We all know its been a long time coming, but Cloud9 was able to lift their first trophy in Counter Strike Global Offensive in over four years, thanks to a quick 3-0 sweep over ENCE in the grand finals yesterday to finish off with a first place at the Intel Extreme Masters Dallas 2022.
ENCE didn’t play badly overall and looked solid early on Mirage, with a successful CT side, in the first half conflicted only by a series of Cloud 9 T-sided round wins that were enabled by some excellent setup plays from Sh1ro. ENCE still managed to take a 10-5 lead into the second half, but Cloud 9 immediately showed up on their CT side, quickly bringing the map to a 10-10 scoreline. The two sides then followed by trading rounds back and forth before C9 got tired and took over, fueled by clutch after clutch plays from Hobbit and sh1ro, Cloud 9 lead to a 16-12 win on ENCEs choice of Mirage. Its safe to say losing your map choice and the first map of the series can definitely mess with your mentality and approach to the game.
Cloud 9 as expected kept that momentum going into Overpass, viciously punishing ENCEs CT side with overwhelming map pressure and close clock control. They led 10-5 at the end of halftime, with double the usual amount of kills coming from all five players. Cloud 9 continued to build their lead after a stomping second half pistol round but gave ENCE a small lifeline opportunity by losing to a pretty creative anti-eco strategy immediately after. Cloud 9 countered, with a taste of their own medicine, pulling an anti-eco of their own to give them a 13-9 lead. C9 never looked back after that, taking a commanding 2-0 series advantage via a 16-11 scoreline win on Overpass.
The next map, Ancient, started as we are accustomed to at this point, with more of the same CT-side dominance from Cloud 9, who led a whooping 12-3 score line at halftime after a phenomenal first-half performance once again from Sh1ro and a new suspect in Nafany, who combined for a huge 40 kills total before switching sides. At this point ENCE seemed defeated, and Cloud 9 wasted no time in putting the series to rest, winning all four of the first four rounds on their T-side push, to finalize the 3-0 series sweep with a schooled 16-3 win on Ancient.
For the Cloud 9 roster (who formerly played under Gambits organization), this is their first major trophy on any kind of LAN event in years, having won a handful of major events during the online/NET era. Its also the rosters first trophy in only their second event with the Cloud 9 organization, certainly showing promise for the future. For Cloud 9 as an organization, it is its first CS GO trophy since the mythical ELEAGUE Boston Major in January 2018.