C9 gives update on LS’ release: ‘We decided that it was important that we make a change’

C9 owner Jack Etienne addressed the League head coach's release in a video earlier today.

Screengrab via Cloud9 League of Legends

Cloud9 has given an update on the sudden release of its League of Legends head coach Nick “LS” De Cesare. Several minutes before last weekend’s game against CLG, Cloud9 announced that LS had been relieved of his duties as head coach and was subsequently released from the organization. 

“The reason why we got to the point we were with LS was that Cloud9, for years, has developed systems on how we like to coach and operate our team, and despite our best efforts, working with LS to try to come to terms and see eye-to-eye on how that should work, we were unable to make that actually happen,” C9 owner Jack Etienne said in a video released on Twitter today.  

LS was hired by C9 last December after the team finished in the top eight at last year’s League World Championship. He coached only four regular-season games with the team this year, though, posting a record of 3-1 while at the helm of C9. In total, LS spent just 80 days as C9’s head coach. 

“I think it’s important to note that all players, coaches, and management were aware of these issues and frustrations and our mutual efforts to try to resolve them over the last several weeks,” Etienne said. “Unfortunately, as time went on, it was really clear that we were unable to find a resolution and come together on figuring out this problem. We decided that it was important that we make a change and release LS at that point so we could move forward and focus on the future.” 

In LS’ stead, C9 has promoted Max Waldo to the position of head coach. Waldo spent the 2021 season as an assistant coach on C9’s staff. This past weekend, Waldo and C9 split their pair of games on the LCS stage, despite the cloud of uncertainty surrounding the team. 

Related: C9 bounce back from massive deficit against TSM, win their last game of week three of LCS 2022 Spring

“Moving forward, our goals and directions with the team haven’t changed,” Waldo said. “Our intention is still to improve at a rate where we’re good enough, come Worlds, to be an international threat. Our players are still confident, motivated, and optimistic to keep playing and improving to get to that goal.”  

C9 will return to the LCS stage this Friday, Feb. 25, for a matchup against Dignitas.