Cloud9 manage to win the first CSGO major for the organization, and in doing so are the first North American champions at a CSGO major. Teams gathered in Boston at the Agganis Arena in order to compete at the Boston ELeague major for a million dollar prize pool.
The weekend started well for Cloud9, going 3-0 in the New Challengers stage of the event, defeating Team EnVyUs, Sprout and Mousesports handily. This qualified them for the New Legends Stage, where things immediately got more difficult. Cloud9 found G2 Esports waiting for them in their first match and the Frenchman were all business, quickly defeating Cloud9 in a convincing 16-8 match on Cache.
Things didn’t go much better for Cloud9 in their next match. Squaring off against Space Soldiers on Cobblestone it was a match Cloud9 should have won. Instead, they suffered a heartbreaking loss in the final rounds to lose 16-13 and find themselves with their backs against the walls and their tournament lives on the line. It was here Cloud9 found their footing. First against a struggling Virtus.pro with both teams fighting for survival, Cloud9 was able to dominate the match on Mirage and walk away with a 16-7 victory. They then found themselves against Astralis, another incredibly competent opponent, but Cloud9 was able to look even more impressive than they did in the previous match finishing Train with a comfortable 16-6 lead.
This put Cloud9 one victory away from a playoff berth and guaranteed top 8 finish, which would be a first in the career’s of 5 Cloud9 players. Only Tarik had ever made the final eight at a major before and he had only done so once. With so little experience going deep into tournaments it would have been reasonable to expect Cloud9 to falter against the talented Vega Squadron were it not for the incredible level of Cloud9’s play. They used the final series in the round of 16 to show everyone that they were serious, and absolutely dominated Mirage to walk away with a 16-4 victory.
With the top 8 finish secure the team then set their eye’s on making the tournament a first for Tarik as well by reaching the final four. In their path was G2 Esports and this time it appeared that Cloud9 wanted revenge. Avoiding Cache, the map where their first encounter took place, worked out perfectly for Cloud9 when it mattered most. Starting things on Mirage where they had been finding so much success in their previous games, Cloud9 was again able to look dominant in a 16-8 performance. The following match on Overpass was even more in Cloud9’s favor, and they sent G2 home on the back of a 16-7 defeat.
Next Cloud9 would have to take down one of the titans of CSGO in SK Gaming, but Cloud9 was not phased by the task. Going back to Mirage to open the series Cloud9 was again able to find tremendous success destroying SK 16-3. The tide quickly turned on Cobblestone however where Cloud9 struggled once again being taken down 16-8 to even the series up and force a deciding third match. With the North American crowd behind them Cloud9 were able to jump out to a large early lead and never looked back. Finishing the game with a 16-9 score, they secured their spot in the finals.
After a weekend of daunting challenges and difficult matches making the finals was already quite an accomplishment for the Cloud9 roster, but they wanted more. Standing in front of them was FaZe Clan, who entered the event as one of the favorites and had proven why that was the case all weekend long reaching the finals with only a single loss to their name. The series once again began on Mirage but this time, FaZe Clan was able to secure the victory in the final rounds and win a nail-biting 16-14 opener. Instead of becoming deflated that they had lost the opener and what had been a strong map for them in the tournament, Cloud9 responded on Overpass and was able to win 16-10 on Overpass in what was the most one-sided game of the series.
This forced a final game to decide the champion and it was everything fans could hope for. Faze Clan struck first winning the initial round but Cloud9 began to pull away first getting ahead 5-2. Faze then clawed their way back and took the next 6 rounds consecutively giving them an 8-5 lead before Cloud9 would strike again. Unable to gain any ground over the next few maps the score quickly became 15-11 and Cloud9 once again had their backs against the wall. Watching this tournament you would think this is where they are most at home, again responding with seven consecutive round victories to give themselves an 18-15 lead. FaZe wouldn’t go down without a fight, earning four consecutive round wins of their own to put themselves up and again force Cloud9’s hand. As they did all weekend long, Cloud9 responded to the pressure and won four rounds straight to finish the game 22-19 and become the first North American CSGO Major champions. Doing it on home soil in front of such a lively and supportive crowd made it an even better occasion.
The next major ELeague event will be in Atlanta, July 21th-29th. Check out the official ELeague site for schedules, teams and more.