Over 1 million viewers on Twitch. Over 7,000 in a sold out Agganis Arena. All bore witness to 97 rounds of the best Counter-Strike we’ve ever seen. It may have taken two hotly contested overtimes on Inferno, but in the end, history was made. Cloud9 became the first North American team to take home a Major with their win over FaZe Clan in the ELEAGUE Major: Boston grand finals.
Cloud9 came into the series as an underdog, especially when you consider that the team started The New Legends stage with an 0-2 record, but you couldn’t tell from the aggression it put out from the very start. With the series starting out on their map pick of Mirage, the North American picked up three straight before FaZe tallied a single round. Not content to let FaZe get any momentum, Cloud9, led by Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham picked up a huge triple kill to kick off a five-round streak to go up 8-1. FaZe bounced back a bit, but Cloud9 still took a 9-6 lead into the half.
FaZe then showed everyone in that second half why they were widely considered the best team in the world. While many of the rounds were extremely close, the Europeans won 10 of 15 rounds to take the first map 16-14. With FaZe winning on Cloud9’s map pick, the Europeans certainly felt confident going into their own map pick of Overpass.
All the confidence of FaZe was quickly snuffed out as Cloud9 showed a resilience that we don’t normally see from them and torched FaZe on Overpass. They picked up eight straight wins to open the map with some huge pressure through middle and connector that FaZe simply couldn’t handle. The Europeans were visibly frustrated all game long, and their play suffered from the lack of composure. Finn “karrigan” Andersen may have managed to get his team to 10 rounds in the second half, but ultimately Cloud9 closed out the round and pushed this series to a third map.
The third and final map came down to the decider, Inferno, where both teams have each shared big moments through the stages in Atlanta and the playoffs in Boston. FaZe Clan picked up the hectic pistol round with an aggressive B-site execute that didn’t go the way Cloud9 planned. However, the North Americans came right back with five straight to turn the tides. Not to be outdone, Nikola “NiKo” Kovac finally turned on the heat and helped his team win seven straight for a run of their own. Late in the half, Cloud9 called a timeout while on their gun-round and managed to pick up the last two rounds to end the half with a one-round deficit.
FaZe Clan started the T-side with an aggressive approach on the B-bombsite to secure the bomb plant and the pistol. The mixed Europeans went on an offensive run that established their dominance and reaching championship point at 15-11, putting Cloud9 on the verge of losing the Major. From there, the series kicked it into high gear and put on the best show we’ve ever seen in a Major grand final.
Cloud9 battled back to get closer to forcing overtime when Jake “Stewie2K” Yip pulled out the biggest clutch of his career with a 3k in Round 29 to shut down FaZe, and then a massive quad kill in Round 30 to give fans bonus Counter-Strike.
FaZe Clan surely tried, but it simply seemed as though they could not crack the code of Cloud9 during overtime. Sure, thanks to the heroics of Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovacs, who pulled out a 1-vs-2 clutch on the B-bombsite in Round 6 of the first overtime, FaZe lived to fight in a second overtime. The Europeans only won a single round in that second set of extra rounds before Cloud9 rattled off four in a row to etch their names in the history books as the first North American team to win a Major.
Cloud9 couldn't have had a harder route to this title. They had to win three in a row to even make it to the playoffs, including a match against the defending ELEAGUE champion Astralis. They had to face G2 Esports in the quarterfinals. They had to face SK Gaming in the semifinals. They had to face the widely regarded best team in the world in the grand finals. They overcame every obstacle and hoisted that title.
"I'm not crying, you're crying," said Skadoodle during his post-game interview.
Yep, that about sums it up.