League of Legends: Cloud9’s losses are a blessing in disguise

▲ Image Source: Cloud9


Cloud9’s League of Legends team has lost more matches in the month of July than the first six months of 2020 combined. Losses to 100 Thieves, Evil Geniuses, and Team Liquid see Cloud9 tied for 1st place with TL in the 2020 League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split. Cloud9’s only two losses before this summer occured once in the Spring Split at the hands of TSM, and again in a 3-1 victory over Evil Geniuses in the Spring Playoffs.


Cloud9’s previous level of dominance over the rest of the LCS is being called into question after being made mortal this month, but to question whether C9 is still the best team in North America is ludicrous. If one is to look at Cloud9’s three best-of-one losses in the Summer Split, what can be read between the lines of the final outcome is encouraging for those looking for C9 to have a strong international performance should the 2020 World Championship go on as planned.


Draft Deconstruction


In all three of Cloud9’s losses, it’s important to look at how the Draft Phase played out. First, let’s look at the compositions C9 took onto Summoner’s Rift:



vs 100 Thieves


TOP — Jayce
JG    — Jarvan
MID — Cassiopeia
BOT — Wukong
SUP — Senna


vs Evil Geniuses


TOP — Sett
JG    — Lee Sin
MID — Syndra
BOT — Ashe
SUP — Bard


vs Team Liquid


TOP — Shen
JG    — Hecarim
MID — Sett
BOT — Sona
SUP — Lux



That’s not to say that Head Coach Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu is simply inting the draft, however. All three of these compositions are acceptable in a vacuum, but what all of them have in common is that they do not play to Cloud9’s strengths as a team.


In the loss against 100 Thieves, Cloud9’s composition featured the bot lane pairing of fasting Senna and Wukong and that was popularized in the League of Legends European Champonship by MAD Lions AD Carry Matyáš “Carzzy” Orság and Support Norman “Kaiser” Kaiser. Unlike MAD, Cloud9’s pairing featured AD Carry Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen on the Wukong with Support Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme on the Senna. 


One of the key aspects of C9’s bot lane strengths is their consistency in being able to translate advantage into pressure across the map, especially in the form of Vulcan’s roams. Vulcan is a fine Senna player, but Senna has more traditional AD Carry champion qualities than she does as a Support champion. She isn’t the type of champion that’s going to enable Vulcan to roam for plays in C9’s other lanes. 


Mid Laner Yasin “Nisqy” Dincer on Cassiopeia is similar to Vulcan on Senna. Nisqy is a great Cassiopeia player individually, but Cloud9 is at its best when Nisqy is able to make plays on roaming champions. The most dominant form Cloud9 shows is when the entire team can enable Jungler Robert “Blaber” Huang to be a juggernaut running through the enemy team….

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