Before the 2022 LCS spring season started, Cloud9 announced that Nick “LS” De Cesare would be their League of Legends head coach, this got not only the C9 fans excited, but the entire world now had their eyes on the LCS just to see what kind of strategies the team would come up with. LS has been known in the scene for quite a while, mostly because of his unique view on the game and his particular ability to draft quite differently from the rest, this announcement was huge, but it all went down the gutter really fast.
After only two weeks of competing, Nick De Cesare got kicked off the roster, and C9 promoted Max Waldo to the head coach position. Roster changes in the middle of the split are not uncommon at all in the League of Legends professional scene, but this was really different, LS was considered one of the main reasons for C9’s early success in the split, and the worst thing of all is that nobody was saying a word about this situation. The Cloud9 organization released an ambiguous statement that basically didn’t give any information and LS was silent about the whole thing.
“The reason why we got to the point we were with LS was that Cloud9, for years, has developed systems on how we like to coach and operate our team, and despite our best efforts, working with LS to try to come to terms and see eye-to-eye on how that should work, we were unable to make that actually happen”, said Jack Etienne, Cloud9 owner, in a video released on Twitter. This only raised more questions like, what are these systems he is talking about? Why would they hire a person well-known for going against the norm if they are very strict when it comes to their ways of working? This led to C9 losing a lot of trust from their fans and the public in general.
Fortunately for Cloud9, they still managed to be successful for the remainder of the regular spring split, until playoffs arrived. At the very last week of the split, Cloud9 dropped very important games, one of those games was against 100Thieves and the way they lost was very concerning. Once playoffs arrived they dropped to the lower bracket in the first round and they only managed to beat Golden Guardians, the weakest team in playoffs then they got knocked out of the tournament by Evil Geniuses.
This got a lot of people wondering if Cloud9 made the right choice when they kicked Nick De Cesare, or at least that’s what everyone is fixated on. But people seem to forget that C9 was actually just 1 game away from securing 1st place in the regular split, and that’s quite a feat for any team that goes through roster changes amid the split. In the end, we can be sure of one thing, Cloud9 always finds a way to bounce back after having a rough time, after all, they are the best North American team when it comes to international performances.