Cloud9’s pockets seem to be bursting at the seams with talent. Since the start of the summer season, Cloud9 has featured four different permutations of their starting lineup. Normally, this sort of bold flexibility would be applauded by the community, but it does come with the prerequisite of maintaining a certain level of success. Though C9’s players all bring something unique to the table, it doesn’t seem like cohesion and consistency are among them.
The decision to bench flagship players Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi, Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen, and Andy “Smoothie” Ta to this day remains a topic of heated debate. Regardless of whether it was the correct decision or not, fans must admit the bind the team was facing. Post-spring season, C9 looked liked a
shadow of their former selves. Going from championship contenders to a team that seemed to barely function is definitely enough to cause management to scramble for an optimal solution.
Throughout the season, Cloud9 looked to find success while simultaneously attempting to refine their roster. A team’s results can suffer, sometimes greatly, at the hands of performance tinkering. Unfortunately, this seems to be the case for C9. While C9 looks to be weeding out problems, their lack of cohesion is definitely showing.
Cohesion or no cohesion, C9 fans were treated to another silver lining. If you are familiar with the Eye in the Sky series, Robert “Blaber” Huang has received heavy praise for his performance in the Academy scene. With desperate times calling for desperate measures, C9 fans were excited to see a bold new face take on the Jungle role alongside Sneaky and Jensen.
Blaber‘s LCS debut certainly started strong, as C9 took an upset win over reigning NA champs, Team Liquid. His play brought a tempered aggression that C9 desperately needed. His early game was filled with more skirmishing, while the the mid and late game didn’t see the usual slowing down that had plagued C9 all year. Combined with a monstrous performance by Eric “Licorice” Ritchie’s Poppy, C9 was able to walk away with a much needed win.
The weekend was not all sunshine and rainbows. Their match against Optic proved that the team still has a lot of work to do. Despite featuring a Kled. Sejuani, and Rakan, C9 criminally under utilized their dogpile engage comp. Throughout the match, C9 rarely looked to try and start fights through the use of their long ranged engage. Their passive approach allowed Optic to play towards their win condition of Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage’s Talon to get big and do as he pleased
C9’s bot lane continues to be a mystery. Sneaky, a world renowned marksman, has been struggling to play ADC’s in this current meta. Meanwhile, Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam looks to be struggling with the increased level of competition found on the LCS stage.
Thanks to the NA LCS becoming upset city, C9 still has a shot at playoffs. Whether they can pull it together or not will be the real question. Blaber‘s performance showed a lot of promise, but he still has a lot to learn about playing on the big stage. Zeyzal also has big shoes to fill after the heartbreaking news of Smoothie’s departure to Echo Fox.
Will C9 continue into next week with a solid roster, or will there be more changes? Tune in next week to find out! Until next time, be sure to keep your eyes on the sky!
Featured Image courtesy of Riot Games. Images courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr