Cloud9: Aches, Assault, Ricky, Lacefield
Mindfreak: BuZZO, Shockz, Fighta, Excite
However, both of these teams have also shown impressive performances at times on Infinite Warfare. Depending on the form they each show up in, it’s not impossible that these two squads could be fighting for top spot as much as the bottom in the Red group.
Cloud9 are an interesting team in that the squad is comprised of two distinct pairs – the veteran duo of Aches and Ricky, and the younger talents of Assault and Lacefield. At their best it’s a fierce mix, combining experience and game smarts with raw fire-power, the result of which saw them to the grand finals of the CWL Vegas Open.
However, Cloud9 have also distinctly struggled to hit that level with any sort of consistency. Following their impressive run to a second-place finish, the team won just a single series over the next two events, placing top-20 at both the CWL Atlanta Open and CWL Paris Open. Dallas saw the team step up to a degree, but they still paled in comparison to their Vegas showing.
Mindfreak, on the other hand, have been a little more consistent than Cloud9, but perhaps don’t have quite so high a peak. Though their placements internationally haven’t been outstanding, top-20 and top-12 in Atlanta and Dallas respectively, Mindfreak frequently play opponents close, going to a fifth map in 50% of their matches across the two events and only losing 0-3 once, to Luminosity.
On their best day, Cloud9 should have the upper hand against Mindfreak, but if C9 haven’t been able to dig themselves out of their slump it’s more likely that Mindfreak’s consistency will win the day.
In a group that is potentially as tight as this, every win will be critical. With the other half of the pool featuring the formidable rosters of Splyce and EnVyUs, there will be no easy matches, but if either Cloud9 or Mindfreak can find an edge against each other it could very well be the determining factor in the final standings.
It may be that it’s Cloud9 with more on the line here. One of the spots in the promotion matches is reserved for an APAC team, which Mindfreak would presumably be likely to face should they find themselves in a relegation spot. Assuming it’s a regional battle, Mindfreak have proven consistently that they’re the top team in APAC, and spending a season living and practicing amongst the world’s best in North America can only widen that gap.
Cloud9, on the other hand, may well face a tougher challenge. Not only are the top NA teams outside of the Pro League fairly stacked in their own right, but C9 have shown a propensity to underperform, and with such a record of inconsistency they can’t afford to have their Pro League life decided by a single match. For Cloud9, then, coming out ahead against Mindfreak may well be crucial.
Related: CWL Pro League Maps & Gametypes