In his first series against his former team after leaving in August, Anthony “vanity” Malaspina and Cloud9 Blue dominated his former team Version1 to advance in the upper bracket of the NA VCT Last Chance Qualifier.
The series started on Breeze, with a surprising KAY/O pick coming out of Cloud9, and Xeppaa got things rolling with a FRAG/ment kill on Zellsis during pistol and a clutch 2K in round two. KAY/O’s suppression kept V1’s Reyna from devouring and Jett from dashing, but V1 stayed in contention in the first half with some surprising eco-round wins. Cloud9 ended the first half with a flawless round to take an 8-4 lead.
Vanity’s former CS:GO teammates in Xeppaa and Leaf led the way in the second-half pistol round as C9 Blue grew their lead. In the first full gun round, C9 Blue blitzed into the B site and halted any V1 retakes with a KAY/O and Viper ultimate combo. V1 could only muster a single round on their defensive sound, as C9 Blue confidently took away their opponent’s pick of Breeze, 13-5.
Version1 got off to a much-needed 3-0 start on Icebox, and Cloud9 Blue won the first gun round but at a huge economic cost. They won the follow-up round at a cost as well, but penny’s Jett knives helped V1 keep a small lead and force a Cloud9 save. But as soon as Cloud9 got some credits back into their pockets, they went right back to work with crisp entries and overwhelming post-plant utility. Cloud9 trailed 5-2 at one point but ended the half leading 7-5.
Cloud9 continued their momentum with a one-sided pistol round while defending A, and a successful retake on A the following round. V1 reduced the lead with a couple of round wins against a saving Cloud9, and won a close but crucial close gun round to close the gap. With the score tied 9-9, C9 halted the comeback attempt with two straight gun rounds bolstered by some great plays from Xeta. Another C9 gun round put them on series point and V1’s economy in shambles, and the boys in Blue went ultra aggressive to slam the door on a comeback and take the map 13-9 in the first 2-0 series of the whole event.
Vanity’s transfer from V1 to Cloud9 was one of the most prolific roster moves from North America following the conclusion of Stage Three and saw the long-time in-game-leader reunite with former CS:GO teammates Xeppaa and leaf.
The trio had found a great deal of success playing CS:GO for Chaos Esports Club in 2020, but the organization still released its roster on Jan. 1, 2021. Both leaf and Xeppaa then joined Cloud9, but leaf immediately switched to VALORANT while Xeppaa stayed with CS:GO a little longer as part of the now disbanded “Colossus” project. He stayed with C9 but switched to VALORANT in April.
The Cloud9 Blue win against Version1 places them in the second round of the upper bracket and will face off against Rise immediately. Version1 will play Thursday, Oct. 28 against FaZe Clan in the lower bracket.