In esports, upsets are almost guaranteed to happen, just like in sports. When teams enter the server to compete, predictions, theoretical advantages and experts’ expectations disappear, the only thing that is left is how the players actually perform in game. The winner of ELEAGUE Major Boston, Cloud9, more than proved it during the course of the Playoffs.
In the Quarterfinals, Cloud9 were matched against G2 Esports, a team which could match them when they were feeling up to it. This new Cloud9 roster never allowed the French to, swiftly defeating them in two maps, Mirage and Overpass, with the scores of 16-8 and 16-7 respectively.
In the Semifinals, Cloud9 were matched up against a tired SK Gaming playing with a stand-in, João “felps” Vasconcellos, a great player who didn’t really fit the SK Gaming plan, getting swapped for former Immortals player Ricardo “boltz” Prass.
Why was SK Gaming tired when they played against Cloud9? Definitely not because they were out, partying, the night before. No, they simply had to get over the hump of Fnatic on the same day to even make it to the Semifinals. While SK Gaming did win against Fnatic, their play wasn’t what we were used to seeing from one of the best teams in the world.
In their match against C9, SK Gaming were having trouble, hopelessly losing Mirage only to come back in a major way on Cobblestone and force the third map. Once on Inferno, Cloud9 once again proved superior and earned themselves a spot in the Grand Finals, where FaZe Clan was already waiting for them.
Speaking of FaZe, they finally looked like the team we expected to see before the tournament, at least in the Quarterfinals and Semifinals. They overcame mousesports 2-0, even though it wasn’t exactly easy because the teams played OT on Nuke.
Against Na’Vi in the Semifinals, on the other hand, FaZe Clan shaped up and pushed through, winning the series 2-0, with the scores of 16-9 on Inferno and 16-7 on Mirage. With that, they made it to the Finals. When their opponent, Cloud9, was determined, FaZe Clan immediately became the favorite to win the whole event.
After the match, the tournament’s host, Richard Lewis, said that this was one of the greatest Major Finals ever. We can’t help but agree. The two teams started the match on Mirage. Cloud9 went on a huge spree in the early game and got themselves a healthy lead before FaZe Clan finally woke up and started clawing their way back into the match.
FaZe lost the first half 6-9 and started coming back for real in the second, winning it 10-5. Even then, Cloud9 almost managed to get back some rounds and teetered on the edge of Overtime. If this was what the rest of the match was to be like, we were about to have a great Finals.
The second map did not disappoint.
Even though FaZe picked Overpass themselves, they lost the first half 3-12. With Cloud9 on match point, FaZe threw the last of their reserves at Cloud9, trying for a massive comeback, but fell short in the map despite winning the half itself 7-4
And then there was Inferno. For any FaZe Clan fans out there, the name of the map was apt indeed. In the regular time, both teams traded rounds, with one getting ahead by several only for their opponents to start coming back. In the end, the first half was won by FaZe 8-7, while C9 won the second with the same score, forcing overtime.
In the early rounds of the first OT, Cloud9 won several crucial rounds, putting an almost insurmountable obstacle in front of FaZe Clan if they wanted to keep their Major Championship dreams alive. FaZe didn’t flinch and did everything they could to tie the score once more.
In the second OT, the same scenario continued. This time, however, FaZe had no gas left in their tank, losing the second overtime 1-4 and giving Cloud9 the ELEAGUE Major Boston title, the first for an NA team in the history of Valve Majors.
Despite the numerous technical issues, hiccups and hijinks, this Grand Final series made it worth it to watch the tournament single-handedly. It’s doubtful that it will go down in history as the greatest series of the year because people will forget how awesome it was when the time comes to start voting but this Grand Final should definitely be at least nominated.