The US flag swooped proudly in the wind as Cloud9 acquired their first and only ESL Pro League title. On Brazilian turf, Sao Paulo housed 12 of the most dangerous teams from Europe and North America for Season 4 of the ESL Pro League Finals in 2016.
When you think Cloud9, the roster consisting of Skadoodle, shroud, Stewie2k, autimatic and n0thing echoes in the halls of our minds.Cloud9 employed the services of Stewie2k in January of 2016 and it marked their most successful roster change to date. Critics condemned the organisation for picking up such a young and inexperienced player when the pool of talent in North America is so vast, however the smoke criminal had two words for the haters… “sup bitch”.
Overdue for victory: North America
Up until Season 4 of the ESL Pro League Finals, not one North American team had won an ESL Pro League Finals nor successfully secured playoffs. While the South American roster of SK Gaming lifted the trophy the season prior [as Luminosity Gaming], Cloud9 stomped the competition suffering map defeats only to SK Gaming. Lead by n0thing, Cloud9 upset their American rivals OpTiC Gaming 2:0 in the Quarter Finals where they replicated the same feat in the Semis against mousesports. The addition of Stewie2k sent Cloud9 to new heights where the white and blue met SK Gaming in the Grand Final. Cloud9 converted their initial map 1 loss [17:19] into a convincing reverse sweep defeating the Brazilians with a 2:1 series scoreline. The victory in Sao Paulo flagged the rosters most successful tournament with their core 5 and threatened the talents of the worlds No.1, SK Gaming.
The Extinguished Europeans
SK Gaming were the favourites of the ESL Pro League Season 4 Finals as the Brazilians claimed two Major titles prior to competing. The European monopoly that generally dominated the real estate of the competitive scene failed to land on Free Parking. The FaZe Clan project consisting of Astralis’ former IGL karrigan exhibited a fearsome roster expected to place highly, however left fans squabbling as FaZe exited the tournament before playoffs. The infamous Swedish AWPer “Maikelele” revamped the Ninjas in Pyjamas troubled squad seeing the Ninjas place Top 4 after toppling Team EnvyUs. The poor results suggested the idea that Europe were becoming too comfortably perched at the top of the pecking order.
The ESL Pro League Season 4 Finals did not bode optimistic results the esteemed European’s expected. With Cloud9 flagging the rise of North America, autimatic earned his first and only MVP medal of all time finishing the event with the second highest rating (1.32) behind Magisk (1.33). The unfamiliar victory also augmented the core 3 of Skadoodle, Stewie2k and autimatic who went on to claim their first Major title at the Boston Major of 2018.
As of late, Cloud9’s roster has garnered plenty of controversy, howbeit the squad aim their crosshairs towards the ESL Pro League Season 10 where they will need to successfully qualify for the Finals in Odense, Denmark via the American qualifier. Be sure to support your favourite teams and keep an eye on further announcements!