[Update: I’m an idiot and forgot C9 made it last year. Edited to reflect that.]
For the second time in three years, NA will have a lone representative in the knockout stage of the Worlds tournament.
Going into tonight both of the NA teams that preceded Cloud 9 managed to crumble and give away their chance to make it to the knockout stage. To make a very long and sad story short, both TSM and IMT needed two wins to make it out and neither could muster the ability to do so. So while NA is overall garbage, the C9 boys are giving us something to smile about.
Making it out alongside them is SKT T1 in first place with a record of 5-1. To start out the night SKT dropped a match to ahq making it look like tonight may be more of an adventure than we all wanted. All being those who wanted C9 to make it through to validate our NA fandom. After that early and unfortunate loss, SKT returned to the shaky form they’ve been displaying all tournament and beat C9 easily, but had to make another 7k+ gold deficit comeback against EDG.
That close-call with EDG was what saved NA. Had EDG won they would have had a 3-3 record matching C9 and forcing a tiebreaker. Luckily, SKT had our backs and made the huge comeback they did appropriately crushing all of EDG’s hope and dreams after giving them a taste of the possibility.
In summation, C9 did it. We’re in the knockout stage. The real Worlds begins now.