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Cloud9 Make It Out Of The Play In Stage, How Can They Fare?

Photo via Riot Games/Getty Images

Written by 

André González Rodríguez

Posted 

10th Oct 2021 13:57

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North American League of Legends fans can take it easy for the time being as, after a few scares, Cloud9 have qualified for the main event at the 2021 League of Legends World Championships. The team stamped their ticket after flattening the LCOs, PEACE. 

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Cloud9 were put into what was thought to be the more contested of the two play-in groups at Worlds. A group that contained Japan’s DetonatioN FocusMe, Turkey’s Galatasaray Esports, the PCS’ Beyond Gaming and an international mainstay, the CIS’ Unicorns of Love. It was doable, but it had high potential to not be easy.

Once the tournament play started though, the doable started to show up, as Cloud9 cleaned house with their first three opponents: DetonatioN FocusMe, Beyond Gaming, and Galatasaray Esports. They were poised to go perfect and gain easy access into the main stage of the tournament until past known quantity, Unicorns of Love, rained on their parade prior to taking an early exit from Worlds. This meant that Cloud9 now had to play against DetonatioN FocusMe in a tiebreaker - the winner got auto qualified into the group stage, while the loser had to play through a knockout stage. 

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Unfortunately for Cloud9, the Japanese representatives got hot at the right time and took the tiebreaker. This loss forced Cloud9 to have to wait for the winner of PEACE and Red Canids (from the other group) in the qualification round. Cloud9 ended up completely demolishing PEACE in the qualification round with a swift and decisive 3-0.

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How Can They Fare

With that win, Cloud9 were placed into the main stage’s Group A. Out of all of the groups, this can be classified as the most top-heavy group in all the tournament. Not only does it contain the reigning 2020 World Champions and 2021 MSI runner ups, DAMWON Kia, but it also has China’s FunPlus Phoenix, a team that was poised to take the LPL summer finals until they blundered it. Both of these teams are heavy favourites to take the tournament. That’s not all as the LEC’s Rogue round out the group, they are no slouches either.

During the spring, Cloud9 relied heavily on their MVP-winning jungler, Robert “Blaber” Huang. His early-game aggressive playmaking and suffocating playstyle became a focal point for the team. This landed Cloud9 yet another dominant spring, a second year in a row. Blaber wasn’t all though, as their mid-laner, Luka “Perkz” Perkovic, although had to get used to playing the role again, was contributing his fair share with his own strong performances. The rest of the team put in work as well - the team finished with three of their players in the First Team All-Pro list.

Photo via Riot Games/Getty Images
Photo via Riot Games/Getty Images

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Come MSI, all that was showcased during the spring was lost. And like Blaber, the team failed to recoup after a poor start to the midseason tournament. This ended up spilling over to the summer with the infamous “post-MSI hangover” and it was just not good for the team. Fortunately for them, although they had many regular-season woes, they were still able to qualify for Worlds as the third seed. 

This fast-forwards us to now. Cloud9 were able to get into the main stage and are put in a tough group, but can rely on what they’ve shown thus far. There are several x-factors for this Cloud9 team, but two in particular need to continue the level of play that they’ve showcased thus far - Blaber and Perkz. 

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As mentioned earlier, Blaber was a huge part of their spring success and their MSI performance, and now he’s a part of their Worlds play. In order for Cloud9 to continue doing well, Blaber needs to keep playing at this level, it helps the team fire on all cylinders. Apart from him, Perkz has been slowly ramping up as the tournament has gone on, a good sign for a Cloud9 team that needs to heavily rely on him as their backbone. Of course, there’s the rest of the Cloud9 squad: the bot lane needs to keep playing consistently and Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami should keep improving. 

All in all, this Cloud9 has one of the higher ceilings from all of the rosters that the region has showcased at Worlds, it’s time for them to show why. 

 

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100 Thieves At League Of Legends Worlds 2021 Group Stage

Images via Riot Games/Getty Images

Written by 

André González Rodríguez

Posted 

17th Oct 2021 21:26

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