After a close 16:13 victory over Immunity in the first match of the day, Kinguin were expected to struggle against the Americans in a match that would decide who would advance to the playoffs. After taking an initial lead, Kinguin lost the first half 9:6, but managed to take 10 rounds on the terrorist side to secure another 16:13 win.
Cloud9 pulled level with an eco round win to take the score to 13:13, but Kinguin responded with an eco win of their own to re-establish their advantage. At match point, Kinguin rushed the B bomb site, catching Cloud9 completely off guard with the risky play.
Mikail “Maikelele” Bill was in incredible form with the AWP, repeatedly tagging Cloud9 from the spawn and allowing Kinguin to play more aggressively in those rounds.
Kinguin’s surprising performance comes on the heels of a report that the team may be sold to a new sponsor following Cologne, amid restructuring within the Kinguin organisation. For Cloud9, they appear to experiencing a dip of form following three consecutive major finals in July before a disappointing semifinal finish at CEVO season seven.
With TSM waiting in the quarterfinals, Kinguin face an even steeper challenge. But by reaching the final eight, they’ve exceeded all expectations and secured a spot in the next Counter-Strike major.
Photo by Helena Kristiansson via ESL/Flickr | Remix by Jacob Wolf