Will Cloud9 make the miracle run and once again make it out of another Worlds group?
The traditional EU vs NA match returned tonight as Cloud9 (LCS) faced off against Fnatic (LEC) once again This was a must-win match for the North American side who were on the brink of elimination. The last day of groups kicked off in style for Cloud9 who took down Fnatic to kick start their miracle run to escape the group stage.
Cloud9’s Last Chance at Worlds 2022
For Cloud9 everything was on the line for the LCS team. Not only had the team gone 0-3 in groups, having lost to Fnatic in an earlier match of the group stage; their fellow LCS teams were also the bottom of their respective groups. As the first seed, it was all on Cloud9 to deliver; a loss at this stage would also mean the LCS team would finish substantially further behind where they finished in Worlds 2021 (8th place). This match was fundamentally now or never for Cloud9 to wrap up their 2022 season. But as the NA team is known for getting it done, this win started the C9 miracle run – one they are notorious for across international events.
On the other side of the rift, for the European powerhouse, this match was to get ahead of their other matchups. Having already beaten T1 in their first Bo1, Fnatic needed a win here before their other rematches started to secure themselves a better footing.
Group A is stacked with a team from each major region – including a current three-way tie for first place between Fnatic (LEC and first-ever Worlds winner), Edward Gaming (LPL and Worlds 2021 champion) and T1 (LCK and the only team to win 3 world titles).
Cloud9 went safe to start week two at Worlds
Having tried numerous difficult-to-execute comps, C9 chose an easier comp with comfort picks for the players. Fudge was put onto Ornn which he took to the top lane to face Wunder’s Maokai; while Berserker took his Jinx into the bot lane and sniped Humanoid from across the rift.
The game was steady for C9, which was consistent throughout and was exactly what the LCS fans needed from their first seed at Worlds 2022. The comfort picks, easier-to-execute comp and the crowd support with a strong early game secured the win for C9 at 27min. C9 did not leave anything for the EU team, claiming first blood, first drake, and first turret before ending the game after some scrappy back-and-forth picks.
For Fnatic, this match was not in line with the precedent they had been setting earlier in the group stage – taking a win over T1 and C9. Despite securing Aphelios and Soraka for the bot lane, the lanes fell behind in the early game and were picked off time and time again by Blabber taking dives and picks in the jungle. Fnatic did their best to keep the trades even and stop the drake stack but ultimately it wasn’t enough and they will now have to mentally reboot before their match against T1.
What is next for both teams?
The win here means C9 will now play their further two matches against EDG and T1 which are must-wins if they want to make it out of the group stage. Having won their first match of Worlds 2022 and taken their first set of tier two turrets within the tournament, LCS fans can breathe a sigh of relief that the first seed will not be sent home after game one. But it is now the miracle run for C9 who will have to win against two of the best major regions, including the most recent Worlds winner.
For Fnatic, their day also gets harder, now needing to secure wins over T1 and EDG as well to stand a chance of escaping the group stage. But with two wins already under their belt, and the EU reputation as being a team who will challenge the top, it is still all to play for.
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