When this matchup was drawn, both teams were ecstatic because both teams got their ideal opponent. For GEN, they pulled the perceived weakest second seed. For Cloud9, they pulled the perceived weakest first seed. Now it comes down to how they show up on Monday. Let’s dive into the Worlds 2021 Quarterfinal match between Generation Gaming and Cloud9!
Rascal/Burdol vs Fudge
Neither of the GEN tops has looked particularly impressive so far. However, of the two, Rascal looked better and will likely start for the upcoming match, and when GEN plays with Rascal, the team leaves him on an island. On the other hand, C9 gives Fudge plenty of attention to facilitate him on his counterpicks. With these counterpicks, Fudge has also shown a larger champion pool than Rascal, who has resorted to a weaker Renekton pick when pinched in draft.
I give Fudge a slight edge in this matchup, primarily due to having the better, more recent form and a more flexible champion pool. The C9 top has shown the ability to be both strong and weak-side, while Rascal has mostly played weak-side exclusively.
Clid vs Blaber
At Worlds 2021, GEN has been putting up some impressive early games, contrary to community expectations. However, these early game leads could be attributed more to the insane in-lane performance of Bdd than Clid. Unlike during his stints on SKT or JDG, Clid’s early game has been much more laid-back and fluid, becoming well-rounded at the cost of an edge that could act as an X-factor in close matchups. On the other hand, Blaber is still the Psychofish we know him to be. He has demonstrated some incredible early gameplays and snowballs, but he also has single-handedly thrown games. This inconsistency can make C9 go from the worst team at Worlds to possibly a top 4 team.
Bdd vs Perkz
At Worlds 2021, Bdd had at least a couple of games that reminded us why is he is always present in the conversation for best Korean mids. He was destroying teams in lane, teamfights, or skirmishes. However, Bdd didn’t show the same level of performance off his comfort picks, like Zoe and Azir, and he has mostly stuck to playing his lane out over roaming for side lane plays. His lane opponent in Perkz has been doing the exact opposite so far. On picks like Twisted Fate and Irelia, Perkz has constantly looked for plays with his team during the early game. Against GEN, his early game activity with Blaber will make or break the series.
Neither player truly holds an edge over the other. It only comes down to which version of themselves is going to appear on the day. We could see the Bdd that smurfed on LNG and TL or Week 2 Perkz, but they are well-matched even if both appear in peak form. However, the onus is on Perkz to create early game chaos to take advantage of GEN’s passive tendency.
Ruler vs Zven
Compared to the prior matchups, Ruler holds a relatively larger advantage over the C9 bot laner. Zven often looked like the team’s weak link at Worlds, making missteps in positioning or laning, while Ruler has not made mistakes anywhere close to the magnitude of Zven’s.
Life vs Vulcan
Vulcan is an integral part of Cloud9’s early game. He is involved in over 50% of their first bloods, the highest among supports, and is fourth in kill participation. His roams and set-ups for lane plays allow for Cloud9 to have temporary man-advantages. Life has not been as vital to the GEN early game. He ranks almost dead last in first blood participation, and his KP% is below average. However, his engages on picks like Rakan and Amumu are essential for GEN’s success around objective fights.
The C9 support has the edge in this matchup, but this edge will only materialize in the game if he can find roams of the same level of success as the ones during the second-round robin.
GEN vs Cloud9
GEN has kept up the same playbook we saw domestically. While there were some surprises, like when Bdd started smurfing or their tiebreaker against MAD, they generally kept to a quiet early game and a mid-game almost wholly centered around monster objective teamfights. C9 is practically the polar opposite. Their recipe for winning almost always includes a proactive early game, and in the mid-game, they constantly look for picks between objective respawns to push their advantage. By doing so, C9 looks to deprive their opponents of any moment of respite to stage a comeback.
Final Verdict: Cloud9
GEN has tried matching the early aggressions and plays of teams, but these attempts usually go awry unless Bdd pops off. Cloud9’s early game aggression fits well into GEN’s and can allow Cloud9 to play in their comfort zone. Even if somehow C9 falls behind GEN early, C9’s tendency to constantly look for openings between plays can take advantage of GEN’s preference sitting on their edge until objective fights. The ball is in C9’s hands this series.