C9 Berserker on ADC meta in the LCS, beating Danny, and Evil Geniuses possible “mental boom”
Kim “Berserker” Min-cheol was a great ADC in Spring, someone who had some of the best stats in the LCS and a lot of potential as a player. After C9’s surprising win over EG, we asked Berserker about his path to beating the best ADC in the LCS.
After what was a rather tumultuous Summer Split, Cloud9 have come out one of the best teams in the LCS. Evil Geniuses were the projected winners for their Playoffs set by a wide margin, yet Cloud9 brought home a decisive 3-1 victory.
To learn more about Cloud9’s improvement over the course of the split and his key role as a hard carry for the team, we asked Berserker about Cloud9’s team environment, his view on the ADC meta, and what it was like taking down Kyle ‘Danny’ Sakamaki after how dominant Evil Geniuses have been since the end of spring.
How Berserker and C9’s teamwork made the dream work
In Spring, interviews with Berserker were conducted through a translator. But, in just 6 months, his English skills are already good enough to do an entire interview in spoken English.
While there was still a translator on hand to help if needed and clarify answers here and there, every word of this interview is directly from Berserker.
The C9 ADC is smurfing on and off the Rift to have learned so much English in such a short time, and we were wondering if that’s improved his play.
“Definitely. In scrims, like, if I want something, I can just tell. It’s more comfortable to talk to my teammates.” Berserker explained.
He had a lot to say about playing with his support Jesper ‘Zven’ Svenningsen, too, and how this communication has helped this bot lane become one of the best in the LCS.
“Zven knows what I play. We can see the same angles, you know what I mean? We’re very in sync because he played AD and knows what I want to do. It’s not perfect yet, but we have time. So, for Finals and Semifinals, we’ll improve more.”
Berserker is a hard carry for C9. In certain drafts, the entire team plays around him doing well, which requires a lot of communication and coordination. And, with Zven having the same killer instinct as Berserker after playing ADC for years, these two seem to be a great combo.
The champion C9 Berserker would remove
The ADC meta is a hot topic right now. With Zeri already having a couple dozen pentakills across all pro leagues and Sivir rising to prominence as a late-game carry, this role is undeniably powerful.
When it comes to navigating the meta, Berserker’s more than capable of rolling with the punches. He’s experimented with all sorts of picks over the course of the Split. From early game ADCs like Draven and Lucian/Nami, to late game picks like Zeri and Sivir, to more unorthodox picks like Karthus and Nilah, a champion most pros won’t touch.
But Berserker isn’t afraid to try something new on stage. However, he did have some thoughts on who the best ADCs are right now.
“Personally, this patch, I prefer later game ADCs. I feel like, in Playoffs, people don’t play as aggressive. So just farm and fight; I prefer Sivir or Zeri. But I can play Lucian/Nami or Draven, too.”
We wanted to ask Berserker about Nilah as well. He’s one of the few players to try her in the LCS. For being a new champion, her overall presence has been surprisingly low.
“In my experience, she’s really bad into Sivir and Zeri. But, in the LPL/LCK, she isn’t bad versus Sivir and Zeri. I should try her more.”
This holds up, as she’s had some great showings in both the LPL and LCK.
Liiv SANDBOX’s Lee ‘Prince’ Chae-hwan made her look worth picking, and took a game off LCK champions GenG while playing her. Meanwhile, LGD‘s Zou ‘Assum’ Wei used her in the LPL as a “support” for Pyke by using Nilah’s XP passive to put Pyke ahead in levels. Upsetting RNG as one of the bottom tier teams in the LPL is no small feat.
Considering she was a crucial part of big wins against the best teams in both China and South Korea, there’s clearly potential here. Berserker sees that potential, even if he hasn’t been able to fully realize it on stage.
Zeri came up a lot, and she’s been a hot topic amongst pros as well as the League of Legends community at large. We wanted to see what Berserker thought of her, along with perhaps some of the ways he’d nerf or change her to make her a little more balanced. Berserker certainly had a unique solution.
“Honestly? If I was a Riot employee, I’d just remove Zeri. Yuumi, too.”
We didn’t even ask him about Yuumi, he just threw her on the pile. Other pros have had their fair share of criticism toward both these champions, but Berserker was very direct about how he’d best deal with them.
Shifting the scales in Cloud9’s favor
With a select few champions dominating the bot lane meta, Berserker’s opinion on the strength of these few champions tied into their win against EG and what allowed Berserker to diff Danny in the series.
“Our team’s mid/jungle was really good, and Danny’s champion pool is a problem. So, I feel like, for EG, the meta is hard.”
This led to a conversation about whether or not Danny feels weaker than he did in Spring. But, as it turns out, Berserker may have just gotten that much stronger.
“I’m not sure? But like, in the Spring Split, I was giving Danny Zeri pentakills. Danny played 3 Zeri games, and I was feeding. But, this Playoffs, I beat Danny. So I feel really good now.”
This win locked a spot for Cloud9 at Worlds, a huge win for this organization. But Playoffs aren’t over for them just yet. As for whether or not we’ll see an EG vs. C9 rematch in the Finals, Berserker wasn’t too sure EG would make it out of the lower bracket.
“Yeah, maybe. But, if EG mental booms now, they could be fourth.”
Fourth place would certainly be a step down for EG. But, one thing’s for sure: After all the challenges that came with building their roster, Cloud9 are back to being one of the best teams in North America.