The LCS has gone through a lot of changes for the 2021 season. The format is different, the league has rebranded and most of the teams have almost entirely new rosters. This should be a new era for the LCS for a lot of reasons and heading into the Spring portion of the season (no longer known as a Split), teams will be looking to show that they made the right moves. Next up, the 2021 LCS Spring preview for the North American powerhouse Cloud9.
The 2020 season for Cloud9 was historic until it wasn’t. To start off the year, Cloud9 simply rolled through the NA competition. The team cruised to an easy 11-0 start to the Spring split, until they finally lost their first match against TSM. Cloud9 did eventually lose another map to Evil Genius’ in the Spring Split Semi-final, but that would be the only map they would lose in the bracket on their way to a Spring Split Championship. Just to truly cement their place in LCS history, the entire Cloud9 roster was voted to the 1st All-Pro Team – including coach Reapered.
The LCS Summer Split started with more of the same. Cloud9 continued their dominance through nine games, with their first loss of the Split coming at the hands of 100 Thieves. It was at this point that the winds began to shift for C9. The next few weeks they split matches. They eventually finished the season with a second-place finish and a 13-5 record. Though a successful Split for most teams, Cloud9 seemed to disappoint viewers with their uninspired play and overall lack of urgency in their matches.
Then the impossible happened. Not only did Cloud9 lose their first-round match against FlyQuest, they failed to even crack the top-three in the Summer Split. Their failure to perform at the end of the year cost them their ticket to Worlds for the first time ever.
The full schedule is still not known. Only the Lock-In teams have been revealed along with the dates for when the team plays in the regular season. They do not include who they face or at what time.
Predicted Lock-in Placement: 1st and 4-0 in Groups
Cloud9 certainly did not lose the offseason this time around. C9 shocked the North American scene by acquiring G2 star Perkz from free agency. The mid-laner who had swapped to ADC is now back to his old stomping ground in the Mid lane and teams need to be ready. Perkz is one of the few players to appear in Worlds on multiple roles. If Perkz can perform up to his known-potential, Cloud9 will have no trouble sweeping through groups.
The other addition to this team is the promising top-laner Fudge. While dominant in his time with Cloud9 Academy, the Lock-In Tournament will be Fudge’s chance to truly prove he’s the real deal. Fudge has the luxury of joining a team that already displayed their ability to compete with the best. The best-case scenario for C9 is seeing Fudge decisively win lane in multiple matchups.
Predicted Spring Placement: 2nd
Potential Range for the Team: 1st – 3rd
Realistically the skies the limit for Cloud9. Despite losing Licorice and Nisqy, the core of the 17-1 Cloud9 is still here. Blaber, Vulcan, and Zven are ready to retake the throne and hoist the Spring Championship trophy once again. The only issue that Cloud9 could face stems from the entirely new coaching staff. Mixing in both new players and new staff usually results in some early-season hiccups, and Cloud9 could find themselves in starting off a little slower than fans would expect.
If everything clicks right away for Cloud9, the rest of the LCS could be in some serious trouble. Perkz and Blaber could very well be the scariest mid-jungle combination in league history when they eventually sync up. As the season continues, the team chemistry will build and Cloud9 will become the most promising team coming out of NA since, well, Cloud9 of last year.
Featured image courtesy of Cloud9
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