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Cloud9: 2019 Summer Split Preview

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Coming into Summer Split, Cloud9 are looking to avenge an unexpected exit from last splits playoff match against TSM, which they had a 2-0 lead in but ended up losing 2-3. Most fans are wondering if Cloud9 can get it together and have a successful Summer Split where they can either qualify for Worlds as the #1 seed or hope to get more Summer Split points then TSM and qualify as the 2nd seed? Eventually, the Gauntlet run will get old for the organization.

The team finished 14-4 and got into playoffs as the 2nd seed, but unable to do much with that benefit of a week off after losing the 2-0 lead as mentioned earlier to TSM. The team had tough outings against Team Liquid and dropped (surprisingly) games against CLG and Echo Fox. Despite the bump that was the semifinal match, Cloud9 are still looked at as one of the strongest teams in NA and they are looking to remind everyone in the LCS of such statement. As of this writing, no changes have been made to both the main roster and the Academy team.

Roster Breakdown

Eric “Licorice” Ritchie | Spring K/D/A: 3.4 | Spring K/P: 50.3% | Most played: Urgot

Licorice has been regarded as one of the best NA talents that the region has seen and also in the discussion as the best toplaner in NA. Despite coming in as a rookie last year, Licorice has definitely made a name for himself as he can go toe to toe with other NA toplaners and come out top. He also has had the rookie luxury of international experience at Worlds 2018 and had some good performances for his young career.

Image result for c9 licorice
Image Courtesy of Invern Global

One thing that can be pointed out as a flaw to Licorice is that there’s not many toplane carry champions in his pool, other than a few Viktor games and one Akali game, although there could be an argument made for Aatrox as a carry champion. Also the fact he wasn’t much of a factor during the semis can bring up the question of: Can Licorice carry the team? However there’s a lot to be happy with in his performance overall so far and he is trending upward. If he’s able to add toplane carry champions in his pool, one can expect his numbers to shoot up to the top.

Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen | Spring K/D/A: 3.2 | Spring K/P: 71% | Best W/R champion: Nocturne

After a 2018 Summer Split in which he was demoted to the Academy team halfway in, Svenskeren rebounded tremendously during Worlds 2018 and definitely improved his play during last Spring Split. With Jensen leaving for TL, Svenskeren seemed to have more map freedom and ability to assist his other lanes more often than usual. While Cloud9’s shot-calling system is more democratic, Svenskeren has definitely made his voice known which he gave credit to Blaber for the recognition of having a stronger voice.

Image Courtesy of LoL Esports

There’s not much of a downfall one can point out with Svenskeren. Although it could be said that when he’s behind he struggles to make smart decisions and can dig himself and even bigger hole. Also his performances against Team Liquid were definitely very INTeresting.

Overall, Svenskeren is definitely the most improved player on Cloud9. Based on the way he performed last split, Cloud9 fans can look for nothing more but a positive trend upwards for him and the confidence in his play.

Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer | Spring K/D/A: 6.7 | Spring K/P: 72.4% | Most played: Zoe

Imported from EU once again, Nisqy landed with Cloud9 as a replacement for Jensen and he definitely had a lot to fill from the former Cloud9 midlaner. So far, Nisqy is definitely working his way up to the status of Bjergson and Jensen in the sense of having dominance in his lane, roaming effectively and having the focus of carrying the team.

Image result for c9 nisqy
Image Courtesy of Invern Global

Nisqy did struggle a bit in lane during the split in some games. His coordination with the team is one of the positives for him and it’s crucial to have good coordination skills in such an important role. He has a good sense of carry performances (his Zoe vs GGS and Taliyah vs OPT) and playing around his team as mentioned earlier. He is willing to sacrifice a midlane lead in order to help out his other teammates.

Overall, Nisqy has some tools that he can definitely refine better but Cloud9 fans should have faith in him. He’s a player looking to become a much more well-rounded midlaner and he is well on his way.

Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi | Spring K/D/A: 5.4 | Spring K/P: 69.3% | Most played: Ezreal

Since joining Cloud9 in May 2013, Sneaky has been the rock of the organization and always one of the most consistent ADCs in the pro scene. Although some might argue he’s already reached his ceiling as a player, Sneaky still pulls in some clutch performances. He continues to have the ability to put Cloud9 on his back and not to mention, he’s pretty darn good at cosplaying.

Image result for c9 sneaky spring 2019
Image Courtesy of LoL Esports

Despite the WOW factor in that, Sneaky did sink a bit in certain ADC stat-lines. His CS Differential at 15 minutes was -6.3, -16 in Gold Differential at 15 minutes and -43 in XP Differential. He also still has that small tendency of biting off more than he can chew in teamfights, C9 vs TSM Game 3 2019 Playoffs for an example.

Despite the drops in certain lane stats, Sneaky still pulls in some really good ADC performances. Sneaky will look to have a better Summer Split and will be looking to add another title in his career as the face of Cloud9.

Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam | Spring K/D/A: 4.0 | Spring K/P: 65.3% | Most played: Braum

Zeyzal was one of those players where when he first came onto the main roster, fans weren’t sure as to why he replaced Smoothie and were more frustrated when Cloud9 eventually traded Smoothie to Echo Fox. But as the rest of the 2018 Summer Split went on, Cloud9 fans eventually warmed up to Zeyzal.

Image result for c9 zeyzal spring 2019
Image Courtesy of Riot Games

One of the reasons is due to his shotcalling in teamfights. This can be heard in teamfights where he gives the assurance to his teammates that this is a fight to take or not and when to disengage in case it backfired. One of the dents in Zeyzal’s beard is sometimes taking a fight he has no business taking. This can be crippling to the team’s chances to take an objective. The lane synergy between him and Sneaky is one of the areas of this Cloud9 team that needs improvement if they want to not only compete domestically but internationally as well.

Overall, Zeyzal is another case, like Licorice, of being a native NA talent that is looking to improve his play. Having the luxury of international experience will help Zeyzal navigate in his young starting career. His peel and vision game are his positives, but if he shores up on awkward engages and lane synergy with Sneaky, Cloud9 fans will be in for a great botlane.

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Follow Richard Farley on Twitter: @rfarley_dude97

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