Cloud9 do a Cloud9! And NiP qualify for IEM Rio Major

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Oct 09

The Road to Rio EU RMR is currently ongoing and today we had our Round 3 high matches. The winners of these matches secured their spot as Legends in the upcoming CS: GO Major. While FaZe Clan became the first team to qualify for the Major, NiP have also secured their slot at the IEM Rio Major later this year.

Having secured their spot in the Round 3 High matches after defeating B8 esports and G2 esports, Cloud9 looked to be improving in form with each passing match. The team has improved tremendously over the past few weeks, with a top four finish at ESL Pro League highlighting their potential. 

Meanwhile, they were up against NiP, the team that has defeated a lackluster Astralis and Bad News Eagles so far. Over the past few weeks, the Ninjas have not been impressive, a poor finish at ESL Pro League marking their current form right before the EU RMR events. 

But the Ninjas started strong, very strong on Mirage. With a 8-3 start, NiP players were always in a very comfortable position. Hampus and Brollan had provided the early boost required, but the rest of the players kept up the pressure on Cloud9. With a 1.72 rating at the end of Map 1, Hampus seemed to be in excellent shape in this qualification match.

Cloud9 took some time to get their groove on, but they finally made a nice comeback on Inferno. Inferno was NiP’s map choice, so the strong showing on Inferno definitely boosted Cloud9’s confidence. 

There were several moments when Cloud9 won clutch situations, but it was down to the players’ familiarity with the map that allowed them to make these clutches. Towards the end of the map, NiP’s economy was in shambles and they rarely managed to secure a strong buy. Cloud9 took Inferno with a 16-11 score.

The final map of the series was Vertigo, a map that has worked well for NiP. But Cloud9’s players were able to get a strong read on NiP’s defense, and Vertigo is also a slightly T-sided map. Cloud9 roared forward with a 9-1 lead, 

NiP clawed back a few rounds to finish the first half with a respectable 5-10 score. A 5-10 score was not really out of the impossible and it was up to NiP to force their way back in the game. Hampus took things in his hands (or pistol in this case) to get NiP the lead with Rez finishing out the pistol round. But Cloud9 bounced back immediately after with Sh1ro’s scout getting two crucial frags. 

NiP got the next four rounds, bringing the score back to 11-10. It was anyone’s game by now. Just when things looked positive for NiP, it was Cloud9’s turn to get in a few rounds. Cloud9 took the score to 14-10. But just as things were looking positive for Cloud9, they faltered. And they faltered hard. NiP won six rounds in a row, mostly attacking the A bombsite, but also visiting the B bombsite towards Hampus later, to win the map and series.

It was truly a disappointing loss for Cloud9 fans who were hopeful of seeing their favorite team qualify for Legends stage today. Cloud9 still have two more chances to qualify but for now, NiP is the second team to secure their Rio Major Legends spot.

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