IEM Rio Cloud9 vs Imperial rematch in Round 3: Will C9 go 0-3??
Cloud9 were considered the dark horse to win the whole event, with analysts harkening back to the miracle of Boston. Now they face a familiar foe in the hopes of living to fight another day.
Disaster has struck Cloud9, as they sit 0-2 after day 1 of the IEM Rio Major. Their first loss was a close series to a Fnatic roster that punches above its weight. But the loss to Grayhound is something even the most die-hard OCE fans will have a hard time explaining.
Their 0-2 rivals, the same Imperial that eliminated them from the PGL Antwerp Major. While FalleN and company don't look very comfortable despite the home crowd, can they use that veteran experience to take out what once was the Gambit Youngsters?
Cloud9 - Expected to be a dark horse at IEM Rio
Coming into the major, Cloud9 was supposed to be a safe bet to make at least the event playoffs. And with their record against FaZe looking better than ever, they could even make a cheeky run all the way through. But those expectations seem to be too great for Cloud9, as they struggle to even get to the top 16.
Both the games that they have lost saw sh1ro posting monstrous numbers worthy of a top 5 player in the world. But the team still failed to close the games out. Nafany and Groove need to give some serious thought to what's going wrong, otherwise, this may well be their last game at this major.
Crowd buff failed to get Imperial going
In round 1 of the major, we saw all four South American representatives falter despite the roaring crowd. If anything, the crowd's roars charged Zywoo up against Imperial in the opening game. Imperial's fortunes didn't get much better after that, as a well-rounded 9z lineup annihilated their attacking side on Mirage, handing them another loss.
Now they stand 0-2 in IEM Rio. The crowd that should've been their greatest ally might become their biggest foe as the pressure starts to mount. A loss would mean disappointment for both sides, but it will sting harder for the legends who are the reason we have a Rio major in the first place.
Expectations for Cloud9 vs Imperial
The last time we saw these two face off, the veto went to Overpass Vertigo and Mirage. Imperial has always been a good Overpass team, and they smashed Cloud9 on Mirage. While there aren't any crazy pick possible in the veto for either side, Cloud9 should not move away from Mirage because of the last loss.
In the server itself, we saw both Sh1ro and Hobbit have an off-game in that last matchup. Sh1ro is definitely hitting a solid level right now, so with some luck, they will have the firepower to completely overrun their opponents. Over on Imperial's side, we need to see fer come alive on the server, without his impact the last dance may be on it's last song.
Realistically, Cloud9 should still be heavy favourites, much like they were last time. But Imperial has the crowd cheering for them, they have everything to fight for, and they will not go down without a fight. Unless Cloud9 completely smash the game, Imperial will be very comfortable in letting it get down to the wire, using the pressure as a 6th man.