Another exciting weekend of Counter-Strike ended last night, with North American juggernaut Cloud9 victorious for the second time this year.
C9 convincingly won iBuyPower Masters yesterday, defeating many of the region’s top teams in a rigorous eight-team pool. They had a 6-2 map record throughout the two-day tournament in Santa Ana, California.
At the start of their brief weekend in Santa Ana, C9 went 2-1 in three best-of-ones in Group Play on Nov. 11, winning against NRG Esports twice (16-5 and 16-9) and losing to Renegades once (16-14)—all of which were on Mirage. The loss to Renegades on Mirage would later motivate them to polish their play on the map.
Their next match against Team Liquid in the semifinals was a mixed bag, however, as both teams displayed very strong Terrorist sides. Liquid took Inferno 16-3 and C9 traded Overpass 16-5, but it all came down to the second half of map three Cobblestone. C9 eased past Liquid on their Terrorist side after a close first half, and they were able to close out the series thanks to a late one-on-two clutch from Tyler “skadoodle” Latham.
C9 later went on to play in the grand finals against Renegades, who had defeated OpTic Gaming in the latter semifinal match earlier that day. The North American favorite crushed the Australian side in map one Mirage 16-6. Renegades put up a much better fight on Train, despite giving up an early 9-6 lead. C9 forced overtime in round 30, and they found their way to a 19-16 scoreline and a 2-0 finals sweep after two defenses and a strong execute. Jake “Stewie2k” Yip was the biggest factor in his team’s win, accruing 26 kills per map and averaging 98.2 damage per round.
Cloud9 takes home $100,000 in what is their second title victory in two months. Their performance at iBP Masters showed that they can still compete as a clear favorite within the North American region.