Cloud9 reportedly scrimmed with sub before VCT Americas LCQ

Declan Mclaughlin
Cloud9 Valorant team

In a YouTube video with Rod ‘Slasher’ Breslau about KRÜ Esports and its run through the VCT Americas LCQ bracket, Sean ‘sgares’ Gares revealed that Cloud9 scrimmed with its substitute player before the tournament.

Cloud9 went 8-1 in the VCT Americas regular season and looked poised to qualify for international competition. However, the squad bombed out of the playoff stage one spot shy of VCT Masters Tokyo and Valorant Champions qualification. The team had to wait for the LCQ tournament for their last shot to make the Valorant world championship.

The Cloud9 team came into the event as the favorites to win it all and qualify for international play once again. However, the team was defeated by KRÜ Esports 2-1 in the upper bracket final and then lost to Leviatán 3-2 in the lower bracket final. This knocked the team out of the tournament and ended their VCT season without an international tournament appearance despite their early promise.

In a video about KRÜ Esports and their run to the VCT Americas LCQ final, Valorant content creator and analyst Sean Gares reported that Cloud9 experimented with a different lineup ahead of the tournament.

Cloud9 played with qpert before LCQ

Gares said the team played without its IGL, Dylan ‘runi’ Cade, in some scrims and instead used its substitute player Mateja ‘qpert’ Mijović in his stead.

“I think they ended up going back to runi,” Gares said. “But I think doing something like that really affects the mental of a team.”

Slasher said the move to practice without their usual IGL was risky but makes sense as the tournament was Cloud9’s last shot at international play for the 2023 VCT season.

“Why potentially mess up the chemistry that you have between the players? Because obviously doing something like that hurts the confidence of runi potentially. It might make him more motivated to keep his spot or try to prove himself further. But I feel like a lot of times it could have the opposite effect,” Slasher asked.

Cloud9 is no stranger to risky roster moves. After VCT LOCK//IN, the organization dropped its longtime IGL Anthony ‘vanity’ Malaspina and newly acquired star player Jaccob ‘yay’ Whiteaker, only to pick up runi and former collegiate Valorant player Jake ‘jakee’ Anderson.

But this time, the move did not seem to pay off as Cloud9 will be watching Valorant Champions from home along with the fans.