Cloud9 weathered early pushes from Counter Logic Gaming on Sunday in Los Angeles to claim a 3-1 win and the final North American spot at the League of Legends World Championships.
Counter Logic Gaming won both of its regular-season series against C9 with a match record and showed off its confidence from the start of Sunday's series. Early ganks made by jungler Omar "OmarGod" Amin secured first blood for CLG in the first three games, but he never truly pulled ahead of C9 jungler Juan "Contractz" Arturo Garcia. CLG struggled to make good macro decisions throughout the midgame and late game, which allowed Cloud9 to mount comebacks and take the eventual series victory.
Cloud9 prioritized drafting scaling team compositions and kept its composure after some rocky starts to games. In Game 1, top laner Jung "Impact" Eon-yeong made good engages as Maokai in the midgame, which gave C9 the power to wipe the floor with CLG in the later stages of the game. Impact struggled to absorb split-pushing pressure from Counter Logic Gaming in Game 2, and CLG jumped out to another early lead, but once again Cloud9 managed to force and win team fights late to jump out to a 2-0 series lead.
In Game 3, Counter Logic Gaming switched up its draft, opting to put priority on tanks as it drafted Maokai, Sejuani and Alistar. This time, CLG dominated the team fights and closed out a swift 31-minute victory with nine unanswered kills.
All the momentum CLG built during Game 3 carried over into Game 4 as it won several early skirmishes thanks to AD carry Trevor "Stixxay" Hayes and support Zaqueri "aphromoo" Black, who dominated the bottom lane matchup. Unfortunately, their early playmaking barely made up for OmarGod's head-scratching Level 1 jungle invade as Maokai that left him with no creep score for the first four minutes of the game.
Despite the seemingly huge advantage in the jungle, Cloud9's struggles lasted until about the 23-minute mark, when it started to show life in team fights. While Impact drew pressure in side lanes, the rest of C9 started to win skirmishes and run up a lead in objectives on the opposite side of the map. CLG often wasted resources cornering and killing Impact, which gave CLG gold but allowed Cloud9 to take uncontested Baron kills.
After taking a late Elder Dragon, Cloud9 scored a decisive ace and pushed to claim the final ticket from North America to worlds.