On Wednesday, Cloud9 announced a bold move they made. Long standing LCS starters Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi, Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen and Andy “Smoothie” Ta have moved down to the Academy team for week one. This move shocked many, and HausMate
C9A v FLYA Game Recap
The draft stage unfolded in a very typical patch 8.11 manner. No marksmen and very aggressive picks characterized both team compositions. First blood was secured by C9 Bobby “Blaber” Huang, who absolutely dominated the early game. Throughout the early skirmishes around mid and top, he was able to secure leads for all three of his lanes. His counterpart FLYA Andy “AnDa” Hoang had difficulties making an impact for a while. His Nocturne ultimates were ineffective early and had minimal game impact.The most notable lead on C9A was on Ziqing “Shiro” Zhao, who played the snowball top laner Riven. He was able to exert massive pressure on side lanes and group with his team when needed.
The first breaking point of the game came during a dragon fight, where C9 Smoothie’s Alistar initiated a team fight which secured C9A multiple kills and another mountain dragon, one of three they ended up securing. FLYA was able to make some picks with Juan “JayJ” Guibert’s Pyke onto multiple members of C9A, which closed the gold gap quite a bit. The weaknesses of FLYA’s composition became clear in their attempts to take Baron Nashor. Without Mordekaiser’s dragon ghost, their damage to the neutral objective was abysmally low.
After Sneaky and Smoothie died to a mid lane tower dive, FLYA turned to Baron. While Sneaky was still on death timer and Smoothie still running from base, C9 Shiro makes a hero play. During the time C9 Blaber’s Trundle tanked their team and C9 Jensen lands strong poke, C9 Shiro jumps into the thick of FLYA to get a five member stun and land massive damage. After this, he and the rest of the team were able to chase down the remaining members and secure Baron. The game ends quickly after this, C9A cleanly takes the nexus after a convincing team fight win.
C9 Academy Players Impressions
The C9 benched players Jensen, Sneaky and Smoothie had satisfactory performances. Jensen was able to absorb a lot of pressure in the mid lane and exert pressure of his own against lane counterpart Issac “Pekin Woof” Marconis. His damage was very high and was able to have great impact on team fights. Smoothie had some great engages and was able to disrupt team fights, despite being caught out a few times. Sneaky had an underwhelming game overall, his Brand pick ended up farming most of the game and did adequate damage in fights. He overall had a relatively small impact on the game, but was able to play his role and not be abused by FLYA.
The star Cloud9 players were ultimately outshone by the Academy players. Blaber had tremendous impact on his laners and the game as a whole. He always seemed to know where to be, and snowballed the early game for his laners. Shiro was perhaps the star member though, with his Baron play being one to remember. The pressure he had on side lanes was great, and he was unstoppable in the one versus one. Contrary to what many C9 fans expected, the LCS players followed the academy members most of the time.
Overall, we may see some signs as to why C9 benched some of their star talent. Sneaky seemed uncomfortable doing anything besides farming and team fighting, due to playing a mage without the ability to siege, a characteristic inherent to ADCs; he simply farmed for most of the game. Smoothie, perhaps used to more typical metas, was caught off guard and killed a few times. The overall pressure on games is quite different in patch 8.11, and perhaps these two have had a difficult time adjusting. Jensen was commanding in the mid lane on Zoe, but it is hard to draw conclusions because he wasn’t drawn in by the craziness of 8.11 picks.
Now that the benched players have played, it will be exciting to see how the Academy players perform on the LCS stage. Though Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer and Yuri “Keith” Jew have experience on said stage, they haven’t found much success in the past. They take on Clutch Gaming tomorrow night, quite a challenge seeing as Clutch ended in fourth place last split. Furthermore, it is likely that their performance will heavily influence the roster moving forward.
To watch the full stream of the game, visit Cloud9’s YouTube Channel. To watch the NA LCS, visit watch.na.lolesports.com. For more information on the split, teams, standings and players, visit www.lolesports.com.
Featured image via Riot Games and LoL Esports Flickr.
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