How did Cloud 9 get here?

 

The first North American team to win a Major Counter-Strike Global-Offensive tournament ever. Now that we have had time to come to terms with it all, how did Cloud 9 manage this feat?┬áLet’s take a look at their journey to the Boston Major, full of ups and downs, roster changes and all.

The Beginning of Cloud 9

The original team line up came from fellow North American team compLexity Gaming. The lineup consisted of shroud, n0thing, sgares, Hiko and Semphis, none of those players remain in the active roster today. Many of you may recognise these players as they have become household names in the CSGO community. Shroud is now one of the most popular streamers on Twitch after leaving the active line up. He chose to step down to pursue full time streaming and still waves the Cloud 9 flag. Hiko joined Team Liquid in 2015 and helped them get those closest an NA team had been to Major Champions. Second to SK gaming at ESL One Cologne in 2016 was the best NA had until now.

Cloud 9 original line up
Cloud 9 original line up; shroud, sgares, Semphis, Hiko, n0thing

Skadoodle and Stewie2k

MVP at the Boston Major was well deserved for the team Awper’s Grand Final performance. When Skadoodle plays well he has a huge influence on the team. Previous inconsistencies from him have held the team back from performances like this. Skadoodle joined the team back in 2015 from iBUYPOWER that had been through its fair share of controversy. With the players banned for match fixing, Skadoodle was the only one to get off scot-free. Stewie was picked up by the team early in 2016 and would often swap leaderships roles with autimatic. He recently stepped down as in game leader, passing the role over to Tarik. This move has allowed him to flourish as a rifler and a secondary awper to Skadoodle.

Tarik and RUSH

Last year in 2017 many of the teams went through some roster shakeups. For Cloud 9 this meant acquiring Tarik and RUSH from OpTiC gaming. OpTiC had been having some roster issues constantly bringing in a new 5th player after stanislaw left. RUSH became the new entry fragger slipping into n0thing’s place and allowing Stewie to be a more stable rifler. Tarik took over the role of in game leader from Stewie and has proved himself to be more than the peanut brain name he had previously earned. These players triggered an evolution of the team and saw their placings improve. Every tournament Cloud 9 has competed in since these additions, they have placed first.

Cloud 9 current line up
Cloud 9 current winning line up

The Boston Major

Cloud 9 were the underdogs in this tournament, they were still a top team but were not favourites to win by any means. Competing in their home country with the American crowd behind them was surely an advantage. Each player played consistently well over the tournament, without any stand out star players the team was a real team. Their first two rounds of the Legends stage started off shaky, losing to G2 and Space Soliders. They did bring it back in the following rounds beating poor performing Virtus.pro and Astralis. With the win over Vega Squadron in the 5th round they were onto the Champions stage. The Quarter finals saw an easy win against G2 2-0. In the Semi finals they won a hard fought 2-1 game against a less dangerous than usual SK sporting felps as a stand in.

The Grand Final

The three map decider came very close with rounds going back and forth and multiple overtimes. Both teams have played each other with the same line ups before and FaZe has always won. The same map picks were seen in those previous matches as Mirage is the best map for both teams. C9 may have lost that first map to Guardians Awping but they started out strong and it was the closest scoreline the two teams have had on Mirage. The second map on Overpass was won more convincingly over FaZe where C9 really showed up. By the third map it was anyone’s game with double overtime on one of the best Grand Final matches the game has seen. Cloud 9 take the win for North America, making history for their region and cementing their place as a top tier team.

Can Cloud 9 continue this form and keep their momentum into the next major tournaments?