I kid you not, I saved Cloud 9 until the very last because I didn’t think they would make it even close to the end of the group rounds in the League of Legends World Championship. Yet, here they are, the lone North American team left in the competition.
On Thursday, the quarterfinals begin at The Chicago Theatre. The quarterfinals are known as the Knockout Stage where teams will transition from the round robin style of the Group Stage to a best of 5, single elimination bracket. Starting things off at 5pm is C9 vs Samsung Galaxy. If they win, they will advance to the semi-finals to face H2K or surprise Wildcard team, Albus NoX Luna.
C9 is loud, incredibly unpredictable, and gritty. All things that could spell victory as quickly as they can spell defeat. Thanks to a timely loss by Flash Wolves, C9 limped into qualification with a less than stellar 3-3 record. Let’s meet the team.
It was practically impossible to find a team picture with the current members D:
Impact joined C9 after leaving Korean gaming giant, SKTelecom T1. Impact tends to play solo for most of the early game. He likes to bully lane opponents with his tanky style and keen map awareness. Now, whether this playstyle was by design or developed out of some serious communication issues that have plagued C9 throughout the season, we will probably never know. Either way, it’s working. Impact is the front liner a rogue team like C9 needs as he can easily make up for any small mistakes the team may make with his champions’ sheer brute strength.
Oh, Meteos. After a few embarrassing performances on Lee Sin in the early rounds of the Group Stage, much to the ire and delight of fans, Meteos has proven that his jungle style is more than effective, it’s dominant. Meteos plays the steady gold game which is often overlooked until late game for the average jungler. This play-style allows him to buy better items and scale harder than his opponents, helping him to keep a 7.5 KDA (WHEN NOT PLAYING LEE SIN AND MISSING 1500 Q’s).
C9’s mid-laner has taken a little longer than normal to settle into his role with the team. Most of this can be attributed to the up and down nature of C9’s entire lineup for the past few seasons as they have had a bit of drama within the team composition. Now that he has found his place with the crew, Jensen is blowing the competition out of the water. So far in Worlds, though, he hasn’t shown up as the 20 Kill Jensen we saw in the Summer Split. The pressure of Worlds could have been a factor for his sub-par performance so far. Hopefully, making it out of the Group Stage will provide the confidence Jensen needs to shine.
Sneaky is one of the most joked about LoL players today (at least until teammate Meteos played Lee Sin). Sneaky is a decent ADC, but by far not the backbone that this team could use in that position. He is an extremely late game developing player, so if his team struggles early, his whole meta seems to fall apart. He also tends to be dominant on only a few champions, making him easy to counter. However, when one of his champs like Jhin, Sivir, or Ashe get through the ban phase, his opponents better fear for their lives.
C9 support is another position that was in flux far too often for comfort. Smoothie has been sharing the role with Bunny FuFuu for most of this year, but has taken the full-time job as of late. His lack of playtime and synergy with the team is a little worrisome. His play-style, however, is mechanically sound. He lanes very well for a support, which pairs well with Sneaky’s poor laning phase. Smoothie also plays well with both ranged and melee champions, which has made him proficient at protecting and predicting his teammates moves. Worlds will show us what this rookie is made of.
Hai is forever bae.
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