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Photo: By Helena Kristiansson for ESL

‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast


Cloud9 are currently in a funk. They are 1-2 in the IEM Katowice Challengers Stage. Their one victory comes from Greyhound. Their two losses come from TyLoo and ViCi Gaming. Both losses were blowouts with 3-16 and 6-16 scores respectively.


On the other hand of that equation, Furia are doing fine considering their lack of experience. They are also 1-2. They were destroyed by NiP 6-16, lost a close 14-16 to AVANGAR, and beat Spirit 2-0.


Tomorrow Cloud9 will play Furia. If this was any other day or any other tournament, I’d pick Cloud9 to win based on legacy value and overall expectations that I have for the players. However this is the Major and the players on Cloud9 seem to be crumbling under the weight of expectations and pressure. Their makeshift lineup’s honeymoon phase seems to already be over and for Furia the time to strike is now.


For Furia, one of the keys to victory is the map veto. Furia’s typical Map veto follows this archetype:


  1. Ban Dust2
  2. If other team bans Dust2, ban Overpass
  3. Pick Mirage/Cache
  4. 2nd Ban Overpass
  5. Flex ban to something else if Overpass is already banned or picked


Now, let’s look at Cloud9’s map pool. At ELeague Invitational, their best maps were Overpass, Mirage, and Cache. In this Major, their favored ban is Dust2 (they’ve banned it in all three matchups and permabanned it at ELeague).


So for Furia tomorrow, they need to challenge Cloud9 to map veto chicken. They should float Dust2 and first ban Overpass. That removes one of Cloud9’s stronger maps and one of Furia’s weaker maps. Cloud9 as a team will likely go for comfort at that point and ban dust2.


At which point Furia can either go for a wildcard pick like Nuke (which they did against Spirit) or relative comfort like inferno. Cloud9 will likely then pick either Cache or Mirage. At which point, Furia can float to either Cache or Mirage as the final map in the decider.


This theoretical ban looks like:


  • Furia ban Overpass
  • Cloud9 ban Dust2
  • Furia pick Nuke/Inferno
  • Cloud9 pick Mirage
  • Furia ban Train
  • Cloud9 ban Nuke/Inferno/Cache
  • Last map is Cache/Inferno/Nuke


The other possibility is if Cloud9 also float Dust2. Even if that’s the case, Furia can ban it in second rotation and they should still have a better look in the map veto. Let’s look at it.


  • Furia ban Overpass
  • Cloud ban Nuke*
  • Furia pick Inferno
  • Cloud9 pick Mirage
  • Furia ban Dust2
  • Cloud9 ban train
  • Last map Cache


*The reason I think Cloud9 have to ban nuke is because Furia picked and beat Spirit on it, which makes it too dangerous to leave in the map pool.


So long as Furia floats Dust2, I think they have the best chance possible to beat Cloud9. After that, it will be up to them as to whether or not they want to punish pick Cloud9 or play more towards comfort. As they are the less experienced team when it comes to the Major, I’d favor the comfort picks.

Related Articles:

Stuchiu’s Predictions for Day 3 of IEM Katowice Challengers


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