Cloud9 changing their starters
The organization Cloud9 has been a staple to the North American scene since they entered in Summer 2013. Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi has been a part of this org and has started for 10 consecutive splits for C9 until now. Announced earlier today via the Cloud9 Twitter, the Cloud9 roster will be Academy League players Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer, Yuri “Keith” Jew, and Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam for mid, ADC, and support respectively.
— lolesports (@lolesports) June 13, 2018
In a video from C9 owner Jack Etienne and head coach Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu on the Cloud9 YouTube channel, they explain why the change is happening. Reapered said “The Academy team is working super hard, like impressively. So they were showing us the passion about the starter spot, so we give them a chance.” Etienne also added “We wanted to put together the best possible team for our week one stage and these players are our best players to put on stage.”
The team’s history previously
The previous splits for C9 have started Nicolaj “Jensen”Jensen mid, Sneaky ADC, and Andy “Smoothie” Ta supporting for about four consecutive splits now. This change is surprising given how well the team performed in spring. Given that starting top laner Eric “Licorice” Ritchie was a rookie in the spring and C9 just added jungler Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen, ending with a fifth-sixth finish along with an amazing split should have given C9 fans hope for the summer. C9 in the spring surprised many by holding a first-second race with Echo Fox and only started going downhill the last weeks of the split. C9 faced eventual split champions Team Liquid in the quarterfinals, where the team lost 3-0. With only 18 games in the best-of-one splits, these changes are going to need to be met with results.
Goldenglue was previously on the Team Liquid roster back in 2016 and 2017. The mid-laner would see some starts on stage, but was eventually replaced by ADC Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin when TL did not perform well.
Cloud9 will be playing Clutch Gaming and OpTic Gaming during week one, so it is possible for the new roster to succeed. With Jensen, Sneaky, and Smoothie starting in the Academy League, it is also likely that they will be stomping the academy competition.
The current state of the Meta
Another possible reason for this change is the dramatic change to the meta as seen in the LoL Pro League, and the League Champions Korea. Teams like SK Telecom T1 and the Afreeca Freecs have been playing compositions that do not include a traditional marksman. SKT played Darius mid, Lulu bot along with Shen bot against the AFS bot lane of Yasuo and Rakan. It seems like the meta unfolding might better suit the new starters, but that will be up to how the team performs.
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