Cloud9 Stun Damwon Kia – Advance At MSI 2021

Anyone who listens to our shows knows that we had some choice words for Cloud9 last week. And rightfully so. Their performance in the opening days of the 2021 Mid Season Invitational was laughably poor. Losing their opening day bout against the defending world champions Damwon Kia is nothing shameful, but following it up with a loss to Japan’s Detonation FocusMe was unacceptable.

Luckily, they managed to salvage a win against Latin America’s Infinity eSports. Which brings us to Tuesday, and the transformation from Hyde back into Jekyll.

With Apologies To Cloud9 – MSI2021

On today’s Checkpoint Daily, we break down the announcement of a 2 hour look at Overwatch 2 next week and what we’d expect to see. We also talk about Astralis listing on the US Stock Exchange and Dontnod Entertainment turning down acquisition offers.

A stunning upset of the defending world champions

Cloud9 lead off their campaign on Tuesday where they began MSI 4 days earlier, taking on Damwon Kia. Their first encounter had started off well, but quickly skewed out of control as Damwon took firm control of the game by around 12 minutes and never gave C9 a chance. This time, Cloud9 looked calm, cool, and collected. A special shoutout to the rookie top laner Fudge, who had the guts to pick Lee Sin against the LCK’s finest and played incredibly well.

C9 managed to beat Damwon Kia the only way they were going to be able to. They played a methodical, patient game. They employed a bend, but don’t break strategy until their late game scaling could come online. It’s a strategy we’ve seen North America try to employ before against South Korea, only it actually worked this time.

Keeping the gold lead relatively in check, C9 eventually hit the late game and suddenly Damwon couldn’t win a teamfight anymore. Cloud9 would take the match, and put the rest of the group on notice.

Everything on the line

With Damwon Kia already having secured their spot in the Rumble Stage, it was left to the LJL’s Detonation FocusMe and Cloud9 to see who else would advance in Group C. And as the two teams squared off, the stakes were simple. For Detonation FocusMe, win and you’re in. For Cloud9, lose and you go home.

But fresh off a win over the defending world champions, Cloud9 was playing with confidence and swagger and it really showed. Perkz took the comfort pick in Yone, eliciting a groan from some on our staff. But a key Morgana pick by Blaber and Sion pick from Fudge set the stage.

Despite surrendering an early first blood, Blaber was absolutely key on Morgana as the Black Shield was able to shut down DFM’s best engage tools with Zoe. We were heavily critical of Perkz last week, saying he was brought in to be a game-changer and he wasn’t living up to that.

Well, Perkz showed up in this game and popped off. It was wild watching Detonation FocusMe go on hard tilt mid-way through the game. With a dominant performance, C9 won and put Detonation FocusMe on the brink of elimination.

And then it was over

There’s not much more to say really. Detonation FocusMe then needed to beat Damwon Kia and have C9 lose to Gillette Infinity. Neither of those things happened. Cloud9 closed out a 3-0 Tuesday to finish the group stage 4-2 and advancing to the rumble stage.

They’ll now need to be at least in the top 4 of Royal Never Give Up, Mad Lions, Damwon Gaming, PSG Talon, and Pentanet.GG. Which is to say, they absolutely should be able to place in the top 4. I don’t know if it’s okay to hope or not, but I know what you should be expecting. If we want North America to be a top region, then prove it. Make it to the knockout stages.

Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images

About The Author

Kali Scales Kali got into gaming from a young age when her mom bought her a GameBoy with The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. She’s been a lifelong gamer, particularly fond of the Final Fantasy, Mass Effect, and Star Wars franchises. Her interests extend outside gaming; she loves comics and is particularly passionate about movies. As a member of the LGBTQ+ family, she feels strongly about working with charitable causes and has hosted numerous charity streams. She serves as the Head of Content for the CheckpointXP brand, but also as a producer for the CheckpointXP Radio Show. She occasionally appears as a guest on CheckpointAFK.

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