‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
Cloud9 has been stuck in a strange limbo situation ever since Stewie2k and Tarik left them. We know that they’ve tried multiple times to attract top talent within the NA region like CeRq and Wardell to no avail. They’ve slowly inserted pieces into the lineup throughout 2018 and at ELeague Invitational, I saw some glimpses of potential through the roster.
The three biggest surprises to me were kioShiMa, autimatic, and flusha. While I’ve always rated kioShiMa as a strong individual player, I was uncertain of his motivational issues or how well he’d work with the team. The reason for that was because the entire French shuffle came and went without any of the teams trying to court kioShiMa into their ranks despite being an obvious solution for nearly all of the teams involved. So in a team like Cloud9 where the in-game leader was sick and they’ve never really gotten an actual start with a normalized five man lineup, I was wondering how well he’d perform.
As it turned out, far better than I expected. I think he’s the best player on Cloud9 right now with the most consistent impact for the team. As a player, I think he’s a great piece to have to try to get back into the top rankings of CS:GO. The second player that surprised me was autimatic. While he’s already considered a top talent, I was uncertain of how well he’s actually do in the AWPing role. Thus far, he’s done a great job as he is able to find consistent opening picks and generally hit the normal consistent shots that are needed to create a consistent defense on the CT-side.
The third positive I saw was flusha. I had given up on him by the end of Fnatic as he hit career worst form nearing the tail end of that particular lineup. While he cited he’d get new motivation after joining this squad, I couldn’t believe in it as the team he was joining still had issues of their own, especially with their in-game leader still stuck in the hospital. In terms of individual play, I thought he was way better than where he was at the end of Fnatic. I’m not certain if it’s the new team, the lack of expectations, or typical flusha getting into form for the major, but whatever the case it feels like Cloud9 have gained an additional boon.
With those three players performing well, it feels like Cloud9 are one or two potential changes away from becoming a top 10 team, whether that’s getting Karrigan, Golden being cured, or RUSH coming back into form.
Having pointed out all of the positives, there are some criticisms I have of their makeshift lineup with Zellsis. Zellsis has played better than could have been expected, but it may not be enough. As the team stands right now, their only strong map seems to be Overpass and maybe Inferno. Beyond that, every other map they played went the full distance at ELeague Invitational, so while I can see potential in this team to grow, for the Major I think their aim should just be getting to the Legends Stage.