Cloud9 nears Worlds 2021 elimination after catastrophic group stage start

Perkz after Cloud drop to 0-2Riot Games

Cloud9 edged closer to mathematical elimination from Worlds 2021 after falling to 0-3 in Group A. While the LCS team is not officially out of the tournament, they will need a miracle on their final day of matches.

A loss to defending Worlds champions DWG KIA put Cloud9 at 0-3 at the halfway mark of the Worlds 2021 group stage.

While not officially eliminated from the tournament, Cloud9’s fate is no longer in their own hands.

C9 at Worlds 2021Riot Games
C9 are 0-3 and on the brink of Worlds 2021 elimination

Cloud9’s Worlds woes

A week ago, Cloud9 were 3-0 and on the verge of winning their Play Ins group. During a post-match interview, mid laner Luka ‘Perkz’ Perković even challenged the notion that they were trying to bounce back from their performance at MSI.

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“Why is MSI a bad memory?” Perkz asked interviewer Laure Valée, “We beat Damwon, we beat RNG, we beat MAD Lions. I believe we can do something at this tournament.”

Cloud9 then proceeded to lose back-to-back matches against Unicorns of Love and DFM. While they later swept Australian org PEACE to earn a place in the group stage proper, Cloud9’s Play Ins performance didn’t exactly embolden NA fans.

Cloud9 after Day 3 of Worlds 2021Riot Games
C9 were left reeling by a terrible day at Worlds 2021 on October 7

Then came the group stage. Cloud9 head coach Alfonso ‘mithy’ Rodríguez had already played down the team’s chances of progressing from a group containing DWG KIA and FunPlus Phoenix. But to many NA fans, Cloud9 didn’t even try.

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They were completely outplayed by Rogue in their first outing of the group stage before losing their game against FPX even after putting themselves in a winning position.

Cloud9 have been unable to execute a clean game throughout the tournament and seem unable to figure out what needs to change.

Top laner Ibrahim ‘Fudge’ Allami was especially blunt when asked about the team’s strategy in the final matches of the group.

“We just need to play better,” Fudge said.

Can Cloud9 make Worlds quarterfinals?

Cloud9 can still make the quarterfinals at Worlds 2021. However, they do not control their own fate.

With three matches remaining, the most vital thing Cloud9 need to do is win all of their remaining matches. This is a difficult task on its own, with DJ Esports placing Cloud9 as the heavy underdogs against all three of their opponents.

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Odds from DJ Esports:

Rogue 1.606 2.338 Cloud9
FunPlus Phoenix 1.128 4.363 Cloud9
DWG KIA 1.175 5.023 Cloud9

Also working against Cloud9 is the fact that their matches get harder as the day progresses, starting against Rogue and closing out the day against DWG KIA.

But a clean sweep for Cloud9 isn’t enough on its own. With FunPlus Phoenix currently second in the group at 2-1, Cloud9 will need to rely on either Rogue or DWG KIA to beat FPX in order to force a 3-3 tie-breaker.

A mountain lies ahead of Cloud9 and it’s one that their performances from Worlds, so far, indicate the team will be unable to scale.