North America’s run at the 2023 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational ended early, with no wins against any of their international competition. Cloud9, the No. 1 seed, were knocked out of the tournament in a decisive 3-0 sweep to Korea’s Gen.G in the lower bracket quarterfinals. No games in the series lasted longer than 30 minutes.
Despite the brutal loss, one C9 player kept his head up high and looked for advice after the match, seeking guidance from his mid lane counterpart. Right after the final game, C9’s EMENES asked Gen.G’s Chovy for advice on what areas he was lacking in as a player and how he could better improve. Chovy responded with praise that there were no issues with his individual laning phase, but he could not fully judge EMENES’ ability to adapt to advantages or disadvantages based on the MSI series. Instead, Chovy opted to give EMENES advice on the decision-making process in most situations and understanding the game from a team-wide perspective.
Chovy has professionally played League for six years, spending five years on multiple teams in the LCK and making multiple international appearances, including going to Worlds on three different teams. Domestically, Chovy has led Gen.G to three LCK finals appearances, winning Summer 2022 and Spring 2023 against T1.
In comparison, EMENES has played League for four years, but he has played the bulk of that time for academy teams or in minor regions, participating in LCK Challengers, the TCL, and the NA CL before his move from Cloud9 Challengers to the main roster on Feb. 18.
MSI marks his first international appearance, a landmark achievement after winning the LCS Spring Split with a 3-1 finals match against Golden Guardians. Even at MSI, C9’s only win was against GG, knocking out their domestic rivals 3-1 in round one of the lower bracket.
Cloud9 move back to the LCS for the Summer Split, where they look to defend their title and secure a third repeat appearance at Worlds. For EMENES, the Summer Split serves as a way to demonstrate his regional dominance, as he was previously rated behind GG’s Gori in the Spring Split All-Pro Teams.
The 2023 LCS Summer Split runs from June 1 to Aug. 20, with the finals being held in Newark, New Jersey. Cloud9 will once again face off against GG in the opening match of the Split, giving EMENES his chance to cement himself as the better mid against Gori and send a message to the rest of the league that Cloud9’s regional dominance is here to stay.