This time last year, Cloud9 completed an unlikely run at the 2018 Boston Major, where they narrowly defeated favourites FaZe Clan 2-1 to take their first ever crown. However, in the first Major of 2019, Cloud9 still look like a shadow of the team that had beaten one of the tournament’s powerhouses previously. Regardless, a respectable 3-2 start in the New Challenger Stage seemed to translate well and raise the team’s spirits as they progressed to the second part of the Major, where they swept MIBR 16-3 on Inferno.
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It was a strong team performance by C9 on the Counter-Terrorist side that had ultimately paved the way to their victory, with Timothy “autimatic” Ta putting in a solid showing as the team’s AWPer. MIBR had a few moments of success in the match, though it never appeared as if they would be able to mount a comeback against the determined C9 squad. A strong pistol round on the T-Side was exactly what Cloud9 needed, allowing them to end the match just three rounds later.
It was a positive performance by Cloud9, who looked to be on the rise and ready to repeat their Boston 2018 heroics, but going into their second match of the New Legends Stage, Astralis decided to bring them crashing down to Earth. Despite several close rounds in the match, Astralis’ rotational movement, coupled with their experience on the Major stage proved too strong for a Cloud9 squad that is still trying to develop after several reshuffles. The 16-0 loss will certainly impact the players, but with an important match against Vitality now on the cards, the destruction that Astralis caused will have to be put aside, or the dream of repeating the feat that occurred at the 2018 Boston Major will quickly fade.