With their starting top laner Eric “Licorice” Ritchie out for the week due to wrist issues, Cloud9 came into their match today against LCS champions Team Liquid as even more of an underdog.
But Cloud9 exceeded expectations, beating Liquid in dominant fashion with standout performances from substitute top laner Ziqing “Kumo” Zhao’s Jayce and mid laner Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer’s Veigar.
“I feel like [Team Liquid] weren’t playing great,” Nisqy said in the post-game interview. “I don’t know if they had a bad day or if they were just surprised by the Veigar, for example, and they didn’t know what to do. They tried to TP bot, it didn’t work. Then they tried to Rift and that didn’t work as well. I feel like every play they were making was just bad, and we just capitalized and won the game like that.”
Nisqy certainly capitalized on Liquid’s misplays. He secured double kill after double kill in every early skirmish, in addition to a smooth Rift Herald steal after both team’s junglers had died.
“Svenskeren was just screaming ‘Sej is dead’ and I was like ‘OK, I have Protobelt,'” Nisqy said. “So I just Protobelted in and got Rift Herald.”
Nisqy’s standout game today came after a disappointing performance at Rift Rivals, an event Nisqy thought “was kinda sad, but it made [Cloud9] better for sure.”
“Personally, I learned that I had to play more champions, even though they are not meta,” Nisqy said describing what he took away from Rift Rivals. “For example, they were playing a lot of Twisted Fate and Corki, and I wasn’t really playing champions that weren’t ‘meta.’ Right now, I’m just trying to have more champions that people don’t really play against.”
But Nisqy wasn’t the only player on Cloud9 who popped off today. Up in the top lane, Kumo was outlaning Liquid’s veteran top laner Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong. The C9 substitute even found a solo kill on Impact.
“I think Kumo is really good when he’s on a champion he likes,” Nisqy said. “For example, today he played against Impact and he did an insane job even though Impact is one of the best top laners here in NA.”
Cloud9 will return to the LCS stage tomorrow when they face off against Clutch Gaming.