Fudge unfazed by Cloud9’s subpar Summer showing: “Honestly, it just doesn’t matter”

Fudge smiles taking off Cloud9 headset on LCS 2021 Summer stage.Riot Games

Ibrahim ‘Fudge’ Allami has issued a “keep calm” order for Cloud9 ⁠— North America’s Mid-Season Invitational representatives may be struggling in LCS 2021 Summer so far, but the Aussie star promises as long as they make Championship playoffs, they’re still a very clear title threat come crunch-time.

Cloud9 has struggled for consistency since returning from their international League of Legends adventure in Iceland. While they sit third ⁠— tied with fellow contenders Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses ⁠— with a 24–15 record, recent form tells a different story.

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In the past six weeks, Cloud9 has managed a 3–0 weekend just once, all the way back in the second round. Their run in Summer’s second raft of games has been even worse; they’ve scraped to a seven-win, five-loss streak, recently losing to Evil Geniuses and FlyQuest in another shakey weekend in July.

Their poor Summer run, though, hasn’t crossed Fudge’s mind once.

“We take a look at the standings every so often, yeah, we take notice of them, but we’re focusing on a decent playoffs seed over anything else. I don’t think it actually matters that much, as long as you’re top six,” he told Dexerto.

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“Honestly, it just doesn’t matter. First, second, third, fourth, they’re all the same. What matters is how much you’ve improved when you get to those games.”

The Aussie star has been a clear standout for Cloud9 since returning from Iceland.Riot Games via ESPAT
The Aussie star has been a clear standout for Cloud9 since returning from Iceland.

On that front, Fudge says he’s been “very impressed”. It’s no secret that the Mid-Season Invitational was a less-than-stellar moment in Cloud9’s history, and the whole roster knows they have to lift if they want to challenge at Worlds.

“I think we’ve definitely progressed as a team,” he said.

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“In previous games where we get behind, we’ve just been getting actually stomped and losing in like 20 minutes. When we look at games like the one against TSM [in Week 5] we actually made decisions that weren’t complete flips.”

Most recently, Fudge dominated Golden Guardians with a monster 10/1/7 game on Gwen. He’s been the crux of C9’s wins, but he points to the whole team as “key.”

“Our play has been a lot better than it was in the first couple of weeks even. Obviously we played with a different ADC then. That’s changed now, right? But I think all of our players have been improving a lot faster, myself included. I feel like I’m learning a lot more during scrims, and taking heaps out of our practice.

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“There’s always stuff we can do better, definitely. And, we’re only just over halfway there, considering the split has changed a bit. We have the mentality right now that every game we play, scrims or otherwise, it’s a lesson for us to be learning.

“We’re focusing on playing, improving at a faster rate [than our rivals]. We do that, then I’m confident we’ll be the best team in North America by playoffs.”

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Cloud9's star-studded team are worrying about "improvement" over results in mid-Summer.Riot Games via ESPAT
Cloud9’s star-studded team is worrying about “improvement” over results in mid-Summer.

The other major factor for Cloud9, outside their 11–10 record, has been managing burnout across the year. The team charged into Lock-In all the way back in January, went straight into Spring and its 18 games, then the Mid-Season Showdown.

By the time the LoL team arrived in Iceland, they had already played 47 pro games, and added another 16 there to boot. Now, mid-way through Summer, Fudge and the rest of the team are up into the mid-80s.

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It’s not the biggest concern, but some are pointing to their “marathon” year as one potential reason for Cloud9’s slide. Not so, Fudge explained to Dexerto.

The 19-year-old top laner hasn't even considered taking a LoL break since joining the LCS.Riot Games via ESPAT
The 19-year-old top laner hasn’t even considered taking a LoL break since joining the LCS.

Fudge laughed: “I don’t think I’ve ever taken a break.”

“Even in the offseason, I just play heaps of League! I don’t really have a lot of things outside League of Legends. Is that a bad thing? Maybe it’s a bad thing, could be a very good thing too, considering the amount of time that I put into trying to get better. I don’t really like taking breaks. I always want to play.

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“It is a problem if people fall off, but it’s manageable.

“Of course the team has already talked about it. We’re really focused on avoiding any kind of major dip, but I don’t think that’s an excuse. It’s a 27-game season, and that’s long, but we knew that already.

“I don’t blame anyone being wary of burnout, in Cloud9 or other teams, but I’m not feeling that. I never stop playing League, I genuinely love it… love improving.”

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