Cloud9 vs Vision Strikers ended up a bizarre encounter for a spot in the VALORANT Champions playoffs. Here’s what went down.

Cloud9 vs Vision Strikers was a bizarre encounter for a spot in the VALORANT Champions playoffs. The match with arguably the biggest implications of the lot. North America vs Southeast Asia. A tournament favourite vs a dark horse from the LCQs. The winner of this match would be going on to face Team Liquid in the Quarter-Finals.

Coming into this Cloud9 vs Vision Strikers match, Vision Strikers were seeking redemption after their defeat at the hands of group winners Fnatic. Whereas Cloud9 were coming in off the back of a very cagey 2 - 0 victory over Full Sense.

Vision Strikers looked the more favorable team on paper given their performances against Fnatic and Full Sense. But as we have learned thus far at Champions, on-paper odds have done very little to influence proceedings.

Cloud9 vs Vision Strikers had the potential to be a very close run affair. What followed was far from what anybody could have imagined. Here is our full match recap of what transpired during the Cloud9 vs Vision Strikers game.

Map 1: Cloud9 Win Bizarre Game On Ascent

Cloud9 got the proceedings underway with a very fast pistol round, and continued it up with another quick round. Aggression was the name of the game early on in Ascent as Cloud9 began to dominate proceedings in every sense; climbing to an outstanding 11 - 1 lead going into halftime.

Vision Strikers looked devoid of confidence in the first half. Whereas Cloud9 looked very comfortable in this series.

The odds were stacked against Vision Strikers as they swapped over to defense. Cloud9 were two rounds away from an early lead in the series. Vision Strikers managed to win the first couple of rounds in the second half. It seemed as though there was some light peering through the clouds, and Vision Strikers were more than happy to chase it as they began to mount an improbable comeback; winning five rounds in a row.

Cloud9 did manage to steady the ship for a brief moment with a round win of their own. But again Vision Strikers responded by winning multiple rounds in a row, with the score now at 10 - 12. Cloud9, who had seemingly blown an 11 - 1 lead, were starting to look very nervous for the first time in this map. But as impressive as this sudden surge from Vision Strikers had been, it unfortunately was not enough to stop Cloud9 from eventually taking Ascent 13 - 10.

Map 2: Vision Strikers Split The Difference On Split.

Cloud9 may have been up 1 - 0 in the series, but Vision Strikers seemed to have finally found that much needed spark to get them going. Still they were going to have to get off to a fast and commanding start on Split if they had any hope of winning this match.

This wasn't quite the case from the off as Cloud9 won the opening pistol round, following it up with a comfortable second round. But once more Vision Strikers seemed to find another gear to put their first round win on the board. What followed was a full on scrap between the teams, with neither really managing to garner a foothold in this match. This would eventually see the first half come to an end with the score tied at 6 - 6.

Vision Strikers looked to have improved significantly from the first map, and were looking pretty confident going into the second half of Split. This was further emphasized as they proceeded to win the first three rounds of the second-half. Gaining a well-deserved lead at 9 - 6.

Once more it seemed that Cloud9's offensive inability was being brought to light, as they struggled to keep themselves in the game. And though the rounds were still very scrappy for the most part, they just didn't seem to have an answer for Vision Strikers in the second half. Resulting in a 13 - 9 map win on Split for Vision Strikers as they tied the series at 1-1.

Map 3: Mitch Deciphers Vision Strikers On Breeze

And at last we arrived at the final map of what had been a hotly contested series up to this point. Both teams had, had their moments to shine and both had been put in a vice-grip of desperation at one point. As the teams loaded into Breeze, we were left to wonder which if both teams were going to turn up for this one.

Vision Strikers managed a close fought pistol round win to start the map. But after a couple of rounds wins from Cloud9, it felt as though things were going to play out in a similar fashion to map 1 as they constructed a commanding 7 - 1 lead.

Mitch was being particularly lethal with his Cypher play as he seemed to have all of the answers. However, Vision Strikers weren't ready to throw in the towel as they managed to steal a few rounds back. Cloud9 went into halftime with an 8 - 4 lead, and though they looked very good on their offense for the first time in this series, Vision Strikers were making them sweat for it.

Vision Strikers won the first two rounds of the second half to pull within striking distance of Cloud9's lead. But the NA side were able to scrape together three more rounds of their own to for the ball into Vision Strikers' court once more. Which led to another two rounds going in favor of the Korean side. Yet still, Cloud9 remained resilient on defense as they were able to win the succeeding round which gave them match point with a 12 - 8 lead.

This time Vision Strikers had been properly backed into a corner. And in a frenzy they were able to claw back three rounds of their own as they looked to throw the game in overtime. But this time Cloud9 were able to hold their nerve, and after a tension packed duel on the B-site, they were able to close out the Breeze 13 - 11, and the series 2 - 1.

Final Thoughts

Cloud9 vs Vision Strikers was easily the most bizarre match of the tournament thus far. While there was a lot of hype surrounding this matchup, what we got was a scrappy affair unlike any other. Neither team looked confident on their attack rounds, especially on Ascent.

There was also a lot of hype around this Vision Strikers coming into the tournament. They were a strong favourite to win it all at Champions. But after their defeat to Fnatic in the Winners match Vision Strikers looked like a shadow of the team many expected to see at this tournament.

While Cloud9 did come out the victors of this match, they showed the same kinds of issues that have been plaguing them all tournament long. That isn't to say that they didn't play well against Vision Strikers, they fully deserved this win. But their forced buy tendencies came to light again in this matchup. And sooner or later that is going to bit them in the behind.

With this win Cloud9 progress into the Quarter-Finals where they will be facing off against Team Liquid. Whereas this is the end of the road for Vision Strikers here at Valorant Champions.

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