Cloud9 Secures First Place In Play-In Group After Shaky Performance

Cloud9 has secured 1st place in their play-in group through a close victory against the Brazillian team Kabum! Esports. Now all Cloud9 has to do is to face off against a second-place team randomly selected from another group and win in a best of 5 to secure their spot in the World group stages.

Although Cloud9 has secured their first place and is guaranteed to advance to phase 2 for the playoffs, 2 of their victories were far from clean. On Monday Cloud9 faced off against Japan’s Detonation FocusMe which they very narrowly won. Japan’s first place seed was all the way into Cloud9’s base before Cloud9 managed to pull off a miracle team fight victory which won them the game. Jensen has even commented on the fact that they should not have won that game.

Earlier they faced off against Kabum! esports in order to secure the first place spot of their play-in group. However, this victory was also far from clean. Throughout the game, the kill score was in Cloud9’s favor but it was also Cloud9 who was continuously on the backfoot. Kabum! showed that they had a very good grasp on macro play and managed to out-rotate Cloud9 for the entire game. It was mostly through mistakes from Kabum! that Cloud9 managed to make a comeback in the game although C9 Licorice and Jensen were also playing very respectably.

The biggest mistake that Kabum! made during the game was that Kabum!’s ADC Titan tried to go for a highlight reel play which quickly cost him his life. As soon as Cloud9 saw that Titan jumped in on Tristana the entire team focused on killing him. This brought Kabum! into a bad position where they lost their strongest source of damage and quickly cost them a team fight and a lot of momentum on the map. Another crucial moment was when Licorice and Jensen stopped Kabum! from doing the baron despite it being a 2v5. Although this was mostly due to Licorice and Jensen’s individual skill rather than through mistakes of Kabum!.

From C9’s shaky performance and G2’s upset defeat yesterday we clearly see that the Western leagues are not a cut above the ‘wildcard’ teams anymore. The ‘wildcard’ teams have even shown that they have a very clear and concise understanding of the meta and how to play the map. Previously they would sometimes score upsets through unrelenting aggression and deathball comps but now they even get ahead through map play and strategical rotations.

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