The grand final of the IEM Dallas 2022 tournament is written in stone. Cloud9 will take on ENCE in a best-of-five Counter Strike Global Offensive series tomorrow after bagging their ticket today with a victory over BIG in the second semifinal series.
It’s no secret North American and especially C9 branded CSGO had a noticeable dip in the last couple of months, however it is not easy to fill the shoes of the fabled roster that featured the likes Stewie2k, Taric, and Rush. However the newly setup Cloud 9 roster is definitely showing poise in just their second event/tournament together.
C9 as usual looked good overall on the T-side of their own map choice Overpass, frequently out strategizing BIG on defense with well-timed trades and utility. They achieved an impressive nine rounds on the T-side before halftime, more than enough to close out the game you would think. But BIG came out swinging and secured an important pistol round to get a quick 9-9 tie, then crushed the C9 defense time and time again, winning eight straight rounds to start the second half and forcing C9 to spend all their timeouts quite rapidly. This BIG lead stretched to a 15-10 scoreline before C9 finally showed some spirit on their CT-side. Nevertheless, they ran out of steam in the 30th round, and a BIG B-site execute secured the 16-14 win on Overpass.
C9 needed to start playing more cohesively on Dust II and fortunately accomplished it with a much improved CT-side where they claimed nine early rounds, thanks to a whooping 21 kills from Hobbit. BIG picked up the second-half first round pistol and quickly tied the score as in the previous game, but sh1ro wouldn’t allow BIG to go on another round streak second-half run, controlling most of the pushes with his AWP. C9 closed out Dust II with six T-side rounds in a row, coming back in the series with a 16-9 victory.
C9’s best start of the series came in the last map Ancient, with a strong six straight rounds to start their CT-side. The first half was pure dominance for C9, aided by an extremely efficient double AWP setup, an incredible series of B ramp control by nafany, and even an unexpected ninja defuse, leading to a 12-3 advantage at halftime. BIG’s challenge of coming back became even more daunting after losing the second-half pistol round for the first time in the series, after this C9 never gave them a chance, ending the series in dominant fashion via a 16-3 scoreline.
With wins over the reigning Major champions FaZe and BIG on their hands, the C9 roster is positioned to take home a trophy if they can win against ENCE in a best of five series. This roster could potentially lift a major trophy in just their second event since joining the C9 organization as a whole. The IEM Dallas grand finals between C9 and ENCE will be live-streamed starting on Sunday, June 5th, at 11am CT.
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