Cloud9 White aren't feeling the pressure in their stellar 2022 NA VCT Game Changers run
Cloud9 White are the first team to qualify for the 2022 NA VCT Game Changers grand finals after defeating Shopify Rebellion 2-0
Cloud9 White are the first team to qualify for the 2022 NA VCT Game Changers grand finals after defeating Shopify Rebellion 2-0 | Provided by Cloud9

Cloud9 White aren’t feeling the pressure in their stellar 2022 NA VCT Game Changers run

Cloud9 White, the organization’s women/marginalized gender VALORANT team, entered the 2022 North American VALORANT Champions Tour Game Changers main event as the three-time champions. For many, this tournament seemingly posed an opportunity for someone to knock the champs off their throne, but so far no one has even come close.

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The reigning champs were able to take down both CLG Red and TSM X 2-0 on their way to the upper bracket finals, further cementing their legacy of runs without dropping maps. Though, the last time they met, C9 White’s next opponents, the second seed Shopify Rebellion, did manage to take a map off of them. It would be understandable for this to weigh on the squad’s minds, as having perfect records is always aspirational in competitions, but part of C9 White’s preparation for Game Changers this year has been changing how they think about these things.

“I feel like we’ve really grown in our mindset and shifted our thinking to just focusing on ourselves to play clean, and the results will follow,” said Alexis “alexis” Guarrasi in a press conference.

They’re not focused on not dropping maps or a specific number of rounds. Instead, Cloud9 White are all about clean teamwork, and some massive clutches from in-game leader Melanie “meL” Capone. The results of this approach are apparent, as they are now the first team to qualify for the grand finals. They defeated Shopify Rebellion with a breathtaking reverse sweep on Bind and a dominant performance on Fracture.

Cloud9 White are a team that now seem virtually unstoppable, and that seems in large part due to them shaking off the weight of any remaining pressure they felt as the three-peat NA Game Changers champions.

“I think it says something about us,” said the team’s Sage, Annie “Annie Dro” Roberts. “Like, sure, other teams probably improved in the time [leading up to Game Changers], but I feel like we also improved a lot more. So, yeah, I feel like we have even less pressure now.”

After their performance on Friday, Annie’s words ring terrifyingly true. Cloud9 White have reached the grand finals without dropping a single map, even when it looked like Shopify would take another off them. Between 17-year old Jasmie “Jazzyk1ns” Manankil’s consistent fragging, Annie’s excellent Sage utility and meL’s off the charts clutch ability, C9 White look scary. That’s not even factoring in alexis and Katja “katsumi” Pfahnl.

Their next opponents will be the winners of the lower bracket final match between Shopify Rebellion and Dignitas, who defeated CLG Red in the lower bracket semi-finals. Whoever takes it will have their work cut out for them to upset Cloud9 White, but if they can do it, they’ll make history as the giant slayers that destroyed C9 White’s four-time championship dreams.

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