Following the conclusion of Cloud9’s first-ever professional CS: GO match together following extensive roster reshuffles and backroom changes, Henryk, general manager of the new look org, had this to say:
“Baptism by fire, indeed.
Lost too many clutches to the JameTrain but that’s a solid showing of character and so close to the reverse sweep.
We’ll go down to the lower bracket but there’s a lot more fighting to do”
Source: @HenryGcsgo – 12/11/2020
“Baptism by fire” is probably an accurate way of describing the match up against the CIS organisation ranked roughly 200 places above them in the HLTV world rankings. For as much hype as the Cloud9 roster moves and management reshuffles has gotten, people did seem to get caught up in the excitement and forget that this is still a team playing literally their first ever competitive match together, with only one bootcamp behind them and an IGL who hasn’t touched the game for nine months.
They might have been the favorite pick in most Esports predictions before the game, but that was probably a case of this over-hyping, as well as a serious undervaluing of Virtus.Pro’s skills, on show.
Nevertheless, it’s not all doom for Cloud9 and there were moments over the course of their 2-0 loss that should give fans some room for optimism. ALEX, Mezii, Woxic and Es3tag all showcased their star quality at times to win some clutch rounds and there were numerous lost rounds that were filled with plenty of promise and certainly wouldn’t have been lost if the side had a little bit more cohesion.
That all comes out more and more with time of course, but with the side now faced with a do-or-die match against OG, one of the pre-tournament favourites, C9’s baptism of fire could be about to get a lot hotter in the coming weeks.
Virtus.Pro opened the match up by picking into Inferno, a map that was probably a nice sight for a newly formed org to see. Picked along with Overpass and Dust II, the maps were all pretty safe and conventional however they were all picks Virtus.Pro averaged over a 70% win percentage on which could have been cause for concern.
Truth be told however, things never really got going for Cloud9 on Inferno. Starting on the CT side for a map that is becoming more and more T sided, the warning signs began when Cloud9 lost the second round despite winning the pistol; from there, Virtus.Pro won the next ten rounds out of eleven, with all but four of them seeing all the members of Cloud9 killed which never allowed the CTs to establish a stable economy.
The map finished 5-16 to Virtus.Pro, with only IGL ALEX hitting a rating of 1.00 or above for Cloud9 with 1.18. Only one player on Cloud9 managed 15 kills or more, which was ALEX again with 17, however all but two of Virtus.Pro’s members managed to hit that milestone and the other two members, Buster and Qikert were both on 14.
Moving over to Cloud9’s map pick of Overpass, this was really where the promise began to show for ALEX and co. Mezii and Woxic, the two undoubted talisman of the team, both ended up as the server’s highest rated players with 1.23 and 1.26 ratings respectively, and the final kill tallies of 104-110 shows in favour of Virtus.Pro’s shows just how close this map was in reality.
Having started on the T side, it was yet another serious test of character for the org as they slumped to a 5-10 loss at the half. What followed however was a fantastic CT side that saw them stretch things out to a 14-16 loss, the closest scoreline you can find in-game without needing overtime.
Three players on Cloud9 managed to find 20+ kills, Woxic, Mezii and Es3tag, and Mezii showcased his breakout skills and stand out with 29 kills, 10 assists and an ADR of 82.3. The final round they lost was actually at one point a 2v4 in favour of Cloud9 however, and should serve as the damning reminder that this is still an exceptionally raw side still badly in need of some steeliness.
Just like with Inferno, there were too many rounds, even the ones the org were winning, where the numbers favoured Cloud9 and things just became too costly. Economy control is one of the most undervalued and underappreciated aspects of competitive CS:GO and, regardless of who they play, Cloud9 are going to need better mastery of theirs going forward if they want to become a serious force on the server.