Cloud9 Demolished Evil Geniuses 2-0
Cloud9 claimed their opening ESL Pro League victory over Evil Geniuses. They did so in two straight maps, taking home a closely-fought battle on Inferno 16-12 before annihilating their North American opponents on Dust2, 16-5. Abay “HObbit” Khasenov and Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov were Cloud9’s heaviest hitters on Inferno and Dust2, respectively, as the pair topped the scoreboards with 1.62 and 1.77 ratings.
The CIS squad opted against the usual CT side selection and started as the attackers on their opponents’ map pick, Inferno. nafany’s squad opened the series with a convincing 7-1 lead, only dropping the second round after a Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte triple-kill.
Evil Geniuses converted a semi-eco in the ninth to break their opponents’ momentum, and eventually reduced their deficit to just two behind Brehze and Sanzhar “neaLaN” Iskhakov’s impact on the A and B sites, respectively. nafany delivered a triple-kill in the 15th round to secure his team the 9-6 lead at halftime.
Multi-kill rounds from Jadan “HexT” Postma and Brehze gave Evil Geniuses a crucial boost early in the second half as the North Americans scored their first lead at 12-11. In the end, Cloud9 wrapped up Inferno 16-12 with nafany’s 1vs2 clutch in the 24th and triple-kill in the subsequent round proving to be the turning point of the map.
Cloud9 kicked off Dust2 in dominant fashion and held a whopping 13-2 lead at the break with Ax1Le’s 18 kills and 102.7 ADR leading the way in terms of fragging. Evil Geniuses scored the first three rounds of the second half, but ultimately just delayed the inevitable as the Russians closed out the map 16-5, and the series 2-0.
The Spaniards almost take down Liquid
A strong defensive line from Movistar Riders powered by an invigorated display from Martinez helped the Spaniards establish a firm 7-1 lead, a handful of lost rounds from Liquid occurring in tragic fashion as they let a few advantages slip away. Multi-kill rounds from YEKINDAR and EliGE did prevent a complete blowout, but Martinez remained a thorn in Liquid’s side throughout the half and was key in securing his team a 10-5 lead at the break.
Unfortunately for the Spanish squad, dominance from the rifling duo of YEKINDAR and EliGE preventing the Spanish inquisition onto bombsites round after round. Yekindar was the driving force in an eleven-round spree for Liquid as they snatched away victory from the Riders, ending the map with a 32-20 K-D and 1.65 rating.
Inferno had a much more back-and-forth first half, with neither team able to hold on to a lead for too long. Rounds were traded back and forth as Liquid didn’t present a very compelling defense, mustering just eight rounds by halftime following some strong calls from Movistar Riders. There was a brief moment where it seemed that Liquid would once again prevail, but Movistar Riders locked down their defenses and just barely edged out a 16-14 win to force a Vertigo decider.
On Vertigo, it was a 2vs3 retake that Liquid went for and ultimately failed at that turned the tides, the round crushing Liquid’s economy and helping Movistar Riders come back into the map, winning the remaining seven rounds of the half to edge out a lead. Once the sides swapped over, Liquid again gained control, although they dropped two rounds to eco and low buys to keep the scoreline close.
Those rounds came back to haunt them as Movistar Riders began to rally back, and for a brief moment it looked as if the Spaniards would manage to steal the win; however, EliGE stepped up with a massive quad kill round to turn the tides, and YEKINDAR followed things up with double and triple kill rounds to help Liquid just barely scrape together a victory, 16-13.
Cloud9 vs Movistar Riders Match Information
- Date: Friday, September 23
- Time: 6:30am ET
- Cloud9 vs Movistar Riders Live Stream: ESL_CSGO – Twitch
Cloud9 vs Movistar Riders Prediction
This is definitely going to be a match where Cloud9 won’t face any issues against a Movistar Riders team that is looking weaker now due to their recent roster changes.
If we go back to their opening game, the Riders couldn’t come back in the 2nd map even though Team Liquid made a hefty amount of mistakes. Unfortunately for them, group D has three very clear favorites of making it out: Cloud9, FURIA, and Team Liquid.
It might take some time until we see the Spaniards enter a tournament as the dark horses with a good shot at upsetting their opponents like they did at IEM Cologne.
The ESL Pro League Group D is going to be an exciting one to watch, with a close fight between the top 3 teams. Make sure to not miss any of it as we’ll keep covering the event and sharing our esports picks with you!