Thank goodness the LCS is finally here. The Lock In Tournament is fully underway, and Cloud9 finally debuted their exciting new 2021 roster. After months of waiting and speculation, fans were ready to watch the new Cloud9 team perform. Cloud9 certainly put on a show, but there were plenty of takeaways that the team will need to work on as they progress through the preseason tournament.
[Related: Cloud9 2021 Spring Season Preview]
1. The Team is Vulnerable After All
Plenty of people saw Cloud9 as one of the favorites to win the Spring Season this year heading into the Lock In Tournament. The moves Cloud9 made in the offseason certainly set expectations insanely high. When the roster finally hit the Rift, audiences were a bit baffled as to what they had watched. Cloud9 started their 2021 with a loss to Evil Geniuses.
In a back and forth game, Cloud9 couldn’t quite find the right fights to turn around the match. The main issue in the opening game was the apparent miscommunication across the team. It started with a failed re-engage in the mid lane fight and continued to impact the team as the game dragged on. Several times Cloud9 took fights without Perkz in the mid-game, and each fight loss set them back further and further.
Even though it was one loss, against a strong EG team, that game showed plenty of weaknesses from the fan-favorites. The new players looked to have some issues integrating into the C9. The draft also did not do Cloud9 any favors, giving the coaching staff plenty to work on as well. The good news for the rest of the league is that Cloud9 can indeed be beaten, but don’t count on it becoming a trend.
2. The Returning Vets Haven’t Missed a Step
The bad news for the rest of the league is that the returning three members of Cloud9 look great. After the first initial fumble against Evil Geniuses, Blaber, Zven, and Vulcan completely dominated the following two matches. Blaber in particular looked incredible when given carry-style junglers like Taliyah and Kindred. Zven and Vulcan were admittedly a bit invisible against EG, but showed up in a big way once Alistar was available.
The real highlight of the weekend was Zven taking on a much more prevalent carry role after his disastrous performance in the 2020 Summer Split bracket. In both games following the loss, Zven and Vulcan dictated the flow of the bot lane and won several 2v2 fights to swing the momentum for C9. On Aphelios, Zven took control of the late game against Immortals. As the season continues, it appears Zven could be on track to have another amazing Spring in the LCS.
3. Fudge Has a Lot to Prove
The player to really watch going forward in this tournament is Cloud9’s newest top laner. Fudge got off on the wrong foot having to play a losing matchup against one of the most impactful players in the role. The plan from the get-go against EG seemed to have Fudge alone on an island while waiting until the late game for him to just be tough to kill. It didn’t work out, and luckily C9 changed the plan the following day.
However, even on Camille and Aatrox, Fudge had tough lanes against former C9 top laner Licorice as well as another interesting rookie in Revenge. It’s unfair to say that Fudge lost those lanes, but there was an expectation that the Academy call-up would be a bit more proactive in these matches. Chalk it up to nerves or just the anti-top lane game plan – there is still a lot left to be seen with Fudge in the top lane.
Featured image courtesy of Riot Games
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