Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Cloud9 cruises past NRG, seeks another successful NA LCQ lower bracket run

Cloud9 took care of business against NRG Esports in the North American Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) today, breezing past their lower bracket VALORANT opponent in what could be another lower bracket run that results in a trip to champions.

C9 looked very comfortable on their Breeze pick, jumping to a nice lead on their attack half thanks to Leaf-led executes. Leaf thrived on Neon’s speed, closing the distance between himself and the NRG defenders and getting plenty of opening kills.

Vanity’s pesky aggressive post-plant angles wreaked havoc on NRG retakes as C9 cruised to a 9–3 lead at half-time.

Leaf immediately produced more impact in the second half, notching a 3k clutch in the pistol round. This propelled C9 to a 12–3 lead, but NRG was able to stop the bleeding and closely win a couple of rounds to start a comeback. However, a backstab from leaf’s vandal put the NRG comeback dream to bed and C9 was able to take care of business on Breeze, 13–7.

NRG got off to a nice start on Icebox, but it wasn’t easy: they won the first three rounds on attack but two of them came via last-second defuse denials.

However, NRG continued to build a healthy lead on attack with plenty of opening kills and safe plants on A, but surrendered a couple of embarrassing thrifty round wins to Cloud9. C9 was able to recover a few rounds at the end of the half, tying the score, 6–6, before switching sides.

C9’s momentum continued onto the attack side, taking the first three rounds, including a bonus where they faced a 3v4 but pivoted to the A site where curry and Xeppaa caught the NRG retakers off guard.

A gorgeous 4k from curry put Cloud9 up to map and series point leading 12–8, and the team showcased another great pivot call from B to A to cross the finish line 13–8.

C9’s late run last year saw them run through the lower bracket of the 2021 NA LCQ, resulting in a trip to VCT Champions where they were the only team from NA to reach playoffs. Thanks to recent performances in tier two events following their lackluster showing in Stage Two, C9 is looking like a confident top NA squad once again.

They advance to take on 100 Thieves in the lower bracket on Friday, Aug 12.

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