Cloud9’s spring 2020 run almost gave birth to history as the team went 17-1 losing only to long-time rivals, Team SoloMid. However, with the NA LCS moving on to the Summer season retaining their Spring 2020 lineup, C9 is looking towards dominating the league to achieve what has never been achieved before in North American League of Legends and that is to go 18-0 in an entire series proving once and for all that the current C9 roster is the best North America has ever produced.
Cloud9’s Miracle Debut
Forming the new Cloud9 roster was extremely controversial with the departure of long-time start AD Carry and “Face of C9”, Sneaky, from the position. Filling in his shoes was TSM’s Zven who had a very questionable performance in the 2019 league which made C9 fans very frustrated that a player like him was made to be Sneaky’s replacement. The departure of Svenskeren and Zeyzal, who were key members, made the fans believe that Cloud9 was done for sure.
As the Spring 2020 Spring split started, everyone was surprised to see how dominant the team performed in their first week after they defeated last year’s champions – Team Liquid. The performance thereon gave life to the C9 fans as this new roster seemed to feel unbeatable. Zven had redeemed himself from the mistakes he made on TSM and felt like the top tier player he once was back in the LEC.
As the weeks were closing in, there were only a few games left to play. The entirety of NA including the fans, analysts, and players themselves felt like C9 would go 18-0 after the split. However, at the beginning of Week 7, the under-performing TSM had a miracle run as they dominated C9 through every single of moment of the game giving them their first and only defeat of the season.
While it was only fitting that TSM would be the ones to deny them of their glory, C9 fans were still disappointed especially since their rival team was struggling throughout the season. Surely, the organization didn’t see this negatively but a chance to prove themselves as the best. Surely, Cloud9 ran through the competition winning the LCS Spring Split in a decisive fashion as they beat FlyQuest in the Finals 3-0.
The Summer Split Rundown
With a successful Spring Split run, the organization saw no need to change the current roster of players and decided that they will be starting the same 5 players they had in Spring. This proved to be effective as they once again take down FlyQuest in the first match of the Summer Split. Again, the team continued to steamroll the competition, taking down every other team in their path putting them at the top of the leaderboards at 8-0.
One thing to note with this 8-0 standing is that C9 has yeat to face TSM. This is schedule for Week 5 of the Summer Split, ending the first round robin of the series with a much awaited rematch between the two rivals. So far, TSM has been doing good with a standing of 5-2 tied in second place alongside Team Liquid. While C9 doesn’t have anything to worry about, there is still a chance that TSM might pull another upset against Cloud9.
Meet the Players of C9
Cloud9 has been around since the establishment of the North American LCS back in 2013. With the departure of Sneaky, the original five players of C9 have all been retired from their respective roles in the team. This introduces the new era of C9 players which creates a new era for old and new fans to look forward to in the future. Of course, today is the best time to learn about C9’s starting roster in-depth.
Top Lane – C9 Licorice
Eric “Licorice” Ritchie was acquired by Cloud9 at the end of the 2017 season making him the member who has been with the organization the longest. As C9’s toplaner, he has contributed to the success of the organization making clutch contributions in the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He was promoted immediately to the starting roster alongside Svenskeren who was acquired from TSM as well.
Licorice spent his early career playing in the Challenger series where at one point he became a member of Cloud 9 Challenger. It was only with eUnited that Licorice found success and C9 saw his potential as a solid Top Laner. With Impact joining Team Liquid, Licorice was given the opportunity to play for C9 where he finally made his debut as a professional League of Legends pro.
Jungle – Blaber
Blaber was considered a diamond in the rough since the beginning of his career with C9 on 2018. While he had excellent mechanics, killer instincts, and good knowledge of the game, he was simply too uncoordinated with the team and was considered too trigger happy. The organization’s coaches saw potential in him so they dedicated their time to train him to listen to shotcalls and become patient with his plays.
When Blaber was put into the starting lineup in 2020, he proved that all the time he spent training with the coaches were well-spent. He became more patient and less uncoordinated but was still the aggressive jungler everyone knew him to be. During his 2020 run, Blaber was considered the best NA jungler to have ever played in the Summoners’ Rift. Even now, he continues racking up MVP titles and dominating the competition with #JungleDiff.
Mid Lane – Nisqy
Nisqy was the starting Mid Laner for the LEC team, Splyce throughout 2018 where he was eventually replaced with Humanoid. Nisqy became an addition to the Cloud9 gang in 2019 after superstar mid laner, Jensen, decided to move to Team Liquid. His transition in the team became easy as he proved to be a great addition to the team rivaling the skills and mechanics of C9’s previous mid laner.
With the 2020 roster coming together, he found better success with Blaber as his jungler who complimented his riskier yet hard-hitting roaming playstyle. The duo had hard control over the entirety of the map being able to respond to threats in the side lanes with their quick reflexes. Currently, Nisqy is one of the strongest mid laners in North America rivaling even Bjergsen in terms of skills, mechanics, and instincts.
AD Carry – Zven
Zven’s entry to C9 was controversial due to his underwhelming performance with TSM. The infamous Ezreal Scuttle moment made Zven a living meme for the months to come. He wasn’t received well by the fans of the organization especially Sneaky loyalists who were not ready to embrace the change. Despite being one of the best AD Carries in the EU, he would have to live that one season for the days to come.
Fortunately, when the 2020 season started, Zven played differently from when he was in TSM. His aggressive in-your-face playstyle was greatly in tune with his support, Vulcan who was ready to jump at a moment’s notice. He received 5 MVPs alongside his teammates Nisqy and Blaber. Finally, Zven was free from the silly image he had built while he was with TSM and managed to prove that he is a true contender for the best ADC in the west.
Support – Vulcan
Vulcan was a key member of the Clutch Gaming roster which made it as NA’s 3rd seed in 2019 despite underwhelming performance of the rest of the team. He helped the team win most of their fights with the perfect setup plays sacrificing himself for the benefit of the team. Sadly, his aggressive playstyle wasn’t complimented much with a conservative ADC so he would dive in alone which became a point of ridicule.
At Cloud9, Vulcan thrived with the presence of an AD Carry who was willing to play as aggressively as he was. The presence of Blaber also let him play confidently in the bottom lane without worrying too much on ganks from the opposing side. Despite being more of a facilitator, he still plays an important part in keeping Cloud9’s strategy in tact by willingly sacrificing himself to set up for his team’s success much like in his time with CG.
The 2020 All-Star Team
The All-Star teams mostly comprise of the best players in the region in their respective roles. In the case of the North American 2020 All-Star 1st team, all the positions were filled up with only the five players from Cloud9. This proved how dominant all the players were during the run in Spring 2020 where they went 17-1 to secure the top seed. Their coach, Reapered, also played a big part in the success of the team in general.
Despite the Covid-19 halting physical eSports events in the country, C9 managed to pull through the competition. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to lift the trophy in front thousands of fans after their victory. Hopefully, by the end of the Summer Split, the situation will have become better so that they can finally lift the trophy up if they manage to win the competition again for the second time.
North America’s Competitive Series
When you look at players like Blaber, Vulcan, and Licorice who participated and got scouted from the NA Challenger series, it gives hope that aspiring players may also have the chance to fulfill their dreams to become professionals. To achieve this, you must first take the leap of faith and play in a foreign region which in this case is North America. So how do you start you journey to become an LCS player?
Becoming a pro-player in the LCS comes when the top talent is scouted through the NA Scouting Grounds. This is easily achieved when you buy a Level 30 Unranked smurf to start climbing the NA Ranked ladder with an ELO you get to build for yourself. Prospective players who show potential in their respective lanes get to qualify for the NA Scouting Grounds and get the chance for their dreams to finally come true.
What are the benefits of a smurf account in NA?
NA has one of the highest counts of smurf accounts among any region. This is the best place for players to interact with an English-speaking community that is known for its competitive series. Having a smurf account in NA will help you climb the ranked ladder faster since you’ll be starting at Level 30+ and have a neutral ELO to start with. This means that you won’t be paired up with players who are unfamiliar with the game or those that are extremely good in it.
The Future of Cloud9 at Worlds 2020
Worlds 2020 is just a few months away and since North America will be sending 3 representatives to the World Stage, it is sure that Cloud9 will be one of the 3 that will bring glory to the LCS. However, with the thick competition that comes with the rise of LPL teams, the continued dominance and consistency of both LCK and LEC, the LCS teams may be faced with challenges like no other before it.
Of course, if NA has a chance to beat these teams as the underdog region, no other team is more suited to bring down the gauntlet than Cloud9 themselves. Even though the actual event is still relatively far away, we can already see the success of this new NA team going farther than it ever has before. After all, Cloud9 has always defended the honor of NA and defied the expectations of those that count them out.
Cloud9’s success will be dependent on whether they can adapt to the fast-paced meta the rest of the world is playing right now. Luckily, these are playstyles that Blaber, Zven, and Nisqy are all keep on using in their games. Coordination and drafting will be their biggest friends when the time comes that they’ll need to defeat the titans of the world. The pressure will be very high for these players. Of course, no challenge is too hard for those who like playing at high stakes.