Cloud9 accomplished the first reverse sweep in 2021, beating 100 Thieves 3-2 in the League of Legends Lock In tournament semifinals and cementing their place in the finals. The multi-time champions came back from numerous deficits to overpower 100T, creating a five-game series that showcased some of the best talent that the LCS has to offer—and two Pentakills. But the road to victory in the semifinals was certainly not easy for them.
This was the first game played on Patch 11.2, but many of the strategies that were good in Patch 11.1 remained the same. Moonstone Renewer, Staff of Flowing Waters, and Goredrinker were all prominent throughout the entire series, and champions that capitalize with the items continued to be prominent picks and bans.
In game one, Huhi’s Rell alongside Damonte’s Galio were everywhere they needed to be at the right times. Constant flanks and engagements from the support and mid laner caught C9 off guard and stopped them from being able to take many objectives. Victory was assured for 100T following a smiteless Baron steal by Closer against C9’s sneaky attempt to come back into the game.
C9 showed a much more defensive playstyle than they had previously shown throughout the Lock In tournament during this game. 100T, on the other hand, did not hold back in their drafts aiming to completely run over C9 with aggressive picks like Olaf, Gragas, Galio, and Rell—all of which helped them secure a seamless victory in game one.
Huhi’s engages to start every teamfight—this time as Alistar—handed 100T another easy victory in game two, with seemingly no way for C9 to come back.
The top-lane matchup between Ssumday and Fudge was a hotly debated topic among the casters and fans before this semifinals series—and Ssumday came out on top early on. From being solo killed to not doing enough damage to pick off opponents, Fudge could not get going in either game, which gave Ssumday massive leads to snowball over C9. But game three began to tell a different story.
C9 brought out all the stops for game three—including the infamous Senna and Tahm Kench combo.
Accompanied by Fudge’s Lulu once more, the team’s composition was constructed to keep Perkz’s Yone and Blaber’s Udyr alive and well as they dished out the damage. A fight for Mountain Soul gave C9 an unprecedented ace and Baron buff which, after some falls against the respawning 100T members, led them straight to a clean Elder Dragon fight where they picked off the last of their opponents and secured their first victory of the series.
100T did not hold back in the aggressive, all-in champions they chose during their draft in game four. C9 opted for a more standard champion pool but added Bard to provide more options for their already-mobile champions. After a long game that was much calmer than the previous ones, Zven secured C9’s win with a Pentakill on Miss Fortune, the first in the LCS this year, and the Silver Scrapes were in full effect.
With the fates of both teams on the line, the draft of game five was much more standard—with one glaring offender: FBI locking in Vayne. Compared to the quiet of game four, these teams pulled out every punch as early as possible.
Blaber’s Udyr once again was a crucial pick in C9’s attempt to pull of the reverse sweep. His movement speed accompanied with Phase Rush and the constant damage and stuns complimented Blaber’s normal aggressive playstyle nicely, and led to unavoidable ganks to put his laners ahead. Zven once again capitalized on his team’s crowd control with his Miss Fortune, putting himself far ahead of FBI and making it hard for Vayne to scale.
Zven finished this game with yet another Pentakill on Miss Fortune—two in back-to-back games in the series—in a fight where 100T was sure they had the upper hand. Despite a two game deficit early in the series, the C9 roster did not give up hope and successfully pulled off the first reverse sweep of the year.
Cloud9 will face the winner of tomorrow’s semifinal match between Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid on Sunday. The 100 Thieves squad will have the chance to fight once more when the LCS Spring Split officially begins next week.