Cloud9 claimed their opening ESL Pro League victory over Evil Geniuses. They did so in two straight maps, taking home a closely-fought battle on Inferno 16-12 before annihilating their North American opponents on Dust2, 16-5. Abay “HObbit” Khasenov and Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov were Cloud9‘s heaviest hitters on Inferno and Dust2, respectively, as the pair topped the scoreboards with 1.62 and 1.77 ratings.
As a partnered organization, Evil Geniuses have now lost their last 15 consecutive games at ESL Pro League, a streak which dates back to March 2021. Their last win came in the event’s 13th season where they defeated Astralis 2-1 with Tarik “tarik” Celik, Owen “oBo” Schlatter, and Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz still part of the lineup.
Cloud9 wrapped up the series with a convincing display on Dust2
Cloud9 opted against the usual CT side selection and started as the attackers on their opponents’ map pick, Inferno. nafany‘s squad opened the series with a convincing 7-1 lead, only dropping the second round after a Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte triple-kill.
Evil Geniuses converted a semi-eco in the ninth to break their opponents’ momentum, and eventually reduced their deficit to just two behind Brehze and Sanzhar “neaLaN” Iskhakov‘s impact on the A and B sites, respectively. nafany delivered a triple-kill in the 15th round to secure his team the 9-6 lead at halftime.
Multi-kill rounds from Jadan “HexT” Postma and Brehze gave Evil Geniuses a crucial boost early in the second half as the North Americans scored their first lead at 12-11. In the end, Cloud9 wrapped up Inferno 16-12 with nafany‘s 1vs2 clutch in the 24th and triple-kill in the subsequent round proving to be the turning point of the map.
Cloud9 kicked off Dust2 in dominant fashion and held a whopping 13-2 lead at the break with Ax1Le‘s 18 kills and 102.7 ADR leading the way in terms of fragging. Evil Geniuses scored the first three rounds of the second half, but ultimately just delayed the inevitable as the Russians closed out the map 16-5, and the series 2-0.
Cloud9‘s next match will be against the Turkish superteam Eternal Fire led by Engin “MAJ3R” Küpeli, while Evil Geniuses find themselves in a North American derby with Liquid for a shot at their first EPL victory.