The Cloud9 Bottling Factory

Sebastian Lalic
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Illustration by NovaH. Source: Cloud9

The crowd might not have shown up, but the teams did.

The semi-finals at IEM Rio were utterly chaotic and had so much choking you’d think the Spurs were involved. Missed it? Don’t worry, we got you covered.

Our first game was a bit more traditional. NAVI and Heroic are both absolutely banging teams and showed it on Map 1. First half? 8-7. Second Half? 8-7. In favor of the T-sides on Overpass. When did Overpass become T-sided? Point being, the two teams were inseparable, everything one could do the other did better. It took another 17 rounds of overtime to split them apart and give Heroic the lead in the series.

If every map was this close, the series will be amaz- Oh, Heroic is up 14-1 on map 2? Figures.

Ancient was pure destruction. Everywhere NAVI tried to go, Heroic had 3 men staring at them. cadiaN might be a comediaN but he was reading the NAVI strat book perfectly. A bit of s1mple magic and some great plays by a Perfecto+NPL combo, managed to earn NAVI 8 rounds and made some people believe. But it was over before the comeback really began.

Where’s the choking you might ask? Over at Cloud9 of course!

Nafany’s merry men started off in dreamland with sh1ro schooling ZywOo on how to AWP on Inferno. They even won all 7 of the T-rounds they played. With nafany as the IGL that’s a miracle. As map 2 began, the dream continued with another 12 of the 15 T-rounds converted. We were witnessing history. But, nafany and company must’ve looked over Vertigo’s edge, because their dream turned into a nightmare where they couldn’t stop falling.

Vitality got their own 12-round half, led by an absolutely ridiculous dupreeh performance. How ridiculous? Well, he had a 2.55 rating on that T-side, so that ridiculous.  In fairness, he was probably helped by sh1ro forgetting how to press mouse 1 more than once a round. With those performances, it was no shock that Vitality won OT too.

Normally, we’d try to trick you by hinting at a C9 redemption on Map 3 but you’ve read the title and seen the image. They lost, seemingly leaving their heads on Vertigo.

This leaves our two Finalists: Vitality and Heroic. Read on for more.

April 23, 2023

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