League of Legends

Cloud9 owner Jack updates fans on Sneaky benching situation

by Scott Robertson
Riot Games

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The ongoing situation with face-of-the-franchise Zachary ‘Sneaky’ Scuderi and the Cloud 9 League of Legends team has dominated the LCS offseason. Top laner Eric 'Licorice' Ritchie and owner Jack Etienne both shared details on what’s led to the current situation.

For the first time in half a decade, Cloud 9 will take the rift in 2020 without their established veteran Sneaky in the bottom lane. Sneaky revealed during a Tuesday, November 19 stream that he was benched from C9's active roster.

During that stream, he spoke candidly about the situation, claiming that teammates and management both wanted to move forward with a new bot laner. Sneaky made it clear he was not happy with how the situation played out, especially the detail regarding C9 asking him to compete for his spot.

Sneaky’s teammate and positional opposite, top laner Licorice, had a short stream on November 22, and shed light on the atmosphere within Cloud 9.

According to Licorice, there were “team-wide” issues regarding communication and review. Specifically, he mentions that their review sessions were focused more on what the team as a whole could improve on, which he admits was as much of a strength as a weakness. According to him, no one would take on responsibility.

When the NA top laner spoke to the organization about changes to be made for the upcoming year, he prepared for the idea of teammates or himself being removed and expected it would be him.

One of Licorice’s larger complaints was that when Cloud 9 announced the acquisition of bot laner Jesper ‘Zven’ Svenningsen, they made no mention of the fact that Sneaky hadn’t decided his future. 

Just hours after Licorice streamed, C9’s owner Jack Etienne took to Twitter to lay out the situation with Sneaky. Etienne said that no C9 official announcement had been made because the iconic player asked the organization not to while he considered his options.

Etienne laid out those four options for all the fans to see, for the sake of transparency: continue playing for C9, be traded to a team of his choice, retire as a pro but stay with the team, or retire independently.

In a follow-up tweet, Etienne doubled down on the fact that if Sneaky desired to continue playing for Cloud 9, he would have to fight for his starting position, and said that this rule applies to every player on the roster.

If Sneaky wished to be traded, a trade would have to be made relatively soon, as other LCS organizations are currently in the thick of the offseason, and spots will fill up fast. He would no doubt go on and have a very successful streaming career if he were to retire, but ultimately, what he does next is up to him.