Cloud9 has announced a major shake-up to their NA LCS starting squad just days before the summer split begins.
The team has announced that three veteran starters will be replaced by players from the Cloud9 Academy team for the first week of matches in the NA LCS Summer Split.
Mid-laner Nicolaj ‘Jensen’ Jensen, AD Carry Zachary ‘Sneaky’ Scuderi, and Support Andy ‘Smoothie’ Ta will be replaced by Greyson ‘Goldenglue’ Gilmer, Yuri ‘Keith’ Jew, and Tristan ‘Zeyzal’ Stidam respectively. The former trio will be moved to the Academy squad in the meantime.
In a video announcing the change, Cloud9 owner Jack Etienne and head coach Bok ‘Reapered’ Han-gyu revealed that the decision was made based on the drive and passion displayed by the Academy players during the preseason – implying that the same drive might be lacking in the now-former starters. They believe this line-up gives the team the best chance at success right now.
Etienne also stated that the team still valued the players being moved to the Academy squad, and that they would have the opportunity to work their way back into the LCS starting squad. He didn’t give any sort of timeline for further movement, confirming only that the new starting squad would play in the first week.
The move is about as significant a change to the shape of the Cloud9 team as possible without replacing the entire squad. The three longest-standing members of the squad will be absent, with the swapping out of Sneaky perhaps the most notable – as a player for Cloud9 he holds the record for the most consecutive games as a starter on any team in League of Legends, at 289. He is also the only member of the original Cloud9 squad still with the organization.
Cloud9’s opening match of the summer split will be against Clutch Gaming on June 16th, followed by a match against OpTic Gaming on June 17th.