Another week down means another Eye in the Sky! Stepping into Week 2 of summer, Cloud9’s two teams stepped into battle once again. With last week’s break-even results, both Academy and LCS squads looked to try and outdo their counterparts. Any result, no matter how small, could mean the difference between a spot on the starting roster.
C9’s wayward players hit their opponents hard. Against 100 Thieves Academy, Cloud9 showed no mercy. C9 Academy jungler Robert “Blaber” Huang continued to show some impressive skill. On Sejuani, Blaber was able to run circles around Đỗ “Levi” Duy Khánh and keep 100A guessing on what C9’s next move was. Considering the amount of synergy that Blaber has already displayed with Cloud9’s star players, it would be hard to argue against him making the big step to the LCS stage.
While the match against the Thieves Academy proved to be a walk in the park, the match against Golden Guardians Academy proved to be much more difficult. Both teams drafted compositions that somewhat negated the other. While Cloud9 Academy drafted for hard engaging fights, Guardians Academy drafted for more drawn out combat. This at times created a situation where the two teams could not fight and opted to perform a League of Legends version of a Benny Hill chase scene, instead. When the fighting was actually taking place, C9 sometimes struggled to gain a meaningful advantage. Eventually, Cloud9’s Academy team was able to pull together and work their way to their first 2-0 week of the season.
Big stage, big problems
The LCS roster looked to show that their places on the starting roster were genuine as they faced against Golden Guardians and 100 Thieves. Sadly, their results proved less than confident on the subject.
In both matches, Cloud9 was able to accrue early advantages easily. Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen was able to use his keen instincts to coordinate early game plays that allowed C9 to take the driver’s seat. Unfortunately, Cloud9 seems to be terrible drivers. In their match against Golden Guardians, C9 could have easily closed out had they not put on the brakes when they were at their most powerful. Their poor mid and late-game decision making transformed their exemplary blowout into an unacceptable dud.
Against 100 Thieves, the team showed similar signs of struggles. While Cloud9 was able to be smart in the early stages of the game, they once again became lost after the twenty-minute mark. This also marks the second match in a row where Cloud9 had decided to not ban late-game terror, Kai’Sa. Whether it is overconfidence or merely unfortunate planning gone awry remains a mystery. What is clear, however, is that Cloud9 has yet to really conquer the Daughter of the Void, and that is a troubling sign.
If C9 is not able to find some sort of guidance for their late game, they will not get very far this season. With several fans holding the current roster under a microscope, it seems like an impossibility.
As Cloud9’s search for post-twenty solutions continues, everyone around them searches for a reason to stand by the current roster. While the team is certainly trying their best, their results are less than stellar. That is not to say that the entire team is without direction.
Eric “Licorice” Ritchie and Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer have both shown their value in their respective roles. Both players are able to create immense pressure and gather individual leads. Leadership-wise, Svenskeren’s instincts and Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam’s strategic thinking have shown that Cloud9 has the potential to be an unstoppable force. This roster’s only worry is the ever-present threat of time and continued poor results.
For those looking for the original three, you may not have to wait long. Cloud9’s Week 3 matches are against LCS rivals Team SoloMid and Echo Fox. Considering the magnitude of these two matches, the added assurance of star power would not exactly hurt Cloud9’s chances for success. The only caveat to this scenario is that bringing back the big names will not entirely guarantee success. Flashing back to this year’s spring season, the previous starting configuration displayed the same problems that are currently being displayed.
We will just have to wait and see what Cloud9 decide to do. Until then, thank you for reading and be sure to keep your eyes on the sky!
Featured Image courtesy of Riot Games. Images courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr