16th of February 2019 at 18:30 GMT +1
How Cloud9 got here
Cloud9 are a returning Challengers team who avoided the Minors qualifier thanks to their performances in 2018. The roster has had continuous roster issues despite glimmers of success.
Things haven’t got any better. Their starter Golden has been suffering from health issues meaning Cloud9 have to attend the major with a substitute. This is something that could play a part in them progressing to the later stages of the tournament.
How Furia got here
Unlike Cloud9, Furia had to battle their way through the Minor Championships to qualify for the Challengers stage. The Furia roster is currently riding a hype wave after victories against INTZ and Envy at the Americas Minor. This was part of a dark horse run that led to them qualifying for the Major in 2nd place, behind NRG.
Furia may be on a wave but being a dark horse against a field of teams stronger than their typical opponents, they may struggle with being out of their depth.
Their runs so far
Cloud9 haven’t been overly convincing so far in the Challenger Stage. It was business as usual in Round 1 against Grayhound Gaming with a 16-11 win. Since then though they have fallen off the tracks.
They got dismantled against Tyloo in Round 2 with a 16-3 loss, coming as a shock to the majority of fans. The poor performances continued against Vici with a 16-6 loss, which dropped them with a 1-2 record and fighting to stay in the tournament.
Furia wasn’t expected to make much of a bang at this Major. It looked like they wouldn’t offer much after a 16-6 defeat to NiP. Against the odds, they bounced back against Avangar but fell short in a 16-14 loss. They found themselves in Elimination Round 1 against Team Spirit, pulling a 2-0 win out of the bag to keep their hopes alive.
On paper, you may favour Cloud9 to win this series with ease. However, taking everything into account this series could end up much tighter than anticipated. I still favour Cloud9 to come out on top. You can find great odds of 2.80 for Cloud9 to take the series 2-1 on Betway. I think the series could definitely go this way based on both of their recent performances.