Cloud9 CEO says his Challengers team is “better than at least half of the LCS rosters”

Luís Mira
Image of Cloud9 founder and CEO Jack Etienne

Cloud9 co-founder and CEO Jack Etienne has revealed that he will let his Challengers players leave for free if that means they will get to play in the LCS.

As the LCS prepares for a period of frantic activity following the end of the Spring split, Etienne called on fellow LCS owners to reach out if they’re interested in his Challengers players before the start of the Summer split. He is even willing to let the entire roster leave “for zero buyout” if it means that the players will have the opportunity to play in North America’s biggest league.

Noting that the players “are ready for the LCS stage”, the Cloud9 CEO revealed that the squad “had a winning record in scrims against LCS teams (including Cloud9 LCS) all year.”

“My promise to each of these players is to develop their skills and give them a platform to get into the LCS,” he explained.

Although he is willing to let the team leave for nothing, Etienne wrote on Reddit that, if there’s a bidding war for the roster, he will have to consider “what’s best for Cloud9 and the players.”

Fresh off his team’s LCS Spring victory, he couldn’t help but take a jab at some of his rivals: “This team [Cloud9 Challengers] is simply better than at least half of the LCS rosters.”

The success of Cloud9 Challengers

Cloud9’s second team won the NA Challengers League Spring split after defeating Dignitas Challengers in April 2’s grand final. Four of the team’s players have prior LCS experience, with support Tristan ‘Zeyzal’ Stidam having even played for Cloud9 across three different stints between 2016 and 2022.

Canadian jungler Tomio ‘Tomio’ Chan is the only player on Cloud9 Challengers who has not yet set foot on the LCS stage. He came through Evil Geniuses’ academy, where he played alongside Joseph ‘Jojopyun’ Pyun, before signing with the Cloud9 organization at the end of 2022.

Zeyzal is currently playing for Cloud9 Challengers

Mid-laner Dimitri ‘Diplex’ Ponomarev was initially due to be part of Cloud9’s main team. However, halfway through the Spring Split, he was moved down to the Challengers squad as Jang ‘EMENES’ Min-soo was promoted to the main team in a “trial run” that eventually became permanent.

Cloud9 Challengers roster:

  • Aaron ‘FakeGod’ Lee
  • Tomio ‘Tomio’ Chan
  • Dimitri ‘Diplex’ Ponomarev
  • Lawrence ‘Lost’ Hui
  • Tristan ‘Zeyzal’ Stidam
Sign up to Dexerto for free and receive:
Fewer Ads|Dark Mode|Deals in Gaming, TV and Movies, and Tech