Confirming a large amount of excited speculation by fans, sources close to the organization confirm that former Team Impulse jungler Lee “Rush” Yoon-jae and former Gravity Gaming support Michael “Bunny FuFuu” Kurylo have joined the squad. Long-standing veteran Hai Du Lam may also continue rotating into the lineup, potentially in either position, to provide his brilliant shot calling unless the team finds their footing during off-season scrimmages.
The MVP of the League Championship Series (LCS) Summer season, Lee brings incredible aggression and playmaking ability from the jungle to Cloud9. Support player Kurylo showed he’s more than just a Thresh god in 2015 as one of Gravity Gaming’s stars. But the real question for Cloud9 will be who steps up to handle shot calling duties assuming Lam is on the bench. That could be Kurylo, but the team may want to ease him in to that role with guidance from Lam as the season progresses.
Cloud9 owner Jack Etienne hinted at the acquisition of the two new players yesterday, posting a picture on Twitter with Lam covering the faces of both new members. Last night, in the background of AD carry Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi’s stream, a conversation between Kurylo and top laner An “Balls” Van Le in the team’s gaming house was audible.
Lunch with the LCS team! pic.twitter.com/YK48azSeYv
— Jack Etienne (@C9Jack) November 17, 2015
The lineups of both Lee and Kurylo’s former franchises, Team Impulse and Gravity Gaming respectively, dissolved in the months after they failed to qualify for the 2015 World Championship. Since then, both organizations have put their LCS spots on the market. Many former teammates of the new Cloud9 players, such as Johnny “Altec” Ru, Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell, and Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong, have already contracted with other LCS sides.
Since its return from Worlds, Cloud9 has searched for both a new jungler and a new support player, due to the retirement of stalwart Daerek “LemonNation” Hart. The team posted an open tryout article on its website on Oct. 23, stating that team captain and shot caller Lam, who served as jungler for the team at Worlds, would fill either position if they failed to find a proper replacement.
But now, Cloud9 seems to have found star talents for both of its potential openings, perhaps rendering Hai’s short-lived retirement more permanent.
Update 3pm CT, Nov. 19: Cloud9 has confirmed the roster reported in this article.