Following two quick games, one of the most successful teams of 2017 secured its spot in yet another grand final.
Despite a series of impressive performances in the group stage, Cloud9 were unable to withstand the European super squad FaZe Clan—who took down the North Americans on Train and Overpass yesterday.
Cloud9 had previously defeated Astralis and SK Gaming earlier in the event, but looked hopeless against FaZe, as the North Americans proved unable to chain a significant number of rounds together on either map.
The series opened on Train, where the two teams initially exchanged rounds with each other until the seventh round, where FaZe started to run away with their lead. Cloud9, who only took four rounds on the opening half, still inflicted massive damage on the FaZe roster—but a series of one-vs-one victories saw the European team eek out enough rounds to build upon their lead.
Although Cloud9 grabbed four more rounds in the second half, FaZe’s substantial lead proved to be too much for the North Americans, who conceded Train with a 16-8 scoreline in favor of the Europeans.
The second map of the series, Overpass, proved to be an even more one-sided affair. Despite his struggles for the majority of the year on his previous team, Na´Vi, FaZe’s AWPer Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács became an insurmountable obstacle for Cloud9 on Overpass. Securing kills in almost every round, GuardiaN’s pick-offs and holds on bomb sites shut down Cloud9 throughout the entire game—leaving Cloud9 unable to answer back in any kind of efficient way.
By the end of the first half, the scoreline mirrored that of Train, with FaZe sitting on 11 rounds. But in contrast to the opening map, FaZe never allowed Cloud9 back into the game in any way, shape, or form—ending the second semifinal with a swift 16-6 victory, and securing the Europeans their seventh grand final appearance in 2017.
FaZe will now face defending champions Ninjas in Pyjamas in the IEM Oakland grand final, which is set to start at 3:15pm CT.