Gen.G made up for a group stage loss to Cloud9 in the North American division of ESL One: Road to Rio as they prevailed 2-1 in their semi-final rematch, earning a place in the grand final.
Damian “daps” Steele, Kenneth “koosta” Suen, and Timothy “autimatic” Ta met their former organization for the second time in ESL One: Road to Rio, having lost their previous encounter with Cloud9 during the group stage following losses on Nuke and Inferno.
This time around, Gen.G chose to swap out Nuke for Vertigo, although the change in map proved to bear no fruit for daps’ side midway through the series. A relatively one-sided win on Inferno for Gen.G gave way to a 13-7 lead on Vertigo, but Cloud9 proved resilient on the T side to rally back and force a Train decider. There, Gen.G reigned supreme, making short work of Cloud9 to advance to the grand final, where they now await the winner of the second semi-final between FURIA and Liquid.
A USP-S triple from autimatic kicked things off for Gen.G on Inferno, but it was Cloud9 who claimed an early lead as an ensuing AK and MAC-10 force-buy gave them entry to the B site, allowing them to take control from the hands of their opponents for a 3-1 lead. Three frags from Hansel “BnTeT” Ferdinand helped Gen.G recover a 2vs3 post-plant situation to get their second round on the board, and from there, the two teams traded back and forth, with Gen.G narrowly pulling ahead 8-7 by the end of the half.
koosta and company maintained momentum following the side swap, securing the second half pistol and three ensuing rounds to push up to a 12-7 scoreline. Cloud9 fought back to post their eighth, but the trio of daps, autimatic, and koosta combined to recover an 3vs5 in the next round, swinging momentum back in the favour of Gen.G to quickly close things out, 16-10.
Gen.G’s map pick of Vertigo was next up, where an early lead went the way of daps’ troops as another pistol win allowed them four rounds to start the map. A Ricky “floppy” Kemery triple gave Cloud9 their first on the defense, and further multi-kills from Aran “Sonic” Groesbeek and Ian “motm” Hardy helped them add to their tally and take the lead from Gen.G at 5-4. Cloud9’s narrow edge was swiftly stolen away as BnTeT clutched a 1vs3, with Gen.G continuing to abuse the CTs to post a 9-6 scoreline at the break.
The series seemed set to be a short affair as Gen.G continued in their winning ways, securing four of the first five rounds in the second half to lead 13-7. Once Cloud9 had rifles in their hands however, Gen.G’s defenses melted away, with Cloud9 abusing the A bombsite round after round to win nine rounds in a row and steal the victory from the grasps of Gen.G to force a Train decider.
Multi-kills from Sonic, motm, autimatic, and BnTeT resulted in a brawl to kick off the final map of the series, leaving the two teams tied up at 4-4 early on. The battle of attrition was finally won by Gen.G, who used Cloud9’s decimated financial situation to dominate for the majority of rounds that remained in the half, posting a 10-5 scoreline heading into the side swap. Gen.G’s T side proved to have far more of a bite than Cloud9’s as daps and company made short work of the American-South African roster, giving up only one additional round before closing out the series with a 16-6 map win.