Cloud9 has officially signed Nick “LS” De Cesare as its head coach for the 2022 League of Legends season, the team announced today.
LS has spent the last two professional League seasons as a full-time streamer. His brand as an online personality in the League sphere largely revolved around his co-streams of professional matches from across the game’s major regions.
Despite his recent years in the streaming sector, LS boasts a lengthy coaching history dating back several years before his transition into streaming. Most recently, he coached with Korea’s bbq Olivers, but he also holds experience in the North American League scene with teams such as Gravity and Tempo Storm.
LS, a South Korean resident with strong ties to the country’s League of Legends scene, cited the closing of the gap between Western and Eastern teams as a reason for his signing with C9 in a video posted by the organization earlier today.
“If there was ever going to be a chance to return to pro play in some facet, coaching, this probably would have just been it—provided that a lot of the stars would end up aligning,” LS said. “And, I thought watching Worlds this past year that LPL and LCK teams actually regressed in terms of gameplay … and I never felt that before in previous years.”
C9 reached the quarterfinals of this year’s League of Legends World Championship, earning decisive victories over teams from the LPL and LEC to advance to the top eight. Moving into 2022, the team restructured its starting lineup, bringing on three new players: top laner Summit, AD carry Berserker, and support Winsome. The team’s former top laner Fudge will move to the middle lane in 2022.
Additionally, C9’s new head coach made a promise to keep the organization’s Academy team involved in the development of the roster. In 2022, LS will work with C9’s full pool of players to practice and grow internally. Players including veteran top laner Darshan, as well as bottom laners Zven and K1ng, among others, are contracted to the team’s roster.
“I’ve been very outspoken about the need to scrim against an Academy team and the need to have internal scrims and internal practice,” LS said. “So, the Academy team is being stacked with also really high-level players and then even other coaches and other staff members that are being brought in, who are also Korean Challenger level players.”
LS will make his coaching debut with C9 when the LCS returns on Jan. 14.
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