Cloud9 left stunned after shocking off-day at Worlds 2021

Riot Games

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Cloud9 missed out on a chance to secure automatic qualification to the Worlds 2021 group stage after losing a tie-breaker to Japan’s DetonatioN FocusMe for the top spot in the Group B play-ins. The NA team will now wait for the winner of PEACE v Red Canids for another chance to make the group stage.

After Cloud9’s 3-0 start in the Worlds play-ins, AD carry Jesper ‘Zven’ Svenningsen had dismissed any sort of rivalry or grudge surrounding DFM. Many had labeled the day-one meeting as a revenge match between the two sides after DFM beat C9 at the Mid Season Invitational (MSI).

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“This ‘DFM has C9’s number’ thing is a forced narrative at this point. I don’t know why I keep hearing about it,” Zven told Travis Gafford in a post-game interview after going 3-0. “They beat us in one game.”

The Danish star doubled down on the sentiment, saying that any “revenge” his team might’ve sought was buried at MSI.

“I wouldn’t say this [C9’s day one win over DFM] was a revenge game because we did get revenge on them in our second game with DFM at MSI,” Zven told Dexerto.

Cloud9 didn’t expect they’d collapse heading into a crucial day three of play-ins.

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They lost to an underperforming Unicorns of Love, forcing a tie-breaker for first place with DFM. They then threw away numerous chances to topple the Japanese side, allowing them to take the top spot in the group.

Zven playing for C9 at WorldsRiot Games
Zven had previously dismissed reports of a rivalry with DFM as “super cringe”

Cloud9 lose on day three of play-ins

Unicorns of Love should have been an easy win for Cloud9. The Russian team just weren’t clicking at Worlds 2021 and had gone 0-3 entering what was likely their final game of the tournament.

But it was Cloud9 who would suffer a crushing defeat in just 25 minutes. They made early mistakes and fell behind quickly, also providing no answer for UOL’s unorthodox Senna-Sion botlane combo. Robert ‘Blaber’ Huang had an especially poor game, going 1/6/10 as Xin Zhao.

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Cloud9 knew they had to win this game for an easy trip to Groups. After DFM had dismantled Beyond Gaming in the match prior, it was a ‘win or face a tiebreaker’ situation for Cloud9.

Call it overconfidence. Call it classic NA. But Cloud9 didn’t get the job done.

Cloud9 v DFM

Perkz at Worlds 2021Riot Games
Perkz made zero kills in the tie-break loss to DFM, marking a low point for the midlaner at Worlds 2021

The loss to Unicorns meant Cloud9 would once again face DFM. While they had beaten the Japanese side on day one, DFM had turned into a formidable opponent over the course of play-ins. They were not a side that could be taken lightly.

Falling behind early once again, Cloud9 were able to pull themselves back to even footing as the game passed the 15-minute mark. What followed was a perfect display of ‘classic NA.’

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Despite holding an advantage several times during the latter stages of the game, the Blue-and-White always found a way to give the lead back to DFM. Missed ultimates, reckless over-extensions, and ill-advised teamfights were all factors that contributed to their eventual defeat. In just 26 minutes, DFM snowballed their comp to push Cloud9 off the Rift.

From a player standpoint, the most disappointing performances came from Luka ‘Perkz’ Perković’s Zoe (0-3-5) who was completely outmatched by the Oriana of Lee ‘Aria’ Ga-eul, and Philippe ‘Vulcan’ Laflamme (1/6/9) on Amumu, as the sad mummy continues to remain an unsuccessful pick at Worlds.

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Play-ins knockout stage

Cloud9 have one last chance to make it to the Worlds 2021 group stage.

On October 9, they will face either PEACE or RED Canids in a do-or-die matchup.

Whether they will be able to overcome opponents they are heavily favored against remains to be seen.