With the North American Academy Spring Playoff finals coming up this Thursday, let’s look at Cloud9 Academy and see which players will have the best chance at getting a coveted LCS starting spot next split.
Robert “Blaber” Huang
This is an easy one. Blaber has been Cloud9’s go to sub since he broke out on the scene in 2018. He helped the team to the World Championships last year but hasn’t seen the stage that much this split.
He held a vision score per minute of 1.84 and was ahead in creep score at 15 minutes 66.7 percent of the time in the spring split. In his 18 games for the Academy squad he played 12 different champions.
Cloud9 will likely look to keep the budding talent, but I could see him being the next Juan “Contractz” Garcia. He could jump to another team while Cloud9 somehow develop another North American jungle talent in his absence.
David “Diamond” Berube
Diamond is a Canadian player that has been around the professional League of Legends since 2012 and has played under the IDs Kabigon and t3azer. He has played in the academy league before, back when it was the Challenger Series, but never saw much success.
Now in Cloud9’s Academy team Diamond has shown that he can hang, if not flat out beat, all of the other bot lanes in the league and even some in the LCS (see Cloud9 v Clutch in week 9 day 2). He had a vision score of 2.23 per minute over the course of the Academy league and showed a proficiency for early lane aggression, especially on Thresh.
He could be picked up by teams looking to beef up their bot lane with a more aggressive support like CLG, 100 thieves, or Optic Gaming. Optic may be a bit of a stretch since it seems like their supports are there more for shot calling and communication but having a decent lane support is better than having two mediocre shot calling supports.
Ziqing “Kumo” Zhao
Kumo, formerly known as Shiro, is an American player that was drafted by Cloud9 in the 2017 NA Scouting Grounds. He has been with the team for two years and has been doing well in the Academy league, averaging a KDA of 3.9 through the 2019 Summer Split. He also has a Creep Score differential of +7.6 at 15 minutes and has done that in 61.1 percent of his games this split.
Kumo is a residential talent that Cloud9 has no need for. There is currently a top lane talent drought in the league and with Kumo holding that coveted residential status, teams should be looking at him to at least tryout for their team in the coming months.
Follow Declan on Twitter: @DickyMclaughlin
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