They are only half way through the year, but Cloud9 has already had one wild year of League of Legends. From the Lock-In Tournament, to the Mid Season Showdown, and finally to MSI – Cloud9 really has looked like a different team in each phase of the Spring split. At their best they could beat any team in the world, and at their worst they could lose in some of the most bizarre ways imaginable. The Spring Champs are looking to defend their title as they head into the Summer split of 2021. With some surprise moves right before the second half of the season, C9 are prepared to power through the LCS 2021 Summer season.
2021 Spring Review
Cloud9 began their season looking quite unpolished. The team looked shaky at times through the Lock-In, but C9 found a way into the finals. Cloud9 came out slow against Team Liquid going down two games early, but somehow they bounced back to force a game 5. Multiple times in the tournament Cloud9 looked incredibly unprepared for their opponents. Fudge in particular caught the most flak from doubters for his poor performance, thanks to his trash talk in the offseason. The expectations for Cloud9 fluctuated between “they should be good” and “they might not make it to the MSS” thanks to their second-place finish.
Any doubt that lingered about Cloud9 quickly disappeared once the Spring season got going. Cloud9 certainly looked to be a lock for a top-3 team in the NA LCS, if not the best team in the league. Blaber, Zven, and Vulcan looked like all-stars out of the gate. Slowly but surely Fudge and Perkz found their groove and propelled C9 to the top of the standings. Cloud9 ran through the knockout phase of the Mid Season Showdown bracket and forced a Lock-In rematch against Team Liquid. In a back and forth series, Cloud9 eventually pulled through to claim their title as the top team in NA. They would then set their eyes on MSI.
Cloud9 entered MSI with high hopes of making a truly strong performance on the international stage. Unfortunately for the rest of the NA LCS, Cloud9 stumbled at the end of the Group Stages when it really mattered. Though it wasn’t all doom and gloom in Iceland for C9. They managed to beat both Damwon Kia and Royal Never Give Up, showcasing that NA can compete with the top teams in the strongest regions. Fudge, Vulcan, and Zven looked great all tournament long, but it just wasn’t enough to escape the gauntlet and the team sputtered to a 3-7 record in the Rumble stage.
[Related: All 2021 LCS Summer Split Rosters]
2021 Summer Roster
There is no typo here – Zven is officially off of the LCS roster and on the Academy team. As of Saturday, May 29, K1ng will serve as Cloud9’s newest ADC. K1ng joins the main roster from Cloud9 Academy. The move came as a massive surprise to every LCS fan as many believed Zven to be one of the more integral parts of this C9 team. This move could prove to be an extremely risky substitution C9 are kicking off their Summer season in a few short days.
A smaller but interesting development is the promotion of Mithy to the Head Coaching position. According to a short video describing the announcement, Reignover will move to an assistant coaching position in order to help maintain his mental health. Viewers saw Mithy take the reins at MSI, and the results were a bit less than ideal. Now is the time for the former pro to prove he can handle the pressure of the Head Coach role.
Predicted Summer Placement 1st
Potential Range for the Team: 1st – 4th
Cloud9 right now need to remind the rest of the NA LCS that they are still the best team in the league. While C9 trained on the MSI patch for the past month, the rest of the league has been grinding and improving behind the scenes. At MSI, Cloud9 essentially played a third seasons’ worth of matches against some of the best opponents in the world. Typically this would be a massive boon for C9. However, all of that game time loses a bit of value now that they have a different member on the roster. K1ng and Fudge have quite a bit of playtime together in the past, but it’s unclear if their previous synergy will carry over into the LCS roster.
For returning members of the C9 roster, it should be business as usual for the MSS Champs. The meta looks like it will remain relatively unchanged as teams head into the next portion of the year thanks to a lack of meaningful changes from the Riot balance team. Cloud9 get the advantage of playing the current meta on stage already, allowing them to potentially even go a step further and game plan potential counter strats to the full-clear jungler meta.
Realistically, Cloud9 should be competing for the number one spot and the first overall seed coming out of NA for Worlds. TSM and Team Liquid serve as the main two barriers to that goal just as they had done in Spring. Although 100 Thieves, and their new coach Reapered, could play spoiler for Cloud9 as well. Despite new players and new coaches, expect Cloud9 to be a familiar face at the top of the NA LCS standings this Summer.
Featured image courtesy of LoL Esports and Cloud9
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