C9 had a pretty extraordinary weekend, if you can believe it. While the London Spitfire were making Overwatch League history, the League of Legends arm of Cloud9 seized victories of their very own. Could the writing be on the wall for the troubled esports orginization?
C9 had to face two big rivals over the weekend. Both TSM and Echo Fox have become heated rivalries due to the competition surrounding C9 and playoffs. Whenever these teams face off, sparks always fly.
Cloud9 clearly came to play against their longstanding rivals, Team SoloMid.
The match heated up through the drafting phase, where Cloud9 were able to snag comfort picks like Mundo and Kindred, while also turning up a few surprises in Quinn and Lulu. In the other corner, TSM drafted around heavily layered CC to dog-pile on a target and quickly create uneven numbers. These plans were foiled by C9’s compositional safety. TSM’s engages were usually delayed just long enough for C9 to perform a counterattack. Eventually, C9 were able to leverage their higher damage and put their opponents on the defensive. From there, C9 was able to walkout their first win of the week.
Brother Against Brother
The Echo Fox match on Sunday was drenched in drama. Andy “Smoothie” Ta took to the LCS stage as a foe instead of a friend. Smoothie looked to take revenge on his former team and prove that he is the superior Support player.
Regardless of your opinion on the Smoothie-C9 situation, everyone can admit that the match had everything: a spurned teammate, fan favorites seeking redemption, and a whole lot of bloodshed. Smoothie was definitely out for blood. His early game performance on Braum allowed his team to hoist themselves to a 10-1 kill advantage.
This may have actually led to their downfall, adding to the savory melodrama. Looking at Echo Fox’s gold allocation, the majority of it went to either Smoothie (playing Braum) or Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett (playing Rengar). While this was fine for gaining early advantages, the team as a whole began to suffer. If the carries are constantly having gold stolen away by more support-oriented roles, they will never be very threatening regardless of how many kills a team has.
Though in an unfavorable position, C9 were able to dig deep. As the game went on, Cloud9 began winning more and more skirmishes. Thanks to some astounding gameplay from Eric “Licorice” Ritchie and Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen, Cloud9 were able to turn the tables on their foxy rivals.
While Cloud9 is able to flex their muscles through highly sophisticated talent like Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi and Jensen, the majority of the team is made up of young rookies. Licorice, Robert “Blaber” Huang, and Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam have had little to no LCS experience. Considering the overwhelming nature of their current situation, the three young guns are taking things in stride.
Looking to their most recent set of games, Zeyzal and Blaber have managed to persevere through some tough challenges. Consider the Echo Fox game, for instance. C9 were down a massive amount of kills and the two rookies were missing every skillshot they cast. While many would begin to get ever more frustrated with each missed shot, Blaber and Zeyzal were able to show their mental toughness by not waffling to the pressure. As their match went on, Blaber and Zeyzal’s play improved more and more. On the other-hand, Licorice has went from promising rookie to LCS superstar overnight. From struggling on Tanks to being able to play just about everything to an extremely high level, Licroice has been one of the big contributing factors to C9’s sparse victories. In a short time, the rookie has shown that he can contend with some of the biggest top lane talent in the NA region without breaking much of a sweat.
Given Cloud9’s record for molding and developing talent, there is no question Zeyzal and Blaber are in good hands. The only question for them is how long will it take for them to reach the same level as their teammates. As long as they are willing to show continuous drive and improvement, C9 will give them tireless patience and assistance.
Until next time, be sure to keep your eyes on the sky!
Featured Image courtesy of Riot Games. Images courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr