Cloud9 claim a valuable victory over RNG, but a fall to Pentanet.GG complicates matters going into Day 5.
There is no doubt North American League of Legends fans expected more out of their representative at the Mid-Season Invitational 2021 tournament. After all, Cloud9 are the LCS 2021 Spring and LCS 2021 Mid-Season Showdown champions. They went into Day 4 of MSI 2021 with statistically a 6% chance to make out of the tournament’s Rumble stage. Cloud9 only proceeds to the next round in 242 scenarios out of a potential 4096.
Their job wasn’t about to get any easier, opening the day by challenging Royal Never Give Up, who sit in 2nd place with a 6-1 record. The LPL representative lost their only game against PSG Talon in what was an upset victory in every sense of the word.
6% Chance 94% Faith
Cloud9’s draft leaned more towards a strong topside during the early stages of the game, with C9 Blaber picking Volibear and C9 Fudge bringing out his Lee Sin in the top lane. The game kicked off in a much calmer manner than we are used to from Cloud9 throughout this tournament. Blaber ganking both his top and mid laners on level 3, granting Fudge first blood and killing off Perkz’s opposition resembled in RNG’s Xiaohu and Cryin respectively.
This snowballed Cloud9’s jungler to an early lead and translate it to objectives around the map, taking both the first dragon and rift herald at 7 and 9 minutes into the game respectively. RNG tried to shut down Cloud9 at the second drake, but what seemed like 5v3 was quickly flipped after both Fudge and Perkz teleported into the fight on greatly placed wards.
This allowed Lee Sin to position himself tremendously and take out Wei’s Rumble before he had any real impact. The 1-for-4 in favor of Cloud9 on top of the second drake enabled their comp to open up the map, and start getting picks in mid lane time and time again whenever they got the chance. Their draft allowed for it as well, with Zoe throwing sleepy bubbles and Leona present to follow up on the engage.
Cloud9 unexpected domination
Understandably so, Cloud9 was able to stack their elemental dragons to eventually claim the Mountain soul, denying RNG to even have one dragon to their name. This added upon the lead the North American team already have as they are now even harder to kill than before. With Cloud9 in full control over the map at this point, they were able to force Baron Nashor, knowing they would win the fight if RNG tried to stop them.
RNG were caught in a lose-lose situation, unless fought perfectly. The two options were try to stop Cloud9 from taking Baron, a tough task considering their 2.5K deficit, or sit back and let them drift further away with their lead. The ordeal ended once Blaber smote Baron, allowing his team to push through mid lane to take its inhibitor.
A quick reset followed by a march down bottom lane to do the same was all they needed to end the game, and increase their chances mathematically to 15.625% of qualifying to the knockout stage.
Sadly, a loss to Pentanet.GG on the final match of the day relatively sets them back a few steps. The task isn't impossible, but certainly more difficult. As of now, Cloud9 needs to win all their matches on Day 5, last day of the tournament, to force a tiebreaker. The aforementioned scenario happens only if one of MAD Lions or PSG Talon go 0-2. Do you still believe in miracles?