While Cloud9 ravages the LCS, Cloud9 Academy has been following closely in their footsteps. After a shaky 2-4 start, they rattled off 12 straight wins to finish 14-4 and 1st place in the LCS Academy Spring Split. Oddly enough, the main Cloud9 roster also managed 12 straight wins.
LCS Academy uses the same playoff system that the LCS used for years. First and Second place both get first-round byes and play the winners of the first round. In the second round, Cloud9 defeated TSM Academy 3-1 to advance to the Finals. They are playing Evil Geniuses in a possible LCS Finals preview, with Evil Geniuses battling FlyQuest to see who plays Cloud9 in the LCS Finals.
But who are these players that are continuing the winning ways in the LCS Academy League?
Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami is a first-year import from Australia who locks down the top lane. He spent season 9 on MAMMOTH of the Oceanic Pro League (OPL), culminating with a World Championship appearance. Like most wildcard regions, MAMMOTH did not make it out of the Play-In Stage. They finished last in their group, with CIS representative Unicorns of Love and Vulcan led Clutch Gaming advancing to the main event. He left MAMMOTH with ADC player k1ng to join Cloud9 Academy in December 2019.
What is Fudge’s playstyle? He is a jack of all trades. His most played champion during the regular season was Ornn where he posted a 87% win rate over eight games. Interestingly, in the eight games of Ornn, seven of them have occurred when k1ng chooses an immobile marksman, with the seventh being an Ezreal game for k1ng. Although this screams tank duty, he also played Sett and Camille consistently, posting a combined 83% win rate.
Rami “Inori” Charagh is a jungler who has been in and out and bouncing around the LCS since Season 5. He has made main stage appearances for Dignitas (Seasons 5/6) Phoenix1 (Seasons 6/7) and Team Liquid (Season 7). He brings the experience to the team with only Diamond having more than two seasons experience on the team.
Inori is a very team focused jungler. He has been a participant in one-third of First Bloods in games he plays, while only being the victim less than 6% of the time. Inori tends to be on pick/gank oriented champions such as Elise, Rek’sai or Jarvan IV, which he excels on. He has a 8.5 KDA on both Jarvan IV and Elise and 5.8 on Rek’sai while maintaining an undefeated streak on all three.
Starting in the midlane is Christian “Palafox” Palafox. Another graduate of the 2017 Scouting Grounds, Palafox actually played on Team Ocean Drake with Blaber and Vulcan during the tournament.
Although, barring any physical issues with Nisqy, he most likely will not get a chance to reunite with his old teammates. Although he was drafted by Clutch Gaming, he never played a game with Vulcan and joined Optic Academy instead. At the end of season eight, he left and joined Golden Guardians Academy, played two splits with them and joined Cloud9 Academy at the end of Season 9.
Palafox loves his burst mages, Syndra, Zoe and LeBlanc account for half of his games played with a staggering 89% winrate on either of the three. He has amassed 102 games played in the Academy League, utilizing 32 different champions and still maintaining a 52% career win rate. In his most recent game, Game 4 against TSM Academy, he led the team with a 17/2/7 KDA on Kassadin, probably the most bursty of all burst mages. That game is a shining example of how dominant Cloud9 Academy is, the game can be viewed here.
Coming from MAMMOTH of the OPL with Fudge is Calvin “k1ng” Troung at the ADC position. K1ng has been in the OPL since Season 4 accruing three consecutive World appearances from Season 7 to Season 9. He held the record for most games played on Dire Wolves of the OPL at 208, before Ryan “Chippys” Short passed him earlier this split. He has the most World appearances on Cloud9 Academy with 3, and only MAMMOTH teammate Fudge as the only other player with a Worlds appearance.
K1ng excels on immobile marksmen. His 2 Ezreal games are the only games he played this split on a champion with a dash or blink. Thankfully, or most likely by design, his support has been on peeling champions. This allows him to make mistakes and be as aggressive as he wants with a “get out of jail free card” appearing every couple seconds.
Jack, the CEO of Cloud9, must have an obsession with French-Canadian Support players. Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme, hailing from Montreal, on the main roster and now David “Diamond” Berube, originally from Quebec, on the Academy roster. Diamond has spent the last 8 seasons bouncing around Academy level and below leagues. He was actually an ADC until the beginning of Season 8 where he switched over to Support. Diamond made his professional debut in Season 9 for Cloud9 in a victory over Clutch Gaming and, that’s right, Vulcan. Meaning Diamond currently is leading the head-to-head series against Vulcan 1-0.
Maybe it’s something in the water up there or maybe its main roster coach Repeared’s influence, but Diamond’s champion pool is nearly identical to Vulcan’s. His two most played champions are both part of the Vulcan special, Nautilus and Tahm Kench. Diamond’s sole responsibility is to make sure k1ng does not die. Basically, he plays an “escort the VIP” mission all split. Which is typical for supports, but different than Vulcan, as Vulcan is more about map pressure than lane pressure.
Side note, Diamond is a great follow on Twitter, his handle is @C9Diamond.
Best of luck to the Cloud9 Academy team in their Finals matchup on April 17th.
As a reminder, Evil Geniuses play on April 18 to decide who plays Cloud9 on April 19th for the LCS Spring Championship.
All player history info can be found on Cloud9 Academy page via Gamepedia.
Any statistics are sourced from Games of Legends’ Cloud9 Academy page.
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