It is almost impossible to root against a team like Cloud9. C9 are one of the oldest surviving teams in the NA LCS, bolstered by a rich history of competitive success, continually exciting gameplay, loveable personalities… and epic memers. Mid laner Nicolaj Jensen has become a firm fan favourite, but was left heartbroken as the all-star Team SoloMid roster reclaimed their crown, leaving Jensen to mourn what might have been staring at the post game screen.
With TSM’s progression to the World Championship already secured, Cloud9 were the neutrals choice heading into the NA LCS Summer Split Final – needing a win to secure their place at the tournament in October. Sadly for C9, they met their end after one pivotal team fight in the fourth game of the series:
League of Legends is a game of fine margins, some moments are simply all or nothing. The decisive team fight makes for difficult viewing for C9 fans; Jensen gambles and goes all in to kill of TSM AD Carry Doublelift in a flash-combo play but critically misses the vital skillshot that would have won the fight and pays for it with his life.
The monitor cam captures the emotion of the moment:
Even the most avid of TSM fans with a heart of steel would do well not to moved by Jensen’s reaction. All the hours of practice, the amount of work that went into preparing for the series, paled into insignificance due to one significant misplay. The trembling hand makes the footage even more heart wrenching.
Jensen has nothing to be ashamed of, he played well throughout the entire series – a truth his teammates will no doubt have been reminding him as he sat grieving on stage during TSM’s victory ceremony:
Despite suffering an emotionally devastating loss, C9 should still be immensely proud of their achievements this split – Jensen in particular should look ahead to the gauntlet run brimming with confidence.
If Worlds qualification was based purely on summer split performance, you’d be hard pressed to argue that C9 don’t deserve a spot at Worlds ahead of Counter Logic Gaming. With the current system in place however, Cloud9 have to look to take the positives out of the Gauntlet and there are indeed many positives to be taken. Immortals certainly won’t be relishing the prospect of facing C9 again, who have been on a consistent upwards trend ever since Reapered took over.
Based on their playoffs performance, C9 should reach the final comfortably. They should take the opportunity to establish additional stage practice as a team, ironing out the weaknesses displayed against TSM, channelling the anguish of their playoffs defeat to sweep past Immortals once again and secure their seeding for the World Championship. As always, the support of the neutral fan will be behind them – nobody wants to see Jensen cry again.