Matt O’Loughlin, Web Editor~

Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is a giant internet sport (e-sport) that has had teams competing against one another for eighteen years. Over the years, the competitive scene for this simple video game where people try to eliminate each other has exploded. The game is user-friendly and this has allowed CS:GO to break the record for most views for a streaming platform twice and also have prize pools for the elite players to be in the millions.

With these amazing records and prize pools being set, there was only one thing missing. A North American team had never won a major tournament especially where all of the best teams from around the world participated. This made American teams hungry to compete, and motivated the teams to try to take down the European teams that had been dominating the scene for years. This fight finally came to an end this year. Sunday, Jan. 28 the American team Cloud 9 defeated the European team FaZe in a best of three championship match.

Out of the seven possible maps that players could choose from, Cloud 9 got the first pick and decided to start the faceoff inside the Mirage map. This map is very popular in competitive play and historically provides good results for Cloud 9. Cloud 9 started off strong, going about eight out of thirty rounds before giving up a round. This excellent start gave Cloud 9 half of the wins that they needed to win the map. If they won the map, then they would only have to win one more to become champions.

Cloud 9
Illustration by Genevieve Griffin

Unfortunately, for Cloud 9, FaZe was able to rally back against them and took 10 rounds back before Cloud 9 could even get one win. FaZe finished out the map strong and defeated Cloud 9 sixteen to 10. This meant that FaZe was one tournament win away from winning the entire Major. With the map pick on their side, FaZe picked the map Overpass, a pick that was known to give Cloud 9 a very hard time.

The world was astounded as Cloud 9 came into this map with their guns blazing, taking another eight rounds before FaZe could secure a win. With a dominating performance, Cloud 9 was able to close out the map with a score of sixteen to ten.

This made the series go to a round three tiebreaker for the championship. The final map for the deciding match was the Inferno map, and both teams were set up to win the action packed weekend.

After a long fought battle, both teams were tied, 15 to 15. This meant that both teams had to play a best of twelve overtime to determine the champion. Through shaking hands and stressed communication, Cloud 9 was able to find victory over FaZe in forty-one rounds to become the first ever North American champions for a Major competition in the five years of a company supported competitive scene or in the eighteen year run of the game.

With a North American crowd in Boston, Mass., Cloud 9 engraved their names in the metaphorical e-sport Hall of Fame and opened a door for more wins by North American teams.

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