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Cloud9 At Worlds 2021 Group Stage

Photo via Riot Games/Getty Images

Written by 

André González Rodríguez

Posted 

15th Oct 2021 23:20

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The 2021 League of Legends World Championship is here, and North America sent out three teams to represent the region. 100 Thieves is at the tournament as the first seed after winning the LCS Summer Split, Team Liquid went in as the second seed after losing to 100 Thieves in the Summer Split finals, and Cloud9 rounds it all out as the third seed after finishing third in the same playoffs.

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While Cloud9 had to battle in the play-in stage in order to qualify for the main stage, both 100 Thieves and Team Liquid got to play their first match of Worlds. The day ended with North America going 1-2 for the day.

Going into the tournament, each team had a different set of expectations. As the team that dominated the spring and got to represent the region at MSI, Cloud9 were looking to right the wrongs of the past. The past goes as far back as their 2020 season in which, like this season, they dominated the spring, giving themselves their first-ever MSI trip. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MSI didn’t happen; Cloud9 missed out on something they sought for years. This season culminated with the organisation missing their first-ever Worlds. 

Thankfully for them, they began to right the wrongs this season by winning the Spring Split, making it to their first MSI and eventually making Worlds. 

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Cloud9 at Worlds Group Stage

Prior to making it to the group stage, Cloud9 first had to qualify through the play-in stage. As the sole team to come from the play-in stage, Cloud9 had some work cut out for them. They started the stage strong, putting themselves at three wins and zeros losses, making it only one win away from auto qualification for the group stage. An unexpected loss to Unicorns of Love that led to a lost tiebreaker match versus DetonatioN FocusMe forced them to play one last best of five to make it to the group stage. There, Cloud9 dominated PEACE, putting themselves in the main stage’s Group A.

Photo via Riot Games/Getty Images
Photo via Riot Games/Getty Images

Once in the Group Stage, North America’s third seed began to showcase that inconsistent level of play that they showed in their losses in the prior stage, going 0-3 in the first round-robin of the group stage.

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In the second round-robin, all bets were off and Cloud9 began to play up to expectations - it was a completely different team. They took their early-game leads and pushed the envelope, making sure they hold on the game lasted all the way through to the mid-game and eventually the end. This netted the team a victory over both Rogue and FunPlus Phoenix - revenge against both of them for the previous round-robin. Both of these wins meant that in order for Cloud9 to make it into the knockout stage for the first time since 2018, not just for the organisation but for the region as well, they had to beat DAMWON Kia.

DAMWON Kia are on peak form, and currently look like the favourite to win it all, it was a tough task for the North American representatives. Even with the odds stacked against them, Cloud9 took it to them, showing zero fear and zero hesitation, unfortunately for them, the Korean first seed was just too much to handle. This meant that a final tiebreaker was going to decide if they were to make it out of the group stage or not - their fate was in their own hands.

Thanks to their impressive wins being the team who won their games the fastest, all Cloud9 had to do was win one tiebreaker. Their opponent was decided in a previous tiebreaker, Rogue versus FunPlus Phoenix. Rogue won.

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In another chapter to the historic EU vs NA rivalry, Cloud9 took it in what was a highly contested match right into the very end. The North American team made history not just by it being the first time they’ve made it past the group stage since 2018, but doing so for the LCS region and also being the first North American team to beat a European team in a tiebreaker.

This Cloud9 team did a complete turnaround from the first round-robin to the second. Their early games are more decisive and aggressive, their mid-game improved and overall all of the lanes are nearing peak performance.

The sky’s the limit for this Cloud9 team, only time will tell what they are capable of doing now that they’re in the quarterfinals.

 

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Cloud9 Never Settles: A Paragon In The LCS

Oshin Tudayan/Riot Games via ESPAT

Written by 

André González Rodríguez

Posted 

27th Nov 2021 13:39

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