- Although C9 won 2-0, the match was extremely close
- Both maps had to go to overtime, with the second map having two of them
- Sh1ro came as Cloud9’s saving grace at the end of the match
A titanic struggle and unexpected reverse sweep during the second map forced fan-favorite Imperial to leave the IEM Rio Major.
Cloud9 Eliminated Imperial
We are well into the IEM Rio Major and we have already seen some great examples of high-level CS:GO competitive play. The recent close match between Cloud9 and Brazilian veterans Imperial is just such an example, with the encounter going in two overtimes and ending with the elimination of Imperial from the tournament.
Playing on Overpass and Vertigo, Cloud9 enacted revenge on the team that had eliminated them in the Legends Stage of PGL Major Antwerp. Although they won, C9 struggled against their opponents because of the lack of Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov. But 21-year-old AWPer Dmitry “sh1ro” Sokolov was fortunately there to get C9 out of the tight spots they were in.
The encounter left Imperial fans heartbroken as the team left the IEM Rio Major with 13 conceded match points combined between the two maps that were played.
How Did the Game Go
It’s safe to say that sh1ro was C9’s MVP and key to success. He started the match strong on Overpass, scoring multi-frags en route to his team pushing up to a 5-0 lead. Imperial finally woke up in round six, winning it and stringing four more victories, bringing the game to a 5-5 tie thanks to multi-frag rounds from fer, Vinicius “VINI” Figueiredo, and Marcelo “chelo” Cespedes. However, C9 firmly controlled the end stages of the half thanks in part to Timofey “interz” Yakushin shutting down B bombsite attacks and helping his team pull ahead 9-6 at the break.
The tides once again turned in Imperial’s favor when they were on the CT side. A triple kill from chelo in the pistol round kicked off a dominant defensive performance from the Brazilian team as they surged into the lead by winning seven rounds in a row.
Cloud9 responded by winning two rounds before Imperial set the score to 15-11. But this was another turning point, as C9 managed to crawl to overtime when Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov's men won four rounds in a row and stole the map victory.
Vertigo, the second map, started with a strong defense from Imperial with Cloud9 mustering just one round in the span of the first eleven rounds. With such a big lead, Imperial let down their guard, allowing C9 to get four rounds to close off the difference a bit. However, as the sides swapped, Imperial once again pressed hard, bringing the score to 15-6, following a quad kill from chelo.
As the match seemed to be going to the third map, sh1ro came in with his AWP, denying Imperial more rounds, leading his team on a nine-round spree to force overtime, and ending regulation with a 35-21 K-D. He and Abay “HObbit” Khasenov put the final nail in Imperial’s coffin, who threw the match after Vertigo’s second overtime with a final result of 22-19.
Although C9 denied Imperial even a single map, the match was anything but one-sided, with only lucky timing and sh1ro’s skills on the AWP bringing them the victory.