Unfortunately for the boys in blue, 100 Thieves got the better of them on the Rift this past weekend. One of the standout players for 100 Thieves was ex-Cloud9 Jungler Juan “Contractz” Garcia. He made his LCS debut with Cloud9 in Spring 2017 and has bounced around the LCS and the Academy league as well. Contractz is in good company of LCS players who made their first appearance in the LCS with Cloud9.
Cloud9 are quickly garnering praise with their history of developing young and new talent. Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam and Colin “Kumo” Zhao are two of the younger talents that started with Cloud9. Who are some of the more recognizable faces that launched their LCS careers with Cloud9? Two of the more familiar faces are Jensen and Meteos.
The starting midlaner for Team Liquid had originally made his North American debut with Cloud9 way back in Season 5 (2015) Summer Split. Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen played under the Cloud9 banner for three seasons before departing to Team Liquid. Jensen helped Cloud9 reach the World Championship in each of his three seasons. In his final year with the organization, Cloud9 made it to the semi-finals, the furthest a North American had progressed since Season 2.
Before joining Cloud9 Jensen was a coach for SK Gaming in the European Championship Series. Rarely someone goes from coach to player and has the amount of success Jensen has obtained. This is because prior to joining Cloud9 Jensen was actually permanently banned by Riot due to toxic behavior. At the time he was one of the most promising up and coming talents, which is why he took to coaching. Even though he could not actually the play the game, not utilizing his superior game knowledge would be a waste. Over two years after the ban was handed down, Riot rescinded the ban and he joined Cloud9 shortly after.
While playing under Cloud9, Jensen helped the team to 3 Worlds appearance yet he did not win an LCS title until joining Team Liquid. Cloud9 posted three straight Regional Finals championships, allowing the team to qualify for Worlds each year. Even though they would barely qualify for Worlds, Cloud9 would consistently have the best finish of all LCS teams.
Jensen’s eventual departure from Cloud9 came after a Summer Split when the whole roster was substituted out for the Cloud9 Academy roster. After spending nearly 3 years as the undoubted midlaner for Cloud9, it is understandable if this sudden uncertainty led to Jensen deciding to leave Cloud9 for Team Liquid, helping Liquid to 4 straight LCS titles.
William “Meteos” Hartman is one of the “OG Cloud9” members. Upon the acquisition of Quantic Gaming’s roster by Cloud9 prior to Season 3, Meteos started his storied Cloud9 career. Spanning 4 seasons, many fans still see Meteos as a Cloud9 member and always will.
His career with Cloud9 started on a fluke prior to the beginning of Season 3. When then Cloud9 member Jason “WildTurtle” Tran asking him to substitute in for Cloud9’s starting jungler. The same WildTurtle that is currently the bot lane carry for FlyQuest/FlyQuest Academy. Ironically, Meteos lasted longer with Cloud9 than WildTurtle, who left before Season 3 started.
Meteos remained the starting Jungler for Cloud9 through Season 5 Spring Split, when Cloud9 moved Hai “Hai” Lam to the jungle role in order to make room for newly signed Jensen. Hai and Meteos split time during the summer session of Season 5. Meteos was not selected to join the team for Worlds 2015, with Hai going instead. Cloud9 announced they would be forming a Challenger team, equivalent of an Academy team, around Meteos. The team never came to fruition and Meteos sat out the 2016 Spring Split. Once summer started, Meteos was back on the Cloud9 roster. Again Cloud9 made it to Worlds and lost in the Quarterfinals, as Cloud9 traditionally does.
Meteos’ accolades as part of Cloud9 include 3 Worlds appearances, back-to-back Split Championships and 3 regular season first place finishes.
Prior to the start of the 2017 season, Meteos left Cloud9. Meteos then joined Phoenix1, replacing now Cloud9 Academy Jungler Rami “Inori” Charagh, who took a personal leave of absence. He helped Phoenix1 to a third place finish in spring and then a lowly 10th place finish in summer. Due to their low finish in summer, Phoenix1 and Meteos were not eligible for Worlds 2017. He left Phoenix1 after the Summer Split concluded.
The 2018 season saw the inaugural season for the LCS franchising and four new teams; Optic Gaming, 100 Thieves, Golden Guardians and Clutch Gaming. Meteos joined 100 Thieves along with veterans Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho, Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black and Phoenix1 teammate Ryu “Ryu” Sang-wook along with the promising Cody “Cody Sun” Li-Yu. They soared to the top of the LCS and finished 1st in the league but lost to the developing storm known as Team Liquid in the Spring Finals.
After only six games into the Summer Split, Meteos was traded to FlyQuest, who did not have room for Meteos and sent him down to their Academy team. Meteos left FlyQuest after leading their team to a semifinals loss to Cloud9 Academy.
New season, new team for Meteos, this time on Optic Gaming for the 2019 season. After missing the playoffs in Spring, Optic sneaked into the playoffs as the 6th and final seed. Unfortunately they were swept in the first round by CLG 3-0. He left after the split ended and before the beginning of the 2020 season Meteos joined 100 Thieves, hoping to right what may have been wrong. In the first steps towards redemption, Meteos and 100 Thieves finished Spring Split 2020 in third place but lost in their first appearance to TSM.
Featured Image is of Cloud9 CEO Jack Etienne courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr.
“From Our Haus to Yours”