Fans of professional Counter-Strike couldn’t have asked for a better showing this weekend, the end of a three week major tournament culminating in some of the most exciting competition ever witnessed by the scene.
On the one hand we have FaZe Clan and their European superstar lineup, emerging from pool qualifiers as clear favourites. On the other we have North America’s last hope in Cloud 9, having battled back from a 0-2 deficit in the group stages (recording losses to both G2 and Space Soldiers) and clawing their way into grand finals double overtime at the 2018 ELEAGUE Boston Major.
Both teams being led by their respective snipers at the beginning of the set, FaZe took Mirage in a hard fought 16-14 only to have Cloud 9 respond with 16-10 victory on Overpass and force game three on Inferno.
With huge momentum swings from both sides, things looked grim for the Americans after having coughed up late game rounds in which they had gotten good frags early—a young team perhaps over extending just a little too much. Nonetheless, NA’s hope would see themselves through to some nail biting overtime play.
In what stretched well past regulation rounds, both teams showed grit and determination worthy of champions: FaZe NiKo and his bomb carrier surprise smoke-kill in banana, FaZe karrigan and his double kill-defuse to extend into double overtime, and C9 Tarik with his surgical post-plant AWPing. Finally, with a 22-19 scoreline, and a cheeky double reboost from C9 autimatic and C9 tarik, in front of over one million fans, C9 Skadoodle drilled FaZe GuardiaN to secure the defuse and win North America’s first international major for Cloud 9.
Biting back tears in an emotional postgame interview, Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham has certainly come a long way to achieve victory with the eager and hungry C9 squad. Having skirted a lifetime ban during the iBuyPower match-fixing scandal thanks to his moral fibre back in 2015, having stuck with the long struggling North American org, Cloud 9 and Skadoodle gave their home crowd audience something to scream about—GGWP!
Editor’s Note: At the time of publishing we accidentally cited the match-fixing ban as having occurred in 2011. TFG regrets the error and has amended the article accordingly.
Image Source: ESL