Cloud 9 has done it. After two consecutive routs, the international team with three European and two North American players secured their ticket to the massive eSports event in Frankfurt, Germany at the end of June. Alongside seven other world-class teams, Cloud 9 will have the pleasure of playing in front of one of the biggest crowds in the history of western eSports as well as competing for a huge prize pool.
Cloud 9 remains flawless against the Danes
Before they could confirm their attendance, Cloud 9 had to overcome the last two teams standing in their way. MeetYourMakers (MYM) and Team Empire had both made it deep into the second chance qualifier as well, and were also getting their hopes up about making it to Frankfurt. In the end, they weren’t much more than stepping stones for Cloud 9, who put together two of their most dominant games one after the other.
The entire clash against Danish hopefuls MYM only lasted around 30 minutes. Cloud 9 came in determined, ready to roll and most importantly extremely focused on not letting this opportunity pass them by – their close loss against Fnatic during first chance to punch the ticket was still fresh in their minds, as well as their recent collapse in performance in other clutch situations. This time none of those concerns were even close to be being brought to the forefront as MYM didn’t even seem to be in the same league.
What was even more impressive about this performance was the fact that Cloud 9 was not playing with their main roster. Captain and community favorite SingSing was unable to play on the Monday, giving Romanian ArisE_3012 a chance to shine. In the end, the carrying power of the Canadian EternalEnvy on Drow Ranger and Phantom Assassin, as well as more good offlaning by bOne7 and supporting by Aui_2000 and pieliedie, was enough to obliterate the Danish lines.
Source: Cloud9 Facebook page
The Empire falls
MeetYourMakers’s loss was somewhat expected, but experts and fans expected a much closer fight in the grand finals. Team Empire and Cloud 9 both had huge success over the last couple of weeks, leading the DreamLeague with the same 12-2 record and getting runner-up placements in major LAN events (Team Empire in StarLadder and Cloud 9 at DreamHack Bucharest). They almost mirrored each other’s success, and both teams’ penchant for aggressive playstyles meant that an onslaught of highly offensive Dota 2 was expected.
What followed was a sweep of epic proportions as Cloud 9 completely obliterated their Russian foes. In all three matches, Team Empire could mount little to no offense, never really finding their footing and giving up big play after big play. From the get-go, Cloud 9 was dominating and firing on all cylinders, making it very difficult for Empire to make anything happen. 29 minutes into the first game, Team Empire’s first barracks were history, a pattern that should repeat itself over and over this series.
SingSing returning to the lineup with his signature hero Mirana, Cloud 9 showing off the impressive team fighting opportunities an Enigma can bring to the table and EternalEnvy farming away constantly proved to be way too much to handle for the Russians. All three matches lasted little longer than 30 minutes, but in every match Cloud 9 proved to be a runaway success.
Cloud 9 vs. Team Empire VODs
- Game 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFDz4OQBCIg
- Game 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5i8MJ30XQbE
- Game 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Mi0pjtXdUQ
Cloudy days in Frankfurt?
With a performance like that, backed up by the results the team has fostered over the last couple of weeks, it’s not too much of a stretch to push the team around SingSing into the favorite role. Not only are the team’s players individually extremely skilled and a big play waiting to happen, but their coordination in team fights has been outstanding recently.
The trip to Frankfurt is not only putting them on the path to more exposure and fame, but it’s also making them part of an elite group. Only a handful of teams will get the opportunity to play in the three major offline events this summer, Cloud 9 now being one of them. Alongside Alliance, Fnatic and Evil Genuises, they’re not bad company to have.
One spot remains
A single spot is still waiting to be filled for the illustrious tournament in the Commerzbank-Arena, a spot that will go to a team from the Asian region. Already present in the shape of former International Champion Invictus Gaming, the region will soon get another chance to qualify one of its best teams. In the mix for that last spot are standout teams like VG.China, LGD, Titan or recent winner of the TI4 Asian qualifier Arrow Gaming. Only one’s destiny will lead them to Frankfurt, with the rest having to miss out on being cheered by a World Cup stadium full of people.
For more information about the upcoming final qualifier and ESL One Frankfurt itself, be sure to check out the official website.