The Game Changers Championship started off today with debuts from Cloud9 White Cloud9 White North America Rank #40 , G2 Gozen G2 Gozen Europe Rank #1 , X10 Sapphire X10 Sapphire Asia-Pacific Rank #9 , and KRÜ Fem KRÜ Fem Latin America South Unranked .
In the first game, C9 White managed to defeat KRÜ Fem and send them to the lower bracket after a quick 2-0 victory. G2 Gozen, perhaps inspired by their NA counterparts, pulled off the same feat in their victory over APAC's representatives X10 Sapphire. NA and EU collided for the first time in GC history, and G2 Gozen came out on top after a resounding 13-4 victory on map three.
GCC continues tomorrow with the other side of the bracket, where Team Liquid Brazil Team Liquid Brazil Brazil Rank #4 will face off against FENNEL GC FENNEL GC Japan Unranked and Guild X Guild X Europe Rank #5 takes on Shopify Rebellion GC Shopify Rebellion GC North America Rank #3 . The winners of the two games will play out the second semifinal.
EMEA came out on top today thanks to G2's heroics. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
For the first bout of the day, LATAM reps KRÜ Fem KRÜ Fem Latin America South Unranked faced off against the NA powerhouse Cloud9 White Cloud9 White North America Rank #40 , each looking to prove their respective regions were superior. Both teams have to date not lost a GC tournament in their home regions.
The LATAM reps prepare to square off against C9. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
The series started off on Ascent, KRÜ's pick. C9 ran the no duelist comp they'd been favoring in their last few games, while KRÜ stuck to the comp that they'd used in the LATAM regional finals.
Cloud9 started off on the attack and won the pistol round off of a 4K from katsumi . They won the anti-eco and the bonus with relative ease. After that, C9 White went on the warpath. Bob , the team's most recent signee, popped off with three 3Ks and a 1v2 clutch to get C9 to a dominant 9-0 start.
KRÜ struggled to find an answer to Bob. (Photo by Wojciech Wandzel/Riot Games)
KRÜ finally managed to win round 10, but by then the damage was done. Despite a 3K from conir winning round 12 for KRÜ, the 10-2 half C9 had put up proved to be too difficult to come back from. KRÜ were able to win two more rounds before C9 pounced. After winning their full buy, C9 proceeded to close out the map 13-4, stealing KRÜ's pick away. Three of C9's players had a positive KD, while not a single player on KRÜ could manage the feat.
Round after round, C9 White proved themselves to be the better team. (Photo by Wojciech Wandzel/Riot Games)
Map two, Haven, saw KRÜ draw first blood with a clean pistol win. They won the following round as well, but once C9 had rifles, the map turned into a repeat of Ascent. C9 won seven consecutive rounds off of dominant victories and individual clutches alike. KRÜ answered back eventually with one of their own, bringing the score to 7-3 in C9's favor. The two teams would win one more round apiece to end the half at 8-4, an improvement for KRÜ after Ascent, but still far from ideal.Heading over to another map did not stop Bob rampaging through KRÜ's defenses.
C9 continued their rampage by taking the pistol and anti-eco. They stumbled against KRÜ's full buy, bringing the score to 10-5, but would not fall. They won three rounds in quick succession to take the map 13-5, and the series 2-0.
For C9, their initiators were the duo spearheading the victories. Both Bob and alexis had 275+ ACS, 35 kills a piece, and 10 first kills between them. Ultimately, excepting romi , every player on KRÜ finished with a K/D worse than any player on C9's roster.
The second match saw X10 Sapphire X10 Sapphire Asia-Pacific Rank #9 , a team few had predicted to be here, face off against G2 Gozen G2 Gozen Europe Rank #1 on the latter's home turf. X10 Sapphire X10 Sapphire Asia-Pacific Rank #9 had proven they were capable of upsetting titans before, and G2 Gozen G2 Gozen Europe Rank #1 had shown they were mortal after their defeat to Guild X Guild X Europe Rank #5 .
APAC's reps look to cause another upset. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
Icebox was the first battleground, chosen by G2. They debuted a new agent comp with Raze and Fade instead of their usual Sova/Jett or no-duelist comps. On the other hand, X10 were running the same comp they'd defeated Alter Ego Celeste Alter Ego Celeste Asia-Pacific Rank #6 with, and the comp Guild X had used to beat G2.
G2 drew first blood with a successful pistol win off of a 4K from Glance . X10 did strike back in round three with rifles, but G2 countered with two more of their own, taking the score to 4-1. X10 were able to bounce back and get within one at 4-3, but G2 then managed to extend their lead further, culminating in an 8-4 half.
After the side switch, G2 tightened their play and put up an impenetrable defense. They were able to win five rounds in a row to flawlessly take the map 13-4, leaving their opponents in the dust. Every player on G2 managed 200+ ACS and a net positive KD.G2 Gozen put up an immaculate defense to take the map 13-4.
For map two, both teams headed over to Breeze, a favorite of X10's. For the 10th Breeze in a row, X10 locked in the same agent comp. G2, on the other hand, opted for something new — juliano on Reyna. She had shown what she could do with the agent on Pearl and looked to repeat the feat on an entirely different map.
Again, G2 started off strong. They were able to find almost six rounds in a row, losing only their bonus in round three to bring the score to 6-2. Round after round, G2 were able to find quick kills in succession thanks to constant aggression around mid. X10 rebutted with two rounds of their own, but that would be all they got in the half. G2 won three more to end the half heavily in their favor, 9-3.
But X10 hadn't given up yet. They were able to win the pistol and anti-eco, narrowing the deficit a tad. That deficit quickly grew again, however, as G2, mimi in particular, began to feel it. She was having the game of her life, finding tremendous value on KA/YO and racking up kills. G2 won three consecutive rounds to get themselves to map and match point. X10S desperately tried to fight back, finding two wins to bring the score to 12-7.X10 Sapphire fought until the end, despite G2's constant pressure.
Teams had come back from that before, but it was not to be this time. A triple kill from mimi saw G2 home and propelled them ahead in the bracket.
The ‘LANimal' was what the talent team ended up calling mimi by the end of the series. Despite playing support agents like Sage and KA/YO, mimi had a 306 ACS and 22 assists.
This win from G2 set them up for perhaps the most anticipated match in Game Changers history, one where the two behemoths from NA and EMEA would face off, and finally answer the question of who was better.
Cloud9 White Cloud9 White North America Rank #40 and G2 Gozen G2 Gozen Europe Rank #1 entered the match as the titans of the Game Changers world, each claiming to be the undisputed best within their respective regions.
And, with this match, they each had an opportunity to claim the title of best Game Changers team in the world.
The two teams took the stage with a mixture of swagger and friendly rivalry. C9 White IGL meL casually brushed some dust off of her shoulder as she walked out onto the stage alongside juliano , while her teammate Bob exchanged a fistbump with G2's Mary .
The calm before the storm ahead of what is arguably the most anticipated GC matchup. (Photo by Wojciech Wandzel/Riot Games)
The series began with the map veto process, which saw C9 choose not to ban one of G2's strongest picks, Pearl. That decision would prove to be costly later.
They went with the same agent comp they did in the KRÜ game as they prepared to begin on attack. G2 chose to change things around and went in for a no duelist comp with Brimstone, both firsts for the team on this map.
G2 were able to take the pistol and draw first blood for EMEA. C9, however, were able to pull off a successful thrifty and win three more rounds to get to 4-1. After a timeout, G2 found their footing on defense and eked out three wins of their own. The map continued in a back-and-forth fashion, with the half ending at 6-6.G2 looked almost unprepared for C9's Ascent.
Once the side swap came through, C9 seemed to wake up — Jazzyk1ns in particular. She was able to constantly distract and slow down G2 with her utility, and found several crucial picks all the while. Thanks to her, C9 were able to win four rounds in a row before G2 stopped the bleeding. That one round would be all C9 would allow G2 before again hitting a streak of three successive wins to take the first map 13-7 — a dominant victory.
Much like C9 did with their opening map pick, G2 opted for a map they had dominated on earlier in the day: Breeze. The pick gave G2 the added bonus of playing on a map C9 had little experience on; C9 White had only played on Breeze six times since the team's formation heading into the match.
G2 started off strong on attack. They were able to not only win the pistol, but also the bonus. The latter was off of a 4K 1v3 clutch from juliano , looking right at home on Reyna. She would prove to be the demon haunting C9 in the game, consistently finding kills that the North Americans just could not trade out. Eventually, Bob stepped up for C9 — her heroics on round five gave C9 their first round in the win column. That win woke C9 up and they were able to win five consecutive rounds of their own, taking the lead away. G2 were not done, and after two quick wins, the half culminated in their favor, 7-5.C9 might have won the first map but juliano was determined to ensure G2 won the series.
Once G2 switched to defense, it was over. Round after round, G2 were able to constantly pressure C9 and found crucial kills to end their hopes of a 2-0 win. After G2 won four rounds in a row, C9 were able to find a victory off of a quick coordinated site hit to make the score 11-6.
But that was all G2 would allow them. G2 quickly resumed their winning ways to stake their claim on Breeze, 13-6.
"That's more like it!" G2's Mary fistbumps her teammate after a dominant map two performance. (Photo by Wojciech Wandzel/Riot Games)
Glance proved to be a menace on Viper, and her ult paired with a 1v2 clutch on Breeze netted G2 a major round. They had pushed the series to map three. A map where C9's map vetoes came back to haunt them.
G2 had never lost on Pearl entering the series, and C9 had never played an official on the map. There was no game plan for beating C9 on the map and no footage to review and find their weaknesses. But that also meant C9 were untested on Pearl, while G2 were demonstrably proven.
Whatever C9 had planned for the map apparently fell apart after G2 chose their agents and juliano locked in a surprise Yoru pick. Right off the bat, juliano was able to confound the C9 players, singlehandedly faking for her team and creating pressure across the map, then teleporting over to her teammates.
C9 lost the pistol, won their full buy, and proceeded to lose five more rounds immediately after that. At 7-1, G2 looked unstoppable. A heroic 3K from Jazzyk1ns allowed C9 to finally take a second round, but G2 struck back with two of their own. In round twelve, Bob won one more round for C9 after winning a 1v1 against juliano, ending the half at 9-3 with G2 leading.
G2 juliano's Yoru pick was something C9 struggled to counter. (Photo by Wojciech Wandzel/Riot Games)
The second half saw the pistol again go in G2's favor, drastically reducing any hope of C9 White coming back. A Barrier Orb from mimi propelled G2 into a successful 4v5 retake and defuse even though Bob was still alive. That was only the beginning of mimi's stellar defensive half, and just a few rounds later she won her team the bonus by pulling off a successful 1v4 retake with a Bulldog. She gave her team map and series point, and her teammates cleaned up the following round for a flawless defensive half to win 13-3.G2's mimi was a whirlwind of destruction on Pearl and Breeze.
G2 Gozen had inflicted C9 White their most staggering defeat to date.
Despite C9's loss, Bob played exceptionally, leading the server in player rating, ACS, kill differential, and ADR. But G2's mimi was just behind her, leading the way for a Gozen squad that outplayed C9 White as a unit.
With this, G2 have guaranteed themselves a place in the upper finals. C9 White, on the other hand, will have to battle their way through the lower bracket for a second chance to contest G2 for the crown of best Game Changers team in the world.
The Game Changer Championship will head over to the other side of the bracket tomorrow. Brazilian reps Team Liquid Brazil Team Liquid Brazil Brazil Rank #4 will face off against East Asia champions FENNEL GC FENNEL GC Japan Unranked , while another EMEA and NA matchup will go down, with Guild X Guild X Europe Rank #5 taking on Shopify Rebellion GC Shopify Rebellion GC North America Rank #3 .
Tomorrow's matches are: