Coming into the Worlds 2018 Group Stage Day 5, Cloud9 would need to elevate their performance against some of the most vaunted teams in the world in order to keep their tournament dreams alive.
Their day started off as well as they could have hoped with surprising snowball victories over both Gen. G Esports and Royal Never Give Up. This set them up with a pivotal match against Team Vitality.
One team would advance to the Knockout Stage and one would be sent packing. Here is a breakdown of how Cloud9 advanced to their second consecutive Worlds Knockout Stage.
Cloud9 vs. Team Vitality
Eric “Licorice” Ritchie – Top Singed
Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen – Jungle Nocturne
Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen – Mid Zilean
Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi – Bot Xayah
Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam – Support Shen
Team Vitality Lineup:
Lucas-Simon “Cabochard” Meslet – Top Sion
Mateusz “Kikis” Szkudlarek – Jungle Trundle
Daniele “Jizuke” di Mauro – Mid Ekko
Amadeu “Attila” Carvalho – Bot Draven
Jakub “Jactroll” Skurzyński – Support Thresh
The action got started early as Team Vitality sent all five members towards the Cloud9 red buff at the game’s start. They nearly caught out Zeyzal, but he was able to Flash to safety.
The European side continued to make aggressive plays during the first couple minutes, but eventually they overstepped their boundaries.
In the mid lane, Jizuke attempted to kill Jensen as he was rotating to help Svenskeren with a skirmish in the jungle. However, Jensen flipped the script by turning on Jizuke and picked up first blood using his Time Bombs.
The first major team fight happened in the 12th minute as Vitality sent four members to the bot lane. They were able to find a kill onto Zeyzal and then attempted to back out, but Cloud9 would not let them off so easily.
Jensen was able to stun Kikis and Jactroll, which gave the rest of his team time to catch up and finish off the Vitality jungler and support. With those two kills Cloud9 gave themselves a slight gold lead.
The remainder of the mid game saw the two teams trade kills and towers, but neither side was able to take a decisive advantage.
At 24 minutes, Vitality started up the Baron while Licorice didn’t have Teleport and was pushing out the bot lane. However, the rest of Cloud9 stepped forward to contest and the poke damage of Sneaky and Jensen was enough to cause Vitality to back off.
Just two minutes later though, Vitality were able to kill off the Cloud9 bot lane and, despite their low health bars, threatened to take the Baron. The rest of Cloud9 were able to force them off it once again, killing Cabochard in the process.
Jizuke also chose to stick around in the top lane after his team’s failed Baron play, which would prove to be another mistake as he was swiftly picked off by Svenskeren and Jensen. With a two man advantage, Cloud9 then made a call to start the Baron themselves.
Team Vitality made a very disorganized and seemingly half-hearted attempt to contest them, which resulted in Atila, Kikis and Jactroll all falling without doing anything to stop the North Americans from slaying Baron Nashor.
Vitality briefly looked like they would stave off defeat as they found kills onto Licorice, Jensen and Sneaky during the Cloud9 power play. However, in the final, decisive team fight, Vitality were not able to step up to the plate.
Svenskeren kicked things off with a Paranoia/Unspeakable Horror combo onto Atila who was then finished off by Sneaky. Without their biggest damage source, Vitality were effectively out of the fight. Jactroll was the next to fall and the rest of the Europeans then retreated into their base with Cloud9 hot on their heels.
The remaining three Vitality members did all they could, but Cloud9 was simply too powerful and at 32:55 they destroyed the Nexus.
With the victory, Cloud9 secured themselves a spot in the Quarterfinals, but also put themselves in contention for their group’s first seed. They proceeded to play a tiebreaker game against Royal Never Give Up to decide who would take the spot.
Although they lost the tightly contested match, the North Americans still have exceeded many people’s expectations of them by escaping what had been deemed the group of death before the tournament.
Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR25 at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.