Initial impressions: Cloud9 at BLAST L.A.

Why Cloud9 has a good foundation for the future

Counter-Strike: GO's Icon Stephen Chiu · 15 Jul 2019


Photo: BLAST

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

BLAST Los Angeles finished over the weekend with Liquid winning it all. This is their fifth LAN victory of 2019, albeit their smallest victory yet. It was a good victory, but one that doesn’t fundamentally change Liquid’s status in the world. They were already the number one dominant team. The only way for Liquid to one-up themselves is to set an era. For people that are sitting on the fence, that event will either occur at IEM Chicago (where ENCE and Vitality are playing) or at the Berlin Major.

Instead, I’ll focus on the other NA team. Cloud9 unveiled their new roster at BLAST. The roster included: Timothy “autimatic” Ta, Damian “daps” Steele, Oscar “mixwell” Canellas, Kenneth “koosta” Suen, and Tyson “TenZ” Ngo.

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Cloud9 got to the semifinals where they lost to Liquid 0-2. In total they played seven maps across the tournament. This was a good result considering that they had a week to practice. Overall, I only saw a bunch of positives for Cloud9 at this event.

The first is their T-sides. Daps calling on the T-side was the best thing about this Cloud9 roster. They weren’t doing anything detailed, but it was fundamentally sound and utilized the talent they have. As for the players, all three of their stars have bigger ceilings they can reach. TenZ is just starting out so he’ll grow with experience. Autimatic can be a superstar player, but needs time to adjust to being a full-time rifler again. Mixwell is in the same boat as he is transitioning back to full time AWPing. As for koosta, I’m still uncertain as I haven’t seen him play much, but daps believes there is a level of talent that can be unlocked. At the same time, Joshua “steel” Nissan, koosta’s former in-game leader, has come out multiple times saying that koosta was the best teammate he ever had. 

The only two concerns I have for Cloud9 are their map pool and CT-sides. Both of those will be fixed in the coming months as it takes a team 2-3 months to solidify that part of their game. The biggest positive for me though comes from Autimatic’s HLTV interview where he talked about how he and daps have aligned their ideas in how they want to play CS. So long as daps has the talent and buy-in from his players, I have confidence that he can make a top 20 team.

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