Out of all of the group matches from the iBP LAN this is the hardest one to call by far. Both teams have shown us a lot of good and bad lately. Cloud9 have been impressing people for a while now, but in the past few months have failed to do so. Conquest is quite the opposite, they had some good performances the past month or two then came out of nowhere the past week and have proved real competitors. Let’s look at each team now.
Conquest – CQ just had a great come out LAN at CEVO, where they knocked out Liquid and Dignitas, and took VP into overtime on inferno. In the end though they did go out to mouz, not without a fight though. They managed to take overpass off of the Germans and made map 3 pretty close. And before that they were doing more of the same, winning. 18 out of their last 20 maps before they faced off against Liquid to be exact. That’s pretty crazy, but not as impressive when you look at who exactly they played, but still a good showing. Since CEVO they have cooled off a bit, they did lose to Cloud9 and Liquid immediately following the LAN, but as we know teams are usually slow to get back at it after a performance at LAN like that. Not all bad they, because they did beat NME and coL in a BO1 both times, not to mention beating CLG 2-1.
Cloud9 do seem to be in a bit of a rut the past few… months. But it’s especially showing now. When you look at some of their recent losses (NME, 3sup, coL) you can’t help but wonder. It’s also worth noting that they haven’t beaten a top 3 NA (Liquid, CLG, LG) since October 15th where they beat the Brazilians on overpass and Team Liquid on Dust2. This is a bit worrisome when you consider they’ve played 7 maps in total vs those teams in between those two time periods. And it’s apparent C9 realize they need to change something. They are bringing in Swag for the RGN LAN. Not only do I think it’s not a smart choice, but also it can’t be a serious consideration given Swag’s history and ban. Anyways, not sure what that’s all about but not looking too promising. My main concern with this team, which is centered around LAN’s, is their ability to close games out. C9 is one of the best teams at getting 11 or 12 rounds in a game, but that’s not what wins you games.
Map wise, Conquest actually comes out a bit on top here. Cloud9 will be looking to veto mirage and inferno, their go to’s. Conquest will ban Dust2 and train, some of their worst and C9’s best. That leaves cache, overpass, and cbbl. Honestly, I don’t give Cloud9 the advantage in any of these maps. Conquest has a crazy strong overpass, and cbbl is looking to be a bit of a toss up. But while I think cache is pretty even CQ have better results on it recently, so I have to give them the edge there.
When all is considered, especially considering Conquest are underdogs, I think the smartest bet to make is a small to medium bet on them, more towards the lower end. Again, this is a high risk game.
My odds for this match: Cloud9 50:50 Conquest
Cloud 9 is a hero on tilt in this game. Losing to other major teams currently in NA such as NME, 3sup, Liquid, CLG and even Conquest themselves. Cloud 9 is supposed to be the NA hope but it’s starting to look like they’re becoming the dream crusher. Losing to teams as menial as 3sup and NME is embarrassingly bad considering Cloud 9 is supposed to be the #1 NA team. But, the difference between this iBP LAN and the games they previously lost is that iBP is a LAN. LANs are something that I’ve yet to see Cloud 9 perform horribly in against other NA teams. Especially with the lineup Cloud 9 has including the amazing IGL SeanGares, the best NA AWPer Skadoodle along with the best nutty NA fraggers N0thing and Shroud. With this talent, Cloud 9 has a greater chance at winning this game, especially against a team such as Conquest.
My odds for this match: Cloud9 65:35 Conquest
A list of recent matches this team has played, green indicates a win and red a loss. Blue is a draw/cancelled
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