After a textbook performance in every role, Cloud9 have begun their 2021 Mid-Season Showdown run with a perfect 3-0 sweep against 100 Thieves.
Heading into this weekend, many League of Legends fans and analysts pointed to Cloud9 as the heavy favorites for not only this series, but the entire playoffs. The team ended the regular season with a 13-5 record, having taken down 100T in both matchups during the split.
This entire series was pretty action-packed, with multiple players shining throughout for Cloud9. Whether it was Blaber’s great jungle pathing and timing to Perkz playing well in the first two games on Orianna and Yone, the team flourished as the games continued forward.
One of the biggest stories of the day, however, was the performance of Cloud9’s new top laner Fudge, who many believe “top diff’d” Ssumday throughout the series. At the beginning of the season, fans were skeptical of the 18-year-old, but he has shown a ton of growth over the past six weeks since his Lock-In tournament debut.
“Fudge plays differently from Licorice,” Vulcan said in a post-game interview with Dot Esports. “He likes playing weakside more, he’s willing to take less resources, and I think it’s a good and bad thing. That’s something that we got punished for a lot in Lock In—him getting dove and we didn’t get enough resources to help him avoid that and be able to CS.”
Ultimately, Cloud9 have grown alongside Fudge and learned how to use his strengths to help push the team to peak performances. Now, the team helps out the young top laner in certain matchups so he can stay ahead or even with his opponents.
Fudge gained big CS leads in almost all his matchups against Ssumday, and he made a huge impact in the later stages of the game on champions like Sion, Sett, and Renekton. On the other hand, without a lot of early help from his teammates, Ssumday failed to reach the heights that we’ve gotten used to seeing from him.
Looking ahead, Cloud9 will now face off against Team Liquid, who took down TSM yesterday in a strong 3-1 series. Both teams seem to be approaching their peak form, but it’ll be interesting to see how the rosters will adapt to the varying playstyles that will pop up during the best-of-five.
“I think we need to get our early game sorted out against TL,” Vulcan said. “They’re a very strong early-game team, and they do punish teams through laning phase and getting leads with that. So we need to make sure we [have a] good matchup preparation going through those games and think about what they want to play so we can figure out our counters into those champs.”
Catch all the action when the 2021 MSS returns next week on Saturday, April 3.