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Published: April 19, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • The Russian-majority team saved two late deficits to barely edge out a victory against OG
  • Key C9 players like Ax1Le and Hobbit didn’t perform as expected
  • Despite the triumph, C9 still feels dejected after failing to qualify for the BLAST Paris Major last week

Cloud9 had a very tough time against OG, but they managed to go past the European team to earn a spot in the playoffs of IEM Rio after defeating them 2-0 on Mirage and Overpass.

Cloud9 Defeat OG

IEM Rio Group B upper bracket has concluded with Cloud9 emerging victorious. The Russian-majority team had to face OG in a battle to earn a spot in the event’s playoffs. The Europeans gave C9 a lot of trouble, but they barely missed the opportunity to move forward. Now, C9 will face FURIA on Wednesday to find out who gets to skip the quarter-final stage of the IEM Rio.

Despite being favorites, C9 struggled on both maps played. Key players like Sergey ”Ax1Le?” Rykhtorov and Abay “?HObbit?” Khassenov did not perform as expected on Mirage, leaving the unenviable task to carry the team on the shoulders of Dmitry “sh1ro?” Sokolov. He, helped in large part by AWPer Timur “?buster?” Tulepov turned around a couple of 2v4 situations early in the game and, more crucially, a 2v3 retake at the end of the map, when the score read 14-12 in favor of OG. Both pros’ quick plays helped C9 turn the tide and barely snatch Mirage away with a too-close-for-comfort 16-14 score. 

Buster ended the first map with a 31-17 score and his skills were once again going to be tested as both teams entered Overpass. The map played out similarly to the first one, with C9 starting decently but then having to salvage another tough position late, but turned it around from down 11-12 to secure the map once again in 16-14 and finishing the match 2-0.

Although C9 qualified for the IEM Rio playoffs, this brings little consolation from the fact the Russian-majority team failed to qualify for the BLAST Paris Major after G2 defeated them last week. C9’s in-game leader Vladislav “?nafany?” Gorshkov explained that the team still feels dejected following that loss during the European RMR B tournament. 

“Even if we won, it’s still sad because we lost a chance to compete at the Major,” the 21-year-old captain said. “And for everyone who lost the chance to compete at the Major, everyone must understand this feeling. Even if we win this tournament, I think we will still not be happy.”

OG now fall to the lower bracket, where they will face fnatic, while Cloud9 will go up against FURIA in a match that will see one of the two teams skip the quarter-final stage of the tournament.

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