mirage) in the event's grand final to qualify.
The team around Denis "electroNic" Sharipov hadn't recorded an official since their 5-8th place elimination from Gamers8 one month ago, and had only played three series total with their new lineup coming into the qualifier. Cloud9 reside in the final group of ESL Pro League Season 18 and are about to return to top-tier competition on LAN, so this win offers a well-timed injection of confidence into the players as they suit up for their appearance in Malta.
|ESL Pro League Season 18|
Cloud9 started the GSL group stage of the tournament off on the right foot, defeating Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov's 1WIN twice on either side of a loss to Bad News Eagles. Spirit had a similar path through the other group, taking down Monte in their opening and decider matches while dropping a map to Eternal Fire.
The Russian lineups traded opponents for the playoffs, with Cloud9 meeting Eternal Fire and Spirit matching up against Bad News Eagles. Both series went the absolute distance as Cloud9 and Spirit only just scraped by with victories, the latter helped in part by some ping issues affecting the Kosovar team despite Danil "donk" Kryshkovets also briefly losing power.
The qualifying series kicked off on Cloud9's pick of Anubis, but it was Spirit who took early control. Leonid "chopper" Vishnyakov's side raced to a 9-2 lead on the T side before Cloud9 finally stabilized thanks to multi-kill rounds from Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy, who continued to perform in the second half to power his team to a comeback from 5-10 and 8-13 deficits to narrowly clinch victory, 16-14.
Mirage was equally as hard-fought as the teams remained neck-and-neck in the first half, with Myroslav "zont1x" Plakhotia and electroNic leading the way for their sides. Once Cloud9 were on the attack, however, they stormed ahead, winning seven of the first nine rounds in the second half for a 15-9 lead.
Spirit tightened up their defenses and won four rounds to reduce the gap, but fell short of making overtime after a triple kill from Sergey "Ax1Le" Rykhtorov closed things out in his team's favor, 16-13.
|Cloud9||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|43 - 41||+2||84.8||1.24|
|35 - 31||+4||72.3||1.09|
|33 - 38||-5||69.5||0.95|
|37 - 42||-5||72.2||0.94|
|31 - 36||-5||52.2||0.92|
|Spirit||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|37 - 27||+10||66.3||1.17|
|41 - 41||0||86.5||1.15|
|42 - 43||-1||78.5||1.09|
|37 - 32||+5||56.7||0.99|
|31 - 37||-6||67.3||0.93|
The complete team list for BLAST Fall Showdown Europe, which will run from October 4-8 with one spot at the BLAST Fall Final on offer, is as follows: