Sneaky might be one of the faces of Cloud9 but his spot in the squad is evidently not secure. The bot laner remains a top tier player, but many believe his lack of impact has been hindering Cloud9’s chances in the 2019 LCS Summer Split. With that in mind, the team decided to switch things up in week eight.
Cloud9 Academy player Matthew “Deftly” Chen started on Saturday versus FlyQuest. The former Golden Guardians bot laner has been having a good season so far, so it was only a matter of time before Cloud9 decided to use him in the LCS.
“We are looking for a seven-man roster for playoffs and for the future so Kumo and Deftly are most likely competing for that spot. Giving them time to play and prove their worth is the process now,” said head coach Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu in a sideline interview.
In the past, Cloud9 had jungler Robert “Blaber” Huang and mid laner Greyson “Goldenglue” Glimer as the two substitutes. The plan is changing in the current season, as Reapered confirmed that Goldenglue is no longer the main option for the LCS team.
Top laner Ziqing “Kumo” Zhao played four matches in weeks five and six when Eric “Licorice” Ritchie was out due to health issues. Despite not being the starter in the Cloud9 Academy, Kumo showed that he can go head to head with the best top laners in the LCS.
Deftly’s first test did not go well as Cloud9 lost in 29 minutes, but not everything is lost. The defeat had to do more with FlyQuest’s improvement than Cloud9’s new roster.
On Sunday, Cloud9 needs to bring their A-game to the stage versus Team Liquid. With only three games left in the season, Cloud9 can’t afford another loss. They still have to go through Golden Guardians and OpTic Gaming, two teams that can’t be underestimated.