In a clash of undefeated titans, Cloud9 emerged victorious over The Guard to secure a flawless 5-0 record and a top seed in playoffs at NA VCT Challengers One.
The Guard started strong on their pick of Bind, with one of the breakout players of the stage in trent delivering some tremendous plays early on. Their site executes masterfully drew out Cloud9’s defensive utility, letting them get safe plants and giving C9 almost nothing to work with on retakes. The Guard led 8-4 at half-time and added to their lead instantly with a clean retake on B in the pistol round. C9 added a few rounds before The Guard finally closed out Bind, 13-7 off a terrific all-around team effort.
Cloud9 answered back early on Ascent, with leaf taking map control with aggressive Jett play while vanity anchored sites to hold off retakes. C9 took a 9-3 lead at half-time after their attack side, and built on that lead thanks to some impressive multi-kills from both leaf and mitch. Vanity broke out the Judge on the final round of regulation, signaling the end for the Guard, and notched two kills with his go-to shotgun to punctuate a 13-4 win on Ascent.
On Haven, Leaf picked up right where he left off on Ascent, with Cloud9 placing him in forward spots on attack where he could catch The Guard defenders off guard. He ended with a staggering 22 kills after one half, propelling C9 to a 10-2 lead at half-time, then stamped out The Guard with a pistol round ace to put one of the final nails in the coffin. C9 coasted to a 13-2 win on Haven to secure the 2-1 series win.
Both teams had little to lose going into their match today, with 4-0 records each and a spot in playoffs secured weeks in advance. Cloud9 were considered a favorite before the start of the group stage, and have cemented that spot at the top of the rankings with two dominant map wins over one of the hottest teams in North America.
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