Cloud9’s Storm of Success


Angus Nordlund, Staff Writer

In ESports, there are many teams that catch the eyes of fans with their major victories and success stories. However, this year in 2018, few have rivaled the success of the organization Cloud9.

While being one of the most prominent and well-known names in ESports, with teams in dozens of games, the North American based organization has struggled to find major success. That is, until now.

Cloud9’s year started off as it usually had in the past. Teams struggling to find victory at the right time, while being beat by more dominant powerhouses from Europe or Asia, depending on which game. It didn’t help, with the fact that North America (NA) along with their players, was and still is taunted by fans as the laughing stock of ESports due to their little success compared to others. This, however, was shut down when on January 28th, Cloud9’s Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CSGO) team broke through.

When it came to the game CSGO, Cloud9 was a household name, but they were always failing to overcome much stronger teams such as Europe’s Faze Clan or even the Brazilian powerhouse known as SK Gaming. This was believed to be their eternal fate, leading up to the Boston Major tournament. To give perspective, no NA CSGO team had ever won a major championship. The closest one had ever gotten was Team Liquid who previously made it to the finals and lost. But even then they had a Ukrainian player on their team at the time. Cloud9 was looking to win with a team made up of entirely American players, which was almost unheard of. However, they held their own, squeezing past the group stage at 3-2. With Team Liquid being kicked out, Cloud9 was NA’s last hope left.

They found the perseverance to get them past both the quarter and semifinals defeating both G2 ESports and SK Gaming to finally get into the finals. One major obstacle faced them though. Faze Clan. A team who’s roster featured five of the best players to come out of Europe. Faze had beaten them in the past Cloud9 got the best of them. They managed to bring
the map score to a tied score of 1-1, then in dramatic fashion, with the help of players like Stewie2k and Skadoodle, they managed to beat Faze Clan in the last map 22-19, giving both
themselves and NA it’s first major championship.

That however, wasn’t the end of it. Their next big break would come with their League of Legends team.

2018 started about the same way for Cloud9’s League of Legends (LOL) team. They started the group stage of the Summer NA LCS (North American LOL Championship Series)
with a record of 2-6, meaning they were unlikely to qualify for the playoffs or the Worlds Championship. However, with key changes in the roster and coaching decisions that were
considered risky by many, they rallied. They managed to go on a winning streak which saw them shoot up to and finish in second place overall with an 11-7 record, giving them a chance to
both win the playoffs and qualify for Worlds. In the semifinals they managed to beat Team Solomid in a close 3-2 match, giving themselves a chance at the championship. In the finals
they faced Team Liquid who had finished first in the group stage, but whatever dominance Liquid displayed before, was completely shattered when Cloud9 swept them 3-0. With a LCS
championship under their belt, Cloud9 was able to carry their momentum into Worlds.

There, they made history. After easily getting out of the group stages and making it to the playoffs, they, along with Invictus Gaming, who would later go on to win Worlds, managed to
defeat the last two remaining Korean teams in the competition, making it the first time a Korean team had not won Worlds in several years. Though they eventually lost to Fnatic in the
semifinals, Cloud9 managed to do what almost no other team has done, making one of the biggest comebacks ever in ESports history.

Though those were the major highlights of the year for the organization, Cloud9 has also had success in other games this year. For Overwatch, they won the Overwatch League
Inaugural Season Championship, under the name the London Spitfire and for Rocket League they won the Season 6 Rocket League Championship Series. Needless to say, it has been an
incredibly successful year for them. With newer ESports such as Rainbow Six Siege, and with Cloud9 taking the opportunity to expand into more games, there’s no telling the success they
might obtain next year.

But what Cloud9 did this year was special, not only because it set the tone for next year’s ESports competition, but because they showed the world what North America is capable of when it comes to gaming.

Cloud9 Info:
● Sponsors: Red Bull, Twitch, HTC, OMEN by HP, HyperX, MSI, Secretlab, LoLWiz, and
U.S. Air Force
● Games: Hearthstone, League of Legends, Smite, Super Smash Bros, Heroes of the
Storm, Halo, Counter Strike Global Offensive, Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege,
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Fortnite and Rocket League
● Founded: 2013
● Owner: Jack Etienne
● Logo: