Cloud9’s has set a new milestone by sealing a stirring 2-1 comeback victory against SK Gaming, thus winning the ESL Pro League Season 4 grand final – their first ESL Pro League title.
But in the least NA team’s triumph against SK had been a difficult one. Both teams had shown fight and steely composure in the face of adverse circumstances, Cloud9 especially so amidst the resounding cheers from local Brazillians fans – SK’s home crowd – as they took the title from the defending champions.
ROUND 1: The first map, Overpass, was Sk’s pick, but the first half score would have suggested otherwise as Cloud9 dominated proceedings on CT. The Brazillians only managed a round after seven in the game, even as the North Americans maintained dominance and went up to 13-2 before the break.
Whatever pep talk SK had during intermission, it worked as the team won the opening three rounds of the second half to keep themselves in the game, putting together a great run of rounds in gun play as Cloud9 were unable to counter their double AWP setup, gradually creeping up to 13-9.
The North Americans would hit round 14 after a 1v2 clutch from Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert – but it seemed to embolden SK as they went on another great run to equalise the score, and pull the game into extra rounds.
From there on, SK merely kept their momentum and secured two rounds in each half to close the map at 19-17, and take the lead in the series.
ROUND 2: SK were the team to win the opening round in the second map (Mirage) thanks to a 1v2 clutch by Lincoln “fnx’ Lau, but Cloud9 replied by taking the next round as well as five of the following six rounds to take a 6-2 lead.
After a tactical pause, SK took three consecutive rounds, but the North American team was able to hold out and take a few more rounds and lead 9-6 into the break. They then delivered an even more flawless display after, easily taking seven rounds without much resistance to secure a strong 16-6 win.
ROUND 3: As the tiebreaker falls to Dust2, SK once again got off to a great start – but just like on Mirage, Cloud9 came right back to win the next round.
After tking some time to build up their bank, SK won their second round of the map thanks to an amazing clutch by Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, but the Brazilians were completely off the pace for the remainder of the half as Cloud9 strutted to a 13-2 lead.
Only misery followed as Cloud9 won the first two rounds as CT to hit match point. SK would still get a couple of rounds on the board, but it was too little, too late, as the North Americans closed out the map, 16-5, to succeed the Brazilians as Pro League champion.