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Cloud9 has moved into a tie for second in the VCT 2023: Americas League regular season standings following their 2-1 upset over NRG.

Nobody could pinpoint the favorite between Cloud9 and NRG going into this series. Historically, NRG’s core has been the strongest North American team for the past two years, but their time in the VCT Americas League has been inconsistent. As for Cloud9, expectations were low for the team going into the VCT Americas season. Yet, time and time again, this new iteration of Cloud9 has continued to look better than initially perceived. For both teams, this game had a lot of stakes as they walked onto the VCT Americas League stage.

NRG dismantle Cloud9 with strong Haven showing

Immediately, one of the notable parts of the map picks was Cloud9’s decision to pick Haven against NRG, who are well-known for excelling on that map. Cloud9 got the early headstart on their Haven map pick thanks to a pair of creative pistol rounds to go 2-0 up over NRG. However, that momentum was lost all throughout the first half of Haven as NRG found themselves with a 9-3 lead after Haven’s first half.

The second half saw Cloud9 recover five rounds in the second half to bring the scoreline 10-8, but NRG ultimately closed out the victory on Haven 13-8.

Cloud9 unleashes unique Pearl composition

Going into map two, Cloud9 showcased a unique composition that saw Nathan "leaf" Orf on a duelist, breaking the usual meta on Pearl.

Still, the second map on Pearl between NRG and Cloud9 saw both teams battle closely as Cloud9 won the early pistol rounds to go 2-0 up in the first half. Still, NRG was able to claw their way back following an impressive clutch from Pujan “FiNESSE” Mehta and a misplant from Cloud9 in the third round. The first half ended 7-5 in NRG’s favor, but a strong second half from Cloud9 saw the scrappy dark horses start to make a comeback which started with two pistol-round wins. Apart from two round wins from NRG, the rest of the second half was all about Cloud9 as they ultimately closed out Pearl with a 13-9 scoreline.

Cloud9 jakee’s Omen leads team to upset over NRG

Map three on Ascent was Cloud9’s Jake “jakee” Anderson moment in the spotlight as Omen. While Nathan “leaf” Orf was a constant force on Jett throughout the early rounds against NRG it was Cloud9’s controller player jakee who was the star of Ascent. In the first half of Ascent, jakee posted a 1.91 Rating and a 435 Average Combat Score on Omen that helped Cloud9 formulate an early 8-4 lead on NRG.

The second half was all about Cloud9 solidifying yet another impressive victory in the VCT Americas League.

Cloud9 is now 3-1 in the VCT Americas League as the new lineup has quickly transformed into a darkhorse contender. They will look to continue their impressive start to the VCT Americas League against the 3-1 Furia Esports on Tuesday, April 25.

As for NRG, this is not the start the team envisioned for their VCT Americas League campaign. Now at 1-3, NRG will look to bounce back against KRU Esports later this week.