Cloud9 Academy introduced its new roster ahead of the NA Academy 2020 Spring Season.
Riot Games is giving the Academy players more time in the spotlight this year. The changes in the format include Academy games on the main LCS days and adds Monday League Night, a broadcast that mixes Academy and LCS games.
Teams want to capitalize on this opportunity and are investing into strong rosters that can be competitive. Almost every team in the league changed its academy roster. While some organizations are going for a team full of veterans, others are giving the rookies a chance to take the stage.
Cloud9 Academy is one of the teams that is going for a veteran-focused approach. The team recruited talent from Australia to complete a roster that will look to keep the winning streak in the Academy league.
Fudge and k1ng are joining the team after a successful year with Mammoth in the OPL and an appearance at the 2019 World Championship. Mammoth had to go through play-ins and fell short in the group stage. Regardless of its final standing in the event, it was a major breakthrough for the roster. Out of the five starting players at Worlds, four were recruited by teams outside of Australia.
“Going from Oceania to North America is a huge step in League. Also, Cloud9 is a huge organization. To be able to join it is big for me,” Fudge said.
Inori is no stranger to the LCS stage. The jungler played for teams like Phoenix1, Team Liquid, and Dignitas until his unofficial retirement in 2017. Inori confessed that finding a new team was not easy after 2017. He joins Cloud9 Academy with a new attitude and many years of experience under his belt.
Palafox has been part of the Academy league scene since he was drafted in Scouting Grounds back in 2017. The mid laner was originally intended to be signed by Clutch Gaming Academy but ended up joining OpTic Gaming Academy instead, and Cloud9 Academy will be his third team so far. In 2019, Palafox was part of the Golden Guardians Academy roster that made it to finals in summer.
Diamond is the last remaining member of the 2019 roster. Diamond has been active since 2014 and has played with multiple small teams until he landed on Cloud9 Academy back in 2018. In 2015, Diamond and Inori played together for a brief period of time for TSM Darkness.
The team is being coached by former pro player Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin. The players shared their enthusiasm and expectations about the 2020 competitive season.
“All of us are really competitive players and we’re also very skilled. I think having a great coach like Reignover will stir us in the right direction for success. We’ll definitively be a top team, I’m confident,” Inori said.