Perkz, Cloud9 top Team Liquid in Mid-Season Showdown finals
After a competitive split in North America, the final was a rematch between the LCS Lock-In winner Team Liquid and first seed from the regular split Cloud9. For Team Liquid, the final was a bit different as jungler Lucas “Santorin” Larsen had to sit out due to health issues. This meant another game for Jonathan "Armao" Armao, who helped Team Liquid defeat TSM in the lower-bracket final prior to the final. Despite his lack of experience with the team, Team Liquid had plenty of tools to work with.
The first game of the final lived up to all expectations. Cloud9 got ahead in the early game thanks to great plays by jungler Robert “Blaber” Huang, but Team Liquid didn’t let the star players snowball. After a few misplays from Cloud9, Team Liquid was suddenly back in command and could start playing in its late-game comfort zone.
As the late-game fights started coming, Team Liquid mid laner Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen and bot laner Edward “Tactical” Ra started to take over. It took over 40 minutes to find a winner, but it was ultimately Team Liquid who clutched the victory and gained an unexpected lead in the series.
Cloud9 once again got off to a good start in game two, but history repeated itself. With superior execution and coordination, Team Liquid started to win out in team fights after exiting the laning phase and secured an early baron buff. At that point, it looked like Team Liquid would cruise to another victory but Cloud9’s team fight composition suddenly came online. With Malphite, Orianna, and Hecarim, Cloud9 pulled off one great team fight after the other until securing a much-needed victory to tie up the series.
With a tied-up series, anything could happen. Team Liquid went back to a scaling team fight composition, which ended up paying dividends. Cloud9 got a few kills in the early game, but never enough to start snowballing. This meant plenty of win conditions for Team Liquid in the late game and it wasn’t wasted. Even though Cloud9 made it hard once again, Team Liquid secured the victory after a game-winning Shockwave from Jensen on Orianna.
No one would have expected Cloud9 to have its back against the wall after three games, especially not with Team Liquid having to use a substitute in the jungle for the second day in a row. Even with Armao as a substitute, it was suddenly Team Liquid’s series to lose.
For game four, Cloud9 slowed down the pace and went for a more macro-focused approach. This gained Cloud9 the early dragon priority, resulting in the Mountain Soul and later on the Elder Dragon. The buffed-up Cloud9 squad was too strong for Team Liquid to fight against, forcing the final into a game five.
With everything on the line in game five, Cloud9 went for an innovative level-one strategy resulting in first blood for bot laner Jesper "Zven" Svenningsen. Cloud9 pulled an unexpected lane swap to shut down Barney "Alphari" Morris on Cho’Gath from the get-go and it paid off.
A 1,000 gold lead in just five minutes had Cloud9 looking to snowball the game to victory and Cloud9 didn’t slow down. Team Liquid still had good scaling as a win condition, but Cloud9 kept pressuring to seal the deal before Team Liquid got a chance to scale. After 27 minutes, Cloud9 set in the last push to secure the final Nexus of the split.
With this win, Cloud9 secures yet another title with Perkz winning his first LCS title after one split in the region. The next step for Cloud9 will be the Mid-Season Invitational, where they will go up against teams like DWG KIA and MAD Lions. Cloud9 will be placed in group C alongside LCK, LLA, and LJL teams, guaranteeing a rematch between Perkz and DWG KIA’s Heo “ShowMaker” Su.
Who plays for Cloud9 in LCS 2021?
After failing to qualify for the 2020 World Championship, Cloud9 made drastic changes to its LCS lineup in the offseason. Cloud9 went all in by picking up G2 Esports star Luka “Perkz” Perković, in the hopes of reclaiming the LCS throne in 2021 and chasing an international title.
The Cloud9 2021 LCS roster is:
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