Slow pace, few kills, and different priorities: Insights for Cloud9 vs. DetonatioN FocusMe at Worlds 2021

A slow pace might lead to some important late-game decisions.

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This article is sponsored by DJ Esports.


There’s no way around it, Cloud9 struggled in the Summer Split. They transferred Zven to C9 Academy, only to bring him back because of the team’s poor performance. 

After Zven returned, the team gradually got back on track and managed to make it to Worlds as the third seed from North America despite those early struggles.

C9 rely heavily on the mid-jungle duo of Blaber and Perkz, where Blaber’s jungling tempo is a deciding factor in C9’s productivity. He is an aggressive player who makes high-risk, high-reward choices, which is a style of play that meshes perfectly with Perkz. 

C9 always put on a show, and their matches at Worlds are sure to be no different. However, their ability to finish games will be the biggest factor in how far they can go in the World Championship.

Overall, their pace is slow. C9’s average game time in the LCS Championship was 33 minutes and 54 seconds, the longest average time per game among all competitors.

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Compared to C9’s sluggish state, DetonatioN FocusMe (DFM) performed much better in the Summer Split, finishing first in the region’s regular season. In the final match of the LJL Summer Split, they easily defeated Rascal Jester 3-0 and became the representative of the LJL at Worlds.

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DFM and C9 will face off on Oct. 5, the first day of the Worlds play-in stage. The two teams met each other twice back at MSI, with each squad capturing one win. Based on their Summer Split and MSI performances, DFM could be considered one of the strongest minor region teams at Worlds. 

Don’t count out C9, though, because this experienced squad will likely drag the game into the later stages where they are likely to have an advantage. Both teams may try to rely on big teamfights to decide the match, but don’t expect a bloodbath. The number of kills probably won’t be too high. A safe bet would be the over-under market for Game One Kills Handicap.

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When it comes to the Jungle, C9 is not a team that hunts the Rift Herald. They have only managed to get the first herald 28 percent of the time over their last 25 games. In the choice between the Herald and the Dragon, C9 is not afraid to sacrifice the Herald in exchange for what they may view as the bigger prize, as shown over that same sample of 25 games, they have slain the first dragon 68 percent of the time. 

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Unlike C9, DFM truly values the opportunity to take the first Rift Herald. After winning in their lane, Aria is likely to cooperate with jungler Steal. They like to take the lead in controlling the first Rift Herald of the game, driving the team forward, and pushing the Turret. Over their last 25 games, DFM has a first Herald rate as high at 70 percent.

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Given the two teams’ drastically different approaches to the Herald, and with DFM favoring the Rift Herald by such a wide margin, It seems likely that they are poised to grab it. Despite this, DFM has higher odds at 1.973 compared to C9’s 1.807. 

Teams at Worlds tend to play more cautiously than they do in earlier tournaments when it comes to decision-making. Combined with the patch difference between the Summer Split and now, players are prone to choosing a more stable lineup at the beginning of the schedule, and neither side is likely to be too aggressive during these early stages.

Both C9 and DFM are more inclined to build on early leads and avoid unnecessary conflicts. Expect the leading team to seek to control vision suppression and resources while the other side tries to catch up through resource gathering.

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DFM like to choose a lineup that is built around late-game champions. Since this can take a while to build up, DFM is unlikely to launch an early attack but is expected to drag the game out into the late stage. These factors, combined with C9’s glacial pace, mean the game is unlikely to see too many kills. Right now, the odds of a total of fewer than 24.5 kills are at 1.947, nearly doubling the return on what’s sure to be a slow game.

C9 and DFM will face off at 12pm CT on Oct. 5 during the opening day of Worlds. And if you want to learn more about the matchup or find odds to bet on ahead of the match, you can view them on DJ Esports.