It looks like Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi will finally be returning to Cloud9’s active roster in the NA LCS.
— Cloud9 (@Cloud9) July 12, 2018
The move was confirmed by Cloud9 on their broadcast yesterday, during their LCS Academy games. The academy team played yesterday, and Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer was found back on the lineup. Star mid laner Nicolaj Jensen and support Andy “Smoothie” Ta were readded to the LCS team in week three. However, Sneaky would stay on the Academy squad until now. This roster move comes after one of the worst starting weeks of Cloud9’s history.
The Woes of Cloud9
The meta has not been kind to many players and teams this season, especially in the NA LCS. At the beginning of the season, Cloud9 would bench Jensen, Smoothie, and Sneaky. Instead, Goldenglue, bottom lane carry Yuri “KEITH” Jew and support Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam would start for the first two weeks of the split. However, Cloud9 would find no success with the team, going 1-3 in the first two weeks. They would then add Smoothie and Jensen back in the lineup, but with Goldenglue in the bottom lane. This experimental lineup with two midlaners would also prove to be unsuccessful. Cloud9 would end up losing to Team Solo Mid and Echo Fox in week three.
The first two weeks of the NA LCS season were a wash for the Academy players on the big stage. Their lack of experience, as well as their lack of a shotcaller, would really handicap the team. When Jensen and Smoothie returned, problems would still remain as they needed to learn how to play the meta. Other teams already were settling into the unconventional playstyles they had to learn, even though it was still rough. However, for Cloud9 it was especially difficult, as they had not been able to play with their teammates during this time.
Sneaky’s Triumphant Return?
Many fans have been clamoring for Sneaky’s return to the starting lineup. People consider Sneaky one of the best ADC players in North America, and for good reason. However, this meta may prove to be the downfall of many players. For example, European LCS All-Star Martin “Rekkles” Larsson would end up benching himself in week two for top laner Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau. This meant that Fnatic would be fielding two top laners, one at top and one in the bottom lane, all due to the meta changes.
Now, this does not mean that Sneaky will suffer the same fate. Other premium ADC’s like Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng have been able to find success in one of the most unusual metas in the game’s history. However, Doublelift and many other players have already stated their discontent with the way the game has evolved.
Also, another thing to mention is that Sneaky will be returning to the lineup, but as a midlaner. I am not sure if this will hinder Sneaky’s ability, or enable him to play better than he would in the bottom lane. The meta has forced so many teams to try unorthodox tactics throughout the split. We will have to wait and see if Sneaky is able to adapt properly to all the changes or if he will fall victim like so many others have in the NA LCS.
Can Cloud9 recover?
Cloud9 is pretty far behind in the standings. However, there are still six weeks left in the season, which means there is plenty of time to get back up to form. If Cloud9 can find their groove for the next few weeks, look for them to push hard for a playoff position. I called this return back in our NA LCS Power Rankings back on June 26, where I said Jack and Reapered would not risk any more ground on the road to the playoffs. Looks like I was right. Cloud9 faces off against Counter Logic Gaming and FlyQuest this week. CLG seems completely beatable as of week three, but FlyQuest came in with a renewed vigor. Cloud9’s matchups are not pushovers, but with the amount of the talent they have on the roster, they should be able to find their footing soon.
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