The ELEAGUE Invitational concluded with Faze defeating their rivals Cloud9 2-1 to take home the trophy. Here are a few things we learned from the minor.
Optimism surrounding Cloud9
Although Cloud9 didn't get the result they wanted, falling to Faze in a best of three in the finals, there were plenty of bright spots to build upon for the Americans.
Autimatic has shown that he is a serious threat when he has the AWP in his hands as his prowess with the weapon bailed Cloud9 out of a few sticky situations during this tournament. He seems to be getting better and better after each match and his evolution into a full-time awper will be an essential building block for Cloud9 come the major.
Consistent fragging was also an issue that seemed to be addressed for Cloud9 in this tournament as Flusha and kioShiMa have provided dependability when it comes to fragging. Both finished 52-44 and 51-42 respectively in the best of three versus Faze, and each had their individual moments throughout the minor.
If Autimatic continues to grow as an awper and Flusha and kioShiMa continue their consistent fragging, Cloud9 will be a dangerous team to face come the major.
Faze show they can rally when it counts
After a disastrous 16-3 loss on mirage against Cloud9, Faze were able to rebound and take the next two maps off their rivals to win the tournament. How they did it, was surprising, to say the least. Considering mirage was their map pick, it was easy for an ordinary team to fold off a disastrous map one but instead Faze composed themselves and never looked back. Rain started it off with an extraordinary triple-p250 kill to secure the round on inferno that clearly rattled Cloud9. On train, GuardiaN pulled off an impressive one versus four ace-clutch that drove the analysts wild. Little moments of magic like those were non-existent for Faze in previous tournaments, and as a team with as much individual skill as they possess, it was refreshing to see it all come to fruition against Cloud9 in the finals.
BIG primed for a deep run in Katowice
BIG had their tournament come to an end in the lower bracket finals at the hands of Faze they still should be one of the most feared teams entering next months major in Katowice.
Boasting a very talented roster of gob b, tiziaN, tabseN, Smooya, and newly acquired Xantares, BIG have the fire to make a deep run in the major-they just need time. Xantares was acquired in December, and the team is still building chemistry with the Turkish superstar. BIG will have some time now to build from the minor and get themselves ready for an exciting major in February.