Cloud9 Parts Ways With Head Coach Reapered
2020 continues to unravel in the most unexpected of ways. LCS fans know firsthand from experience that all hell tends to break loose once the off-season comes around. This latest bit of news is no different. In short, the 2020 LCS Spring Split champions Cloud9 have decided to part ways with their head coach Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu — a move that has baffled the minds of many.
Needless to say, this came as quite a shock.
Reapered is as revered and capable a coach as they come. Furthermore, Cloud9 prospered beyond belief once he first came aboard back in May four years ago. He was guiding the only organization that has ever left a mark on the international stage, and he brought up countless incredible rookies, most of which are now LCS mainstays.
What Went Wrong?
His numerous “Coach of the Split” awards tell the same tale, even though he only won his first championship with Cloud9 in 2020. He was always doing a ton of heavy lifting and made Cloud9 into an incredible talent development machine. Was he perfect? Of course not. One glance at Cloud9’s drafts throughout this most recent Summer Split would attest to the fact, but he deserves only a part of the blame. In most teams (especially the more democratic ones), coaches and players draft in unison.
Furthermore, this year’s lineup had noticeable champion pool issues (primarily in the mid and bottom lane). They failed to execute correctly whenever they couldn’t get the picks they wanted. Robert “Blaber” Huang is a spectacular jungler, but he was slightly “figured out.” The same can be said for Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer. Nisqy fell off a cliff once the Summer Split came along. The meta did shift, but nowhere near as hard for Nisqy to become a complete non-factor.
Reapered deserves some blame for not guiding his team towards a solution in time. However, without having behind-the-scenes details, we can’t point any fingers. If we view things in a vacuum, he’s always delivered for the boys in black and blue. The problem with Cloud9 — the many splits where they came achingly close to winning with Reapered — wasn’t coaching. Instead, they always came up short because someone was better than them. There’s pretty much a fact. The 2020 Summer Split was no different.
As for Reapered, specifically, one could argue that no one is more qualified for the job. Cloud9 could import a coach from the LCK or LPL, but the odds of that happening during the COVID-19 pandemic (and the air of uncertainty that it created) are rather slim. Still, they have their highly successful Academy coach Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin (of Fnatic fame), and maybe it’s time for the “big leagues.”
At the time of this writing, Reapered didn’t announce any plans for the future. He’s probably thinking about his options and weighing whether he should go back to Korea and coach an LCK team, or perhaps take up another offer from NA and go for yet another run. Either way, regardless of what he ultimately decides, watching his next step will be an absolute must.