Cloud9 2022 | What We’ve Learned from LS’ Reddit AMA
The line-up Cloud9 will field in 2022 is mighty interesting but also somewhat of an experiment, one that head coach Nick “LS” De Cesare will have to conduct and navigate masterfully so as to meet expectations. The boys in white and blue have spoiled us with their many regional and international triumphs, which is why we expect nothing but greatness no matter who’s playing under their banner.
Having such lofty expectations by default is by no means fair, but we can’t help it — it’s been the norm for years.
An LCS without Cloud9 contending for a spot at the top is an LCS that is weird and foreign, a region that no longer resembles the one we all know and love (or are partial to, at least). And more often than not we can understand the reasoning behind their decisions; we can discern their goals and motives. This time around, however, our expectations and assumptions have been challenged in the most unexpected of ways and we’re both excited beyond measure but also hesitant to fully board the hype train.
Kim “Berserker” Min-cheol and Kim “Winsome” Dong-keo are by no means household names. Moreover, Park “Summit” Woo-tae will need a bit of time to acclimate to a wholly different region and culture — not to mention a language he can’t converse in. Granted, three-fifths of Cloud9’s starting line-up speak Korean, so it’s not like he’ll have to communicate in English, but the point still stands. Creating a language barrier is never good, and few are the teams that were able to navigate such a challenge.
This is why LS, a highly revered figure and Cloud9’s new head coach, went on Reddit to answer questions and alleviate any doubts fans might have. Down below we’ll cover the most important bits — the kind of answers that can give us a better understanding of what Cloud9 and LS are going for along with their hopes and aspirations for the 2022 competitive season.
2022 Cloud | LS AMA Recap
- LS thinks of League as “its own kind of language” in the sense that players with “limited communication skills” can still agree upon what to do in-game.
- Cloud9 has several Koreans living at the house for both translator/assistant coaching but also internal scrim and solo queue practice.
- “I think the idea that the main team has something to lose is silly, and I think if the players genuinely feel that way, then it is the by-product of a negative environment where job security is a main driving factor. The main team players are incentivized to help the Academy players get better, so that they themselves get better practice. If they aren’t actually trying to be the best/become good, they make it very clear by showcasing job security above superior forms of practice. I think the issue of such a thing arising and not working is a product of a poorly created team environment and inadequate structure to make it remain strong,” LS said on the topic of LCS starters feeling threatened by their peers and colleagues from Academy.
- LS thinks that Eastern teams are very weak at “anything that has to do with thinking” — itemizing, drafting, min-maxing, laning, and so on. They dominate through their mechanics alone and by playing out “sequenced fights/patterns.” Western teams, on the other hand, are far superior when it comes to infrastructure and coaching and have a legitimate shot at winning Worlds in a few years.
- Top 4 at the 2022 World Championship is something that Cloud9 and LS would be happy with. Not winning at least one LCS split next year would be a failure.
- LS doesn’t expect Cloud9 to perform very well in the forthcoming Lock-In tournament but is very confident in their chances come Spring and especially Summer.
- Multiple Korean Challenger coaches have been hired by Cloud9.
- Internal solo queue, scrims, and off-roling will take place on a very frequent basis.
- Sebastian “Malice” Edholm will primarily jungle for Cloud9 Academy but he might transition into coaching further down the line.
All in all, LS and Cloud9 have big plans for 2022 but are well aware that ascending the LCS throne isn’t going to come easy. The folks in charge exude a lot of confidence so we’re inclined to believe their chances — even though there’s a myriad of ways in which things could go awry.
This might not be the most star-studded roster in North America, but it’s arguably the most fascinating one and, needless to say, we can’t wait to see it in action! The LCS returns to action on January 14, so make sure to mark your calendars!