Fudge Now Officially Confirmed as Cloud9’s Starting Top-Laner
The 2020 Spring Split champions Cloud9 will start off 2021 with a brand-new top laner: Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami! We’ve already covered the changes this age-old organization decided to make recently, and the fact that they’ve opted to promote their Academy LCS top laner — while still having Eric “Licorice” Ritchie under their banner — definitely boggled the minds of many.
Big Shoes to Fill for Fudge
Licorice is still a premier top laner and has been instrumental in Cloud9’s success over the years. As with any other player, he’s not immune to dips in performance and has certainly had his fair share of shoddy games, but he’s still at the top of his game and is more than worthy of the starting spot. In fact, some are arguing that he’s the best top laner in North America or, at the very least, tied with 100 Thieves’ Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho. It mostly boils down to fairly subjective criteria, but Licorice is undeniably a spectacular player and is also a native one as well — a rare combination in the LCS.
Still, the fact that Cloud9 opted to promote Fudge tells us a fairly simple thing: they’re confident in his ability to fill in the gap and perform nearly as well if not even better than his predecessor. Fudge certainly earned his shot fair and square and has played out of his mind throughout the year with equally dominant and talented teammates. The fact that they’ve won both Academy splits tells you all you need to know when it comes to his dedication and ability to perform. Of course, playing on the LCS stage is a whole ‘nother beast, but there’s a reason for optimism. Fudge has found a ton of success in Academy, has a deep champion pool, can play weak side (or, conversely, dominate on carries and bruisers), and has performed incredibly well regardless of whom he was up against.
Losing Licorice will (probably) hurt them early on, but it’s nothing that the boys in black and blue won’t be able to overcome.
Cloud9, in general, is known as a “talent development machine” and no one should be overly surprised if Fudge starts dominating right from the very get-go. In any case, it’ll be interesting to see how well this young rookie will adjust to the big stage and how much success Cloud9 will find after a fairly disappointing second half of 2020.