There was a prize pool of $100,000 and a first-place prize of $50,000 on the line at the National Western Complex in Denver as eight teams battled at DreamHack Denver 2017 for the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive crown.
Cloud9 have the star power
Cloud9 dominated the competition on their way to being crowned champions. Ever since the addition of both tarik and RUSH to the roster, Cloud9 have had enough star power on paper to beat anyone, with their display here perfectly exemplifying that top-tier ability. Cloud9 began their Group A play with a dominant 16-4 win on Inferno over Tempo Storm. Following that victory came an even more one-sided affair, as they trounced Renegades – considered a much better team than Tempo Storm – 16-1 on Train.
Challenge from mousesports
Cloud9’s real challenge came during the playoff stage, where they squared off against a mousesports squad that have shown promise ever since the addition of STYKO and suNny to the lineup. Game one was an incredibly close affair on Cobblestone, as both teams had stretches of success. Cloud9 captured five of the first six rounds of their T-half, before Mouse countered by winning eight of the last nine of their CT-rounds to close the half.
After C9 claimed the pistol, mouse were able to secure five rounds in a row to push the score to 14-7. It was all Cloud9 from there, however, as the Americans secured every round from there on, for the 16-14 comeback win. Tarik and Stewie2K led the way for the victors, with 27 and 16 kills, respectively. Cloud9 shockingly then dropped Mirage, one of their best maps, alongside Train, with a disappointing 10-16 scoreline. The side did recover on Overpass, defeating mousesports in a double Overtime marathon 22-18. The dynamic duo of tarik and Stewie once again led the way for C9, with an incredible 38 and 36 kills to their credit.
BIG no match in grand final
The grand final saw Cloud9 taking on BIG for the right to be named champions. Cache was the first map, where each team struggled to find prolonged success throughout the first half of play. With Cloud9 up 9-6 at the half, each team continued to secure only one or two rounds before the other was able to secure one of their own. The two major rounds that decided this game were the 13th and 26th rounds – both of which were claimed by Cloud9.
In round 13, Cloud9 only had a single AWP carried over from the previous round as the rest of the team saved, meaning they spent no money on equipment or weaponry in an attempt to have a better buy in the next round. Stewie wielded the AWP to perfection, shutting down BIG’s aggression into the B-bombsite, grabbing himself an ace (killing all five members of the enemy team in a single round) in the highlight round of the tournament.
In round 26 Cloud9 was once again forced to save, this time with only a few players buying upgraded pistols/armor. Even so, Cloud9 played around smokes placed down by BIG, giving themselves the advantage within the chaos. With almost no investment in the round, Cloud9 won the round, and seized control of the game. Cloud9 dropped only one more round on their way to the 16-13 win on BIG map choice. The scoreboard showed how odd this game was, as support player for C9 RUSH led the way with 28 kills, while the top fragger on BIG side was in-game leader gob b, who typically posts poor fragging numbers.
Stewie2K and tarik impress
Map two of Train was all Cloud9 from the start, as they dominated their T-side by securing 12 impressive rounds. Cloud9 secured the pistol and the following two rounds to start the second half, putting them on match point. After dropping three rounds, Cloud9 slammed the door on BIG, gathering the final round needed for the one-sided 16-6 victory and the title. Tarik came up huge for the boys in blue, dropping 22 frags in as many rounds.
The overall MVP of the tournament was Stewie2K, who coupled highlight plays with consistent performances to aid Cloud9 in their DreamHack Denver victory. Bragging rights, not to mention the $50,000 first-place prize, were the reward for a job well done.