Group A at Worlds was decided early, with C9 being the biggest loser of the day. The LCS squad opened Friday’s action by suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of Griffin. From there, G2 Esports scored a victory over Hong Kong Attitude that mathematically eliminated Cloud9 from advancing to the knockout stage.
Before Worlds 2019, C9 was considered the LCS’s best team when it came to international events. Even if they looked shaky in regional play, the team could be counted on to make it to the top-eight if they qualified for Worlds. The best example of this came last year when Cloud9 advanced to the semifinals by scoring a convincing victory over LCK representatives Afreeca Freecs.
Many were expecting Cloud9 to do the same this year. Unfortunately, the incredibly strong competition in Group A stacked the deck against them right from the start. The North American squad still had a chance in the group, but failed to perform up to their potential throughout the event.
Robert “Blaber” Huang was the starting jungler for two out of the three matches, leaving 2019 LCS Summer Split MVP Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen on the bench. Starting Blaber over Svenskeren raised several questions but it turned out that this might have been the right decision.
In the match versus Griffin, Svenskeren looked completely lost. The jungler was a non-factor throughout the entire game and became a nuisance later on.
Though Svenskeren’s poor performance at the event was a surprise, he wasn’t alone in that regard. Most of the team either struggled or made key mistakes to cost Cloud9 wins.
Eric “Licorice” Ritchie, who is considered the best North American top laner, had a mediocre showing. Svenskeren couldn’t compare to the likes of Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski and Lee “Tarzan” Seung-yong.
Perhaps the worst-performing member of the team was Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi. The bottom laner played two mages and Sona, with those champion picks coming at the expense of Cloud9’s ability to close out games. In their game versus G2, Sneaky played Cassiopeia and had zero kills and seven deaths by the end.
C9 will have to take a real look at its roster heading into the 2020 LCS Spring Split.