Cloud9 pull off miracle run to reach Worlds 2021 playoffs

C9 after win at Worlds 2021Riot Games

Cloud9 have reached the playoffs of Worlds 2021 after a miraculous run on the final day of play in Group A.

Despite entering the final day of matches in Group A 0-3, everything went right for Cloud9, and the LCS third seed find themselves in the Worlds knockout stage for the first time since 2018.

Cloud9 celebrate a win at Worlds 2021Riot Games
Cloud9’s last-minute heroics saw them turn an 0-3 record into a playoff berth

Cloud9’s miracle run

There was one crucial thing Cloud9 needed to do on October 15, the final day of games in Group A – win.

At 0-3 after the first three days of matches, Cloud9 would be eliminated if they lost at any point. Even then, they could still be headed home if they won all three of their matches. On top of a clean sweep, they needed FunPlus Phoenix to lose at least one other match.

Article continues after ad

And it just so happened that everything came together.

Group shot of C9 at Worlds 2021Riot Games
Cloud9 earned decisive wins and got favorable results elsewhere in the group

Cloud9 pulled off decisive wins over Rogue and FPX. DWG KIA then beat Rogue, a result that benefitted Cloud9 as it left more paths to playoffs on the table for the LCS team.

And then, Rogue beat FPX to cap off an 0-3 day for the LPL second seeds.

At that point, there was no loss condition for Cloud9. If they beat DWG KIA in the final scheduled match of the day, they were through automatically. But a loss to DWG KIA simply meant Cloud9 would enter a three-way tiebreaker with Rogue and FPX.

Article continues after ad

Cloud9 boasted the fastest victory time of the three tie-break teams, meaning that they had the luxury of playing the winner of Rogue versus FPX.

Rogue won that match and so fans got NA v EU for the second time that day. It’s a matchup that Cloud9 had never won in a tiebreak situation.

Zven and Vulcan of C9 embrace at Worlds 2021Riot Games
This time, C9 didn’t suffer tiebreaker heartbreak

C9 avoid a second tie-break heartbreak

This time, Cloud9 were the victors in a tie-break. They had lost to DFM in Play Ins but they would not repeat that mistake against Rogue.

The match, which lasted close to an hour, was a tense and bloody affair as the teams traded the lead back and forth. However, Cloud9 slowly pulled ahead from 40 minutes onwards, and a brutal teamfight as the Elder Drake spawned gave Cloud9 the win they had been so desperately looking for.

Article continues after ad

The playoffs now lie ahead and Cloud9 mid laner Luka ‘Perkz’ Perković is aiming high.

“With our momentum and confident, I am pretty sure we can take anyone down” Perkz said following the win over Rogue.

But for now, Cloud9 must wait for the conclusion of the other three groups before they find out who their next opponents are on this improbable Worlds runs.