Incarnati0n in talks to join Cloud9 as coach

Nicolaj “Incarnati0n” Jensen is in talks with Cloud9 owner Jack Etienne to assist in coaching the team’s League of Legends squad, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the discussions

Nicolaj “Incarnati0n” Jensen is in talks with Cloud9 owner Jack Etienne to assist in coaching the team’s League of Legends squad, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the discussions.

Cloud9 lost both of their matches in their first week at the 2015 LCS, an uncharacteristic record for a team known for their near-perfection LCS performances. 

Jensen has been in talks with the team “for almost six months,” one source said. But just hours after the team’s second loss of the season, team owner Etienne approached Jensen about moving to the team’s house in California to help coach and stream. If Jensen were brought on, Cloud9’s current coach, Charlie Lipsie, would retain his spot as head coach.

However, the deal has had some complications. Jensen wants to be a professional player, and is trying to negotiate a deal to play on the team once he is unbanned, something Etienne simply can’t promise. Etienne is trying to find a middle ground, where Jensen could be on the team as a backup, or possibly even join once the team’s current midlaner Hai “Hai” Lam retires. But apparently, as far as Etienne is concerned, Lam has a job at Cloud9 until he decides to voluntarily step down. Still, Etienne is ”insistent” on having Jensen join the team in some capacity, sources say.

Last January, Jensen was ruled “ineligible to compete in any Riot-affiliated League of Legends tournaments indefinitely” by developer Riot Games. Despite his competitive ban, Jensen has still been able to consistently reach the very top of the European solo queue ladder, going toe-to-toe with legendary mid laners like Henrik “Froggen” Hansen.

Among professional players and analysts, Jensen is highly regarded for his mechanical ability in the mid lane and an impressive knowledge of gameplay on a competitive level.

Jensen was accused of breaking the summoner’s code, Riot’s guidelines for acceptable behavior in and out of game, as well as a long string of DDoS attacks against opponents. The DDoS accusations have yet to be substantiated, but Jensen has claimed he participated in attacks on multiple occasions.

With his professional career seemingly over, Jensen joined SK gaming as coach in early 2014. Shortly after it was revealed Jensen was assisting the team and would be travelling with them to the World Championships in Asia, Riot expanded its behavior requirements to include coaches. This meant Jensen would no longer be able to accompany SK Gaming backstage, or be an official member of the team.

Following an end of year review, Riot found Jensen guilty of in-game fraud, account sharing and using botted accounts. It also claimed he was “implicated in DDOSing players,” but had a significant improvement in behavior toward other players in-game. Despite the this improvement, Riot concluded Jensen had committed a number of serious offenses throughout his initial ban period, and said his case will be reviewed again at least five weeks before the LCS Summer 2015 roster declaration date.

While Jensen is still banned, that does not prohibit him from working with teams in a role not officially recognized by Riot Games. That’s exactly what he’s in talks to do with North American stars Cloud9.

Photo via Riot Games/Flickr