Cloud9 Initiator Xeppaa spoke on being the best team in North America and the much anticipated matchup with the 4-0 The Guard.

Cloud9 Initiator Xeppaa spoke on being the best team in North America and the much anticipated matchup with the 4-0 The Guard.

The last time Cloud9 lost to a North American team was back in October of 2021 against Rise. Since then, C9 have dominated the region, winning their last 14 games against NA opponents. 

“We believe we are the best team in NA,” said Xeppaa in the post-game interview. “I think with everybody that we play in our group, we’re always going to be better.”

Cloud9 Xeppaaa’s post-match interview

In the past, Cloud9 has been hesitant to claim the title of North America’s best, as Vanity pointed to having to earn it first. However, Xeppaa, who is coming into his own as one of the best individual players in the Challengers Group stages, isn’t afraid to state the obvious.

Xeppaa stats (Ranked vs rest of NA)

  • ACS: 237 (8th)
  • K/D: 1.07 (23rd)
  • ADR: 155.8 (5th)
  • KAST%: 79% (5th)
  • KPR: 0.79 (1st)
  • ADR: 0.43 (1st)

Luminosity entered the week as one of the surprise teams in group A with a 2-1 record. Cloud9 quickly gave them a return to reality with a 13-3 Haven, and Nathan “leaf” Orf running through their defense on Jett with a 214 ADR. Moving to the LG map pick, Xeppa pointed to Cloud9 being caught off guard at the Breeze ban.

“We believed they were gonna prep hard on Breeze,” said Xeppaa, “especially after we lost.” 

Xeppaa’s referring to the 13-8 loss on Breeze one week earlier against Evil Geniuses. Overall, C9 has been considered as one of the better teams on Breeze, so LG picking Bind wasn’t out of the realm of possibilities.

Regardless, the map pick took C9 by surprise, and LG got out to a 7-5 lead.  The map eventually did end in overtime with C9 finding enough clutch rounds to edge it out 15-13.

Xeppaa on the The Guard vs Cloud9

As for the final matchup of the group stages, Riot couldn’t have picked a better matchup for the final week. The battle of the unbeatens comes with a history between C9 and The Guard coach McE, as he previously played alongside a number of the C9 roster on Team Chaos. 

“It’s going to be a fun game for sure. It’s always good going against a former coach MCE. Our ex-teammate on Chaos.” 

Xeppaa went on to credit the talk of North American VALORANT trent as a big reason for The Guard’s success. “Trent has been a big part of that team too,” said Xeppaa. “They’re 4-0 like us. It’s going to be a great game to watch and play.”

There’s no mistake, The Guard and Cloud9 are the class of the group with both teams only dropping one map each. The anticipation for this matchup will be unmatched, as the hype has been building for weeks now. 

The Guard and Cloud9 play for the group title on March 11th.

Blake Van Poucke -

Blake Van Poucke

| Twitter: @TokyoDown

Blake Van Poucke is a Valorant writer at He found esports through the early days of MLG and the Super Smash Bros Melee scene. He's been competing and writing about esports dating back to 2008. He has written for several publications and wishes to return to in-person esports events in 2022