Cloud9 VALORANT star is reminding fans how good he is

Allow him to reintroduce himself.

Photo by Tina Jo/Riot Games

Just a few weeks into the 2023 VCT Americas season, all the North American VALORANT teams have found themselves sitting in a pack together with 1-2 records, except for one team that has already surpassed exceedingly low expectations.

Cloud9 sit at 2-1 after three weeks, and with a map differential of 5-2, that’s good enough for second place behind only the reigning world champions in LOUD. Alongside MIBR, C9 are also the only team to take a single map off LOUD so far this season. Overall, every person on the C9 roster has seen their individual stock rise early on, and perhaps none more so than Nathan “leaf” Orf, who’s reminding VALORANT fans just how good he is.

While losing the world’s best player in yay can hardly be called an improvement, it has opened the doors for leaf to step up and re-emerge as one of the region’s brightest top mechanical players. He’s had a good or great game in every map played with the exception of C9’s loss on Pearl to LOUD, with his best performances so far being on Skye (+300 ACS in both Skye games versus EG and LOUD). His versatility is something special and coach mCe revealed that leaf actually hates playing one of his best agents.

“Leaf on duelist is incredible,” mCe told Dot Esports. “Leaf hates playing Raze, [but] I think we have three of the top Raze players in Americas on our team in Zellsis, Xeppaa, and leaf. [His] Skye is also just world-class, and of course his Jett is incredible. He really is a world-class player. People just forget how good leaf is; it’s actually fucking criminal how good this kid is.”

Related: 100 Thieves stumble into toughest part of VCT Americas schedule after another defeat

The numbers don’t lie, either: leaf is top three across VCT Americas in ACS and damage per round, seventh overall in K/D, and sixth in first blood success rate, according to stats site VLR.GG. And we might just be scratching the surface of a leaf resurgence on Jett. His Jett pick on Ascent against 100T was his first pro match on the agent since the NA Last Chance Qualifier back in August, which coincidentally was also on Ascent versus 100T.

Leaf isn’t lacking in firepower or confidence, telling TheSpike.GG after the victory against 100T that he thinks “[C9] are better than most of the teams and should have little trouble playing against them.” C9 will look to back up that statement in a grueling super week where they take on both NRG and FURIA.

About the author
Scott Robertson

VALORANT lead staff writer, also covering CS:GO, FPS games, other titles, and the wider esports industry. Watching and writing esports since 2014. Previously wrote for Dexerto, Upcomer, Splyce, and somehow MySpace. Jack of all games, master of none.