Cloud 9 are the Major champions. With their ELEAGUE Boston Major victory on home soil, you would be forgiven in thinking that this makes them a lock for any tournament victory since. Unfortunately, despite their momentous “Miracle in Massachusetts” victory against then favourites Faze Clan, they have since failed to consistently replicate that same incendiary form. Recently they were handily beaten by fellow Americans Team Liquid at cs_summit 2 in the Grand Final. In StarSeries i-League Season 4 they were unable to even make it of the group stages. Are Cloud 9 getting worse? Not at all. One needs to put their Major-winning run into context. It was a massive overperformance that got them the victory. They can’t be expected to replicate four players simultaneously being in fiery form and one player having his best tournament in years at every LAN. Cloud 9 are a very good team, but that’s unrealistic. The team has an individualistic approach to the game centered around taking aim duels and making aggressive plays. The minute they are matched in terms of skill, or if all their players aren’t playing at their best level, they’re going to struggle. In game leader Tarik “tarik” Celik was the MVP of the Major and has been highly impressive on the server and as a leader since joining the team. Timothy “autimatic” Ta has been the most consistent contributor since the Major. However, tarik needs Stewie2K, RUSH, and Skadoodle to also rally around him and deliver a similarly incendiary group effort to what we saw in Boston at IEM Katowice. It must be said that in Group A, they have a number of tough opponents to get past, including SK Gaming, Team Liquid and Astralis. If all five players show up, Cloud 9 could do extremely well in Poland and are a contender in the playoff stage. If not, we could see another early exit for the American powerhouse.
CS:GO Team Primer: Cloud 9
They're contenders at Katowice, but they'll need a strong performance.
Photo courtesy of Starladder.