Cloud9 is joining Team Liquid and 100 Thieves in South Korea after their sweep of TSM today in the NA LCS Regional Finals.
TSM was looking stronger than ever after their dismantling of Echo Fox. It wasn’t even a close series, with the perennial NA LCS champs sweeping Echo Fox with ease. It was looking like they found improvements in multiple areas of play. For example, rookie jungler Jonathan “Grig” Armao was surprising everyone with his smart ganks and prowess on Gragas. Their macro was also very impressive, taking apart Echo Fox with every decision they made. The team was also playing at a very proactive rate, something that TSM has not done in many seasons. Fans of the team were getting excited over the prospect of another Worlds appearance.
However, Cloud9 were looking for redemption after getting swept in the NA LCS Summer Finals against Team Liquid. The bright lights of Oakland must have gotten to the rookies of the team, as they weren’t able to perform up to standard. However, they were still ready to prove that they are one of the best teams in the region. Their top laner Eric “Licorice” Ritchie has been very consistent through the whole split and they would need another standout performance from him again.
It was a complete change of fortune for TSM, who swept Echo Fox yesterday. Game one was the closest game in the series, with TSM even jumping out to an early lead. They would make some good choices to retain their gold lead and would remain proactive going into the mid game. However, like we have said before, trying a new playstyle out will always bring on mistakes. This proactive style of TSM is new to many of the members, and they would flub up a few risky plays in the late game. These faults would allow Cloud9 to climb back into the game. Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi and Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen would remain safe behind their tanks. Game one, Cloud9.
Game two and three was a great example of objective control from Cloud9. Even though TSM would find small team fight victories, Cloud9 would answer back with towers and buffs. The boys in blue would break out a few compositional combos, first with the Nocturne/Galio duo. They would manage to pick off and engage perfectly, with no answer from TSM. They would also control the minion waves well, which has been a problem of TSM’s for some time. Multiple games have ended where TSM has lost via a big wave in a side lane pushing to their nexus. Cloud9 would take control over dragons and objectives very easily with their expert wave manipulation.
Finally, they would also bring out a unique counterpick with Licorice’s Hecarim. It was a great pick against TSM’s Aatrox, which was clearly a priority for the team. Cloud9 would take their time, move slowly and deliberately, and take games two and three with relative ease.
TSM has a lot to think about for this upcoming NA LCS year. It is clear that some of the roster changes they made are not panning out. I expect TSM and Reginald to replace Grig for next season. He has been a weak point for the team for almost the whole season and if he wants TSM to be a top-tier team again, he must find a world-class jungler. Although the former “Best in the West” botlane of Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodríguez had a lackluster year, I expect them to return. With a better jungler to help enable the side lanes, TSM could very well rise back up to the top of the NA LCS again.
Meanwhile, Cloud9 has made it to Worlds once again. They now join the likes of Team Liquid and 100 Thieves as the three teams to bring glory to North America. We will need to see if the rookies of the team can stand up against the best the world has to offer. All the action will go down when the World Championships begin in South Korea this October!
What do you think of Cloud9’s victory over TSM? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! If you want more NA LCS coverage, check us out here!
Born and raised in Toronto. Sometimes a writer. Sometimes a creative director. Sometimes bored. Catch me with hundreds of unplayed games in my Steam library.