Cloud9 draft Hecarim and Twitch in the NA LCS finals

After a two-year hiatus from the NA LCS, Hecarim made his return.

Image via Riot Games

After some time away from North America, Hecarim and Twitch made their return to the NA LCS today in the region’s most important match of the year.

Cloud9 pulled out the surprise Hecarim jungle and AD carry Twitch in game one of the NA LCS Summer Split finals against Team Liquid. Twitch and Hecarim are two champions who fell out of the meta—they hadn’t been picked at all this summer. The last time Twitch was played in the NA LCS was this spring by OpTic Gaming, but Hecarim hadn’t been used in the NA LCS since 2016.

The reason for Hecarim’s return after being away for so long comes down to one word—Predator. One of the newest keystones, Predator, which grants increased movement speed, has seen a spike in popularity among junglers like Olaf and Gragas. And being one of the fastest champions in the game with abilities like his Devastating Charge and Onslaught of Shadows, Hecarim seems like a champion perfectly fit to run the speedy Predator keystone.

Although he doesn’t have a specific keystone to compliment him like Predator, Twitch is yet another unique champion to be brought out by Cloud9 ADC Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi. Just last week, Sneaky piloted the Quinn ADC pick against TSM in the playoff semifinals.

While Twitch has been seldom seen in the NA LCS this year, Sneaky made the pick work early on, getting a solo kill onto Team Liquid ADC and the NA LCS Summer Split MVP, Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, for first blood.

Unfortunately for Cloud9, though, their pocket picks weren’t met with success. Aside from a good early game and Sneaky’s Twitch solo kill, Cloud9 began to fall apart in teamfights. Against Team Liquid’s top lane health regeneration giant in Sion, Cloud9 found themselves lacking in damage. Even with Twitch’s Spray and Pray ultimate, Cloud9 couldn’t take down all of Team Liquid with the beefy Sion soaking up most of the damage.

Following their game one failure, Cloud9 have decided to make a change, substituting in jungler Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen and mid laner Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer, otherwise known as the “Swole Bros.”

With the NA LCS first-place match only beginning, we hope both Cloud9 and Team Liquid continue to pull out more unique champions as the series progresses.