Cloud9 dropped their first loss on Breeze during the VCT North American Challengers group stages, but rallied to sink the underdog bid from Evil Geniuses 2-1 in dominating fashion. Xeta spoke post-game about what happened on Breeze.

The loss on Breeze could be categorized as a small blunder in what was otherwise a flawless performance from Cloud 9. It took Kelden “Boostio” Pupello clutching out small percentage Jett clutches to take down the statistically best team on Breeze. Cloud9’s Son “xeta” Seon-ho was on to hand to speak about the match in the post-game interview.

“Boostio had a really good aim on Breeze,” said Xeta. “ I think we could have won more rounds on the attacking side, but we threw some rounds by making little mistakes.”

The bounce back from Breeze

The combination of the double operator rounds from Boostio and Alexander “jawgemo” Mor with Chamber’s tour-de-force complicated the C9 executions. The lack of hall control on both sides allowed Boostio to get into high percentage spots on the lurk through halls. C9 managed to get a number of clutch rounds, but it wasn’t enough to avoid losing the first map on Breeze.

Defeat on Breeze for Cloud9 is quite unusual. Prior to today’s match Cloud9 had a 93% win rate on the map with 15 wins in 16 matches.

The following two games were on Haven and Ascent, Cloud9’s #2nd and #3rd best map, with the team boasting a 70% win rate on both.

Haven and Ascent weren’t close and Cloud 9 won by a combined round score of +19. Once again, Vanity shows his massive value as an in-game leader for Cloud 9.

Cloud9 constantly forced EG into late rotations and bad timings on site hits. It also doesn’t hurt to have aim-bot machines like Mitch “mitch” Semago and Nathan “leaf” Orf. The two combined for 108 kills in the win.

Xeta felt EG had prepped for Breeze but not Ascent

On the other hand, xeta felt like all the preparation from EG was focused on Breeze. It makde their other two game plans lackluster in comparison:

“Compared to Breeze, I feel like they analyzed some of our rounds on Breeze and how to deal with us, but on Ascent it felt like they were just playing ranked games, to be honest,” said Xeta.

The 13-2 Cloud 9 win on Ascent showed EG wasn’t prepared for the methodical game plan. Cloud 9 continually found free entries into both A and B main. It gave one of the best teams at hitting sites plenty of space to operate.

“I didn’t even try to take a heavy focus on Ascent and we just felt comfortable to win and close out the match. Ascent was just like easy.” 

The Xeppa Influence

Mitch and leaf put up huge kill numbers, but Erick “Xeppa” Bach caused havoc on EG’s first point of contact. He’s established himself as the best North American Kay-O with his ability to set up teammates and gain information. In 55 rounds against EG, Xeppa finished with an astounding 35 assists between Kay-O and Skye.

The stats for C9 vs Evil Geniuses on Ascent

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Xeppa’s numbers on Ascent

  • ACS: 359
  • K/D: 18-12-18 (+6)
  • KAST%: 100%
  • 212 ADR
  • +5 First Kill

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Cloud 9 sit atop group A at 3-0 with a +27 round differential, but Xeta has his eyes set on The Guard

 “Guard is rising now, so I just want to play against The Guard.”

Cloud 9’s next match is March 5th against Luminosity Gaming and play The Guard on March 11th.

Blake Van Poucke -

Blake Van Poucke

| Twitter: @TokyoDown

Blake Van Poucke is a Valorant writer at esports.gg. 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