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DeKay’s Final Five: Observations from the PGL Americas Minor

Cloud9 and Immortals emerged from the PGL Americas Minor.
Cloud9 and Immortals emerged from the PGL Americas Minor. Photo by Adela Sznajder/DreamHack.

Cloud9 and Immortals emerged from the PGL Americas Minor to earn spots in the offline qualifier for next month’s PGL Major. Here are five major takeaways from the event as the Counter-Strike season continues to heat up.

Cloud9 finally beats Immortals on LAN

After a nine match losing streak on LAN against Immortals, Cloud9 overcame a huge obstacle Sunday by winning the final of the Americas Minor. Even more impressive was the fact that Cloud9 lost 2-0 to Immortals the day before in the upper bracket final. Both Cloud9 and Immortals in turn have locked in a spot in the Major Qualifier later this month. Even though they were the favorites, they performed quite well and hardly struggled against all other opposition.

Misfits look lost without ShahZaM

Misfits ended the Minor 0-2 with a -21 round differential after playing with stand-ins for Sean Gares and Shahzeeb “ShahZaM” Khan. Without ShahZaM, Misfits lacked the necessary firepower to make an impact. Although he likely wouldn’t have changed the end result, Misfits should attempt to reintegrate ShahZaM to the lineup as soon as possible. But the future of the team is unclear, especially when factoring in the lack of Counter-Strike they’ll play in the following months. It’s also becoming fair to question if this lineup will return as the one that surprised teams at DreamHack Tours.

CLG misses two majors in a row

Counter Logic Gaming will now miss two Majors in a row after failing to reach the finals of the Minor. The team has a number of bright spots, especially after the additions of Pujan “FNS” Mehta and Ricky “Rickeh” Mulholland. FNS has proven himself as one of the better in-game leaders in North America, a role that seems forever in need in this region. Rickeh and Kenneth “koosta” Suen have been consistently provided the necessary firepower. With the addition of a player or two, this team could realistically make a run in the second half of 2017, but that seems so far away after coming to the reality of another missed Major.

Skadoodle steps up

Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham provided the community with a number of Reddit-worthy clips, including an incredible 1-v-5 against Immortals on Cache. While his level of elevated play is always encouraging to see, Skadoodle will have to show up once again at the Major Qualifier for Cloud9 to have a fighting chance. He has always lacked consistency, especially against European competition. Despite what Jake “Stewie2k” Yip told us at the ESL Pro League Season 5 Finals, I thoroughly expect a roster change for this team if it fails to qualify for the PGL Major.

Immortals is one step from the Major — again

Immortals has yet to qualify for a Major, dating all the way back to before MLG Columbus in March 2016 when it was under the Tempo Storm banner. After crumbling under the pressure multiple times in the qualifying process, Immortals will once again hope to finally get over the hump. With Ricardo “boltz” Prass in-game leading at recent events, the team has looked confident and comfortable. Don’t let the loss in Sunday’s final against Cloud9 fool you, as Immortals had already secured a spot at the Major Qualifier. More time with recent addition Vito “kNg” Giuseppe will only help, assuming he remains on the active lineup.

Cover photo by Adela Sznajder/DreamHack

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