Last but certainly not least, we have Gen.G vs. Cloud9, a most interesting match-up, and a Best of 5 that could, by all means, yield a few surprises. This one really warrants a comprehensive preview so without any further ado, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty!
To pull off the seemingly impossible after finishing the first Group Stage round-robin without even a single win on the board requires an otherworldly amount of resilience and feistiness. And, in true C9 fashion, they pulled it off without a hitch. It’s quite obvious that this particular line-up has a pinch of greatness imbued deep within. The only problem, however, is that they cannot harness it on a consistent basis.
Instead, they meander through the Rift, lose games they have no business losing, underperform at the most random of moments, and then right when you think they’re down and out, when their backs are against the wall and the end seems near, they somehow manage to pull off the most miraculous of reversals.
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) October 18, 2021
That’s the Cloud9 way, and it’s been like that for as long as we can remember. Some line-ups were better at this than others, but the point still stands. They made it out of groups and for that they have our utmost respect and admiration.
Now, don’t misunderstand us: they don’t lack mechanical talent or experience, but they are somewhat one-dimensional and are a lot easier to prepare for when compared to, say, T1 or DWG or even MAD. You know what Gen.G are going to do and what their biggest strengths are. That doesn’t mean they’re easy to beat (far from it), but knowing what you’re up against is, in itself, quite a large benefit.
A Big Enough Sample Size
Gen.G have had huge ups and downs over the years, but one thing is for certain: they play their best League of Legends in the Best of 1 format. Best of 5s, though, are a completely different story. Gen.G are neither flexible nor creative, and whenever they had faced a team that was, they almost always crumbled under the pressure.
Now, in all fairness, that was eons ago and history doesn’t necessarily have to repeat itself, but it’s definitely food for thought.
Still, Cloud9 could very well beat them, but many things will need to go their way for that to happen. They’re incredibly volatile and have had huge ups and downs, not just at this year’s Worlds but throughout the year as well. If they can harness their potential and play their best League against Gen.G, they would no doubt stand a very good chance at emerging victorious.
And it is this dichotomy, this polarizing nature of theirs that is so frustrating. You never know what’ll happen. Just look at their Group Stage run. Three lopsided defeats in week one, and then an immense showing just a few days later. It was a night and day difference, and it came out of the blue. We know what they’re capable of, but we’re never quite sure whether they’ll put their best foot forward and deliver or implode trying.
With that in mind, it’s wiser to go with Gen.G as they haven’t been nearly as inconsistent. They have their own problems, of course, but their lows are nowhere near as egregious as Cloud9’s. We really cannot stress that enough. Cloud9, at their best, can challenge and beat almost any team in the world. We have empirical evidence supporting the statement, too. But their best is seldom seen.
Now, if there’s one team that’s easy to prepare for, it has to be Gen.G. Their overreliance on late game team comps is well known, so if Cloud9 can generate big enough leads early on, they’ll definitely stand a chance. But after seeing so many Scuttler plays go awry, we simply cannot give them the benefit of the doubt, even though they have, in part, redeemed themselves.
They have very clear avenues for success, but execution-wise they’ve been all over the board lately. Their last-minute surge, impressive though it was, isn’t enough to win us over, so we’ll side with Gen.G on this one.