When looking at a 17-1 record that number that stands out the most is the one. One loss in 18 games is nothing to shy away from, but nonetheless there is still at least one mistake that led to the one loss. Cloud9 has made multiple mistakes, fortunately, none have been catastrophic. Cloud9 has had no lack of confidence this split. But there have been multiple times when their confidence has come to haunt them. But two stood out more than the others.
Cloud9 vs TSM Week 4
One of their first mistakes was in their game against TSM in Week 4. Very early in the game, before the 4-minute mark, Robert “Blaber” Huang tried to catch Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett capturing the Scuttle Crab. Immediately Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg’s Renekton and Yasin “Nisqy” Dincer on Qiyana respond and they have a 2v2 scrap in the river. After the dust and water settle Bjergsen walks away with a Double kill and Dardoch with his life.
What went wrong and why did Cloud9 engage an early game Renekton, one of the scariest early game champions? First, 2 minutes earlier Nisqy forced Bjergsen to use his flash to prevent a death, and the 5-minute cooldown had not yet expired. Nisqy also used his Ignite during this encounter, which would have killed Dardoch or inflict significant damage on Bjergsen. Second, Blaber entered the fight double-buffed up, which would help with burning down Dardoch. That plan did not quite happen as Nisqy arrived just a few seconds too late. TSM focused Blaber and both buffs were shifted over to Bjergsen.
How It Should Have Went
What should have Cloud9 done? Before Blaber jumped on to Dardoch, Bjergsen had teleported back to the midlane. Nisqy ran to safety and made no attempt to engage or harass Bjergsen after the teleport finished. Had Nisqy hit him a few times in an attempt to distract or slow him down the outcome of the fight may have been better for Cloud9. Although, Nisqy was not in a position to grab the water element to actually slow Bjergsen’s movement speed, attacking him would have caused a split second hesitation and would have led to Blaber killing Dardoch. Nisqy also should not have followed Bjergsen into the battle. Nisqy felt he could burst down Dardoch enough for Blaber to grab the kill, but Nisqy underestimated the damage from Bjergsen. If he had to follow him, he should have followed through the river brush that had a Cloud9 ward in it instead of the long route through the blue side jungle. This path would allow him to pick up the Water Element and then use it to apply a slow to Bjergsen.
Fortunately, as with most Cloud9 mistakes they made up for it with sheer pressure later in the game. With that level of aggressiveness, mistakes are expected.
Cloud9 vs 100 Thieves Playoffs Round 1 Game 3
Following an amazing 4-man death bush in the bottom lane 50 seconds into the game, Cloud9 quickly squandered their lead by giving a kill over to 100 Thieves. This 3v3 fight for the Red Sentinel was not played optimally by Cloud9 and should have been a 2v2 with a 1v1 on the side.
How did they lose this skirmish? Both Nisqy and Blaber participated in the bottom lane surprise attack, which only gave them a lead in the mental category. They both recalled and bought no items, although they didn’t really have enough gold to buy anything anyways. Also, all combatants were level 1, making this an even fight. Their biggest mistake was focusing on William “Meteos” Hartman’s Jarvan IV. Meteos at this point had very little damage when Nisqy hit him with the Sleepy Trouble Bubble. Focusing the champion hit by the Bubble is 100% the right move, but Kim “Ssumday” Chan-Ho’s Aatrox poses a bigger damage threat than a level 1 Jarvan IV.
How It Should Have Went
How should Cloud9 have played the fight? First off, they should have let 100 Thieves take the Red Sentinel. Respond by taking their Red Sentinel and then gank bottom lane again to increase Jasper “Zven” Svenningsen’s lead. Cloud9 initiated the fight but in an extremely disjointed way. While Eric “Licorice” Ritchie was walking up to Meteos and begin the engagement, Nisqy was still posturing with Tommy “ry0ma” Le’s LeBlanc. This made the fight 2v3 for the vast majority of the fight. Had Nisqy been more aggressive with his positioning, LeBlanc would have committed to trading with Nisqy’s Zoe. Creating a 1v1 that Cloud9 has a higher chance of winning, and evening the odds in the main fight.
Thankfully, this allowed 100 Thieves to catch up, instead of putting Cloud9 behind.
Make no mistake, Cloud9 has made a number of other, much more minor errors. These errors occurred before the 5 minute mark of each game, increasing the chance of them spiraling out of control.
Featured Image is a screenshot from “Playoff Bracket Predictions & Votes for MVP of the 2020 LCS SPRING SPLIT | C9 LoL Roundtable” on Cloud9’s YouTube page.
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