Welcome back from a very long month and a half break from the LCS. Cloud9 will look to continue their Spring dominance throughout Summer, resulting in a Worlds berth. Between Worlds 2019 and Spring 2020, Cloud9 traveled to South Korea to boot camp against LCK teams. The plan was to return to South Korea between splits again, but travel restrictions thwarted this plan. Part of their success can be derived from this boot camp. Will the lack of quality opponents come back and harm Cloud9? Only time will tell. One fact remains, Cloud9 are the reigning champions and have a huge target on their backs.
Previewing Week 1
FlyQuest: 0-0 (0-5 vs Cloud9 in Spring Split)
As always Riot puts the most anticipated games in the first week. This split is no different as the two teams who played for the Spring Championship will have their rematch on the first day. Cloud9 will be looking to repeat their last meeting with a clear and well-deserved victory. This result isn’t some hot or borderline insane take, Cloud9 have not lost to FlyQuest since the end of July 2019.
There weren’t any major roster changes since their Finals bout, meaning this is a true rematch. Colin “Solo” Earnest took over after the benching and eventual departure of Omran “V1per” Shoura to Team Dignitas. This swap was finalized in the Spring Playoffs and worked against nearly all teams, except Cloud9. Eric “Licorice” Ritchie is still streets ahead of Solo and without a doubt will rub this fact in Solo’s face. Also returning is FlyQuest bot lane duo Jason “WildTurtle” Tran and Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun, who do pose a threat to Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme. But, as demonstrated in the playoffs, Vulcan can cool IgNar’s fiery playstyle allowing Zven time to bulk up with experience and items. Other than the top lane switch, FlyQuest’s Spring roster is returning, including the dominant mid Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage. This leads to a very interesting matchup with Yasin “Nisqy” Dincer.
Player To Watch: Yasin “Nisqy” Dincer, Cloud9
Nisqy’s main goal will be to continue exerting map pressure as he successfully showed in Spring. PowerOfEvil had his struggles against the top mid laners during the Spring Split. Nisqy is without a doubt one of the best midlane presence in the LCS and if PowerOfEvil doesn’t create a lead he can spread to the other lanes, it will spell doom for FlyQuest. No pressure though.
Prediction – Cloud9
100 Thieves: 0-0 (0-5 vs Cloud9 in Spring Split)
Last time these two met was the first round of the Winner’s Bracket in the Spring Playoffs. Cloud9 cruised to an easy 3-0 victory over 100 Thieves, sending 100 Thieves to play TSM who would eventually knock 100 Thieves out of the playoffs.
Bot Lane will be a volatile lane, which is perfect for Zven and Vulcan. If William “Stunt” Chen is the starting Support for 100 Thieves, Zven and Vulcan will feast on the 100 Thieves bot lane. Arguably, those are the players who opponents least want to give any lead to, which can be exemplified by Zven’s 11.6 KDA from Spring. Mid Lane will see Nisqy taking advantage of the newer, but more experienced this time, Tommy “ry0ma” Le. There is still a significant experience gap between these two, but ry0ma has been showing signs of improvement. Jungle difference will not be as much of a factor, even though it will be big in this game. Reigning MVP Robert “Blaber” Huang has and will continue to outclass William “Meteos” Hartman around the map, but Meteos will pay special attention to the Top Lane.
Player to Watch: Eric “Licorice” Ritchie, Cloud9
Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho pulled 100 Thieves kicking and screaming into the Spring Playoffs, and expect him to try to do the same this split. His determination to win and succeed will make this an important lane to watch. But watching Ssumday is not what’s important, it’s how Licorice will react to the pressure 100 Thieves will bring to the top lane. Ssumday is their win condition and Licorice needs to take the pressure, form it into a little ball and eat it like a cookie.
Licorice earned All-Pro honors last split not only because Cloud9, but he also showed his ability to play without intervention. Top Lane is Licorice’s domain and those who enter will feel his wrath.
Prediction – Cloud9
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