Cloud9 may not have locked the top spot in the LCS just yet, but according to 100 Thieves jungler and former C9 star William ‘Meteos’ Hartman, there’s not a lot the rest of the league can do against the unstoppable leaders.
With five rounds in the books in the Spring season so far, Cloud9 sit undefeated atop the LCS standings with a 10–0 record, three full victories clear of FlyQuest, and four above the roster they’re most concerned about, Team SoloMid.
There’s no secret recipe to the pacesetter’s ten-match winning streak, however, former LCS champion Meteos explained — in fact, the former C9 champion said, what they’ve done so far in Spring has been fairly easy to track.
To figure out exactly what makes his former team tick in their ongoing title tilt, Hartman went all the way back to the start of the League of Legends offseason as he dissected the league leaders in a post-match interview with Travis Gafford.
According to the jungler, who lost to the rampaging Cloud9 squad all the way back in Week 2, the roster’s in-built chemistry from a limited amount of offseason moves is one of the major factors behind their explosive start to the year.
“I think it’s kind of the same at the beginning of every split, most teams are rebuilding, and then generally the teams that don’t change as many pieces are the ones that do well, at least at the beginning, because of that chemistry,” he said.
The undefeated roster did make a few swaps in the offseason though. The biggest transfer was dumping seven-year veteran Zachary ‘Sneaky’ Scuderi, who moved into streaming after being punted for TSM bot laner Jesper ‘Zven’ Svenningsen.
Zven was paired with rising Canadian star Philippe 'Vulcan' Laflamme, while reigning league MVP Dennis ‘Svenskeren’ Johnsen was lured away by newcomers Evil Geniuses. Breakout talent Robert 'Blaber' Huang replaced the outgoing Dane.
While it seems like a lot on paper though, Meteos pointed to just the bot lane changes as the most “drastic” swaps. Blaber had already been splitting time with Svenskeren during most of 2019, and had spent two seasons with the org already.
“Cloud9 did make a lot of changes, but it’s still a lot of the same players. Blaber was splitting time, they had Licorice and Nisqy, and they just added a really good bot. Because of that, C9 is looking miles ahead of everyone else now,” he said.
The “in-sync” nature of their 2020 campaign has led to another feather in the cap of the team aiming to clinch a perfect LCS season — because everyone clicks so well, the team has been able to play a rapid-pace “really aggressive” style.
“Their laners all seem really good, and they’re all really in-sync with what’s going on… they have a similar playstyle every game, they have a pushing bot lane, and their bot lane almost always wins,” Meteos explained.
Just because they have a very standard style of play, which most LCS teams have clued into by now — Blaber takes dragon at five minutes, the team rotates to Herald at eight, and they aim dragons “on spawn” — Meteos admits it’s hard to stop.
“Between all of their plans, they’re just looking for every fight they can take. They don’t worry about losing a fight, they’ve never opted not to fight. They just play aggressively, and they get advantages through lane as well,” he added.
Meteos and 100 Thieves still have time to figure out how to beat C9, however, considering they don’t face the league leaders again until Week 8.
This weekend 100T face Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid. Both teams are sitting at 4–6 so far, and have failed to fire despite boasting stars like Bae ‘Bang’ Jun-sik, Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng, and Mads ‘Broxah’ Brock-Pedersen in their ranks.
Meanwhile, Cloud9 continue their campaign to clinch the perfect 18–0 regular season with high-stakes matches against FlyQuest (7–3) and Dignitas (5–5).