During the opening stages of the Spring Split or, rather, during the first couple of weeks, Cloud9 has displayed a lot, and during that time they looked really unstoppable in their matches. They’re even seemed unstoppable when they faced TSM, last year’s champions, as they marched through that match confidently and without leaving a single opportunity for TSM to control or to win the game.
Defeat After Defeat
In the next four weeks, Cloud9 would go through Spring Split undefeated before facing TSM once again, when they suffered a defeat. After that, in the next round, Cloud9 faced Phoenix1, but they were also defeated in that match. After that loss, Cloud9 was not able to return to the winning form and in the second half of the Spring Split they managed to win in only one match against a team that reached the playoffs.
Phoenix Rising from the Ashes
On the other hand, Phoenix1 struggled in the opening rounds of Spring Split, but after the win against Cloud9 in week five, they were able to turn the tables and eventually they managed to secure the playoffs. However, this didn’t happen before losing the match against Cloud9 in the last round of the regular season. These two teams also faced in the semi-final match of the NA LCS Playoffs and it did not seem that any of these two teams was a big favorite for the win considering how they have played up to that moment.
However, despite all the troubles in the second half of the Spring Split, Cloud9 managed to defeat Phoenix1 very easily once again and advanced to the finals. After the match had finished, it became clear that the junglers from both teams were a crucial factor in the entire match. Cloud9 is one of the best League of Legends teams from North America but their jungler, Juan ‘Contractz’ Garcia is a rookie that does not have a lot of experience.
Because of that, when the rest of the team was not supporting Contractz enough, Cloud9 would suffer a lot. Almost the same thing happened in Phoenix, with William ‘Meteos’ Hartman who once played for Cloud9.
However, with good coordination between Contractz and other players, Contractz was able to move freely, and he did not disappoint. In the end, he brought the advantage Cloud9 needed. Another important issue that might have decided the winner of this match was Cloud9’s ability to completely neutralize Ryu and his LeBlanc which eventually led Phoenix1 to lose the game. Phoenix1 even attempted to use the tactics that enabled them to win against Cloud9 in week five of the regular season, but that did not work as well because Cloud9 was prepared for this.
Despite bad second half of the Spring Split regular season, Cloud9 was able to change their game and to improve in aspects that needed improvements. The semi-final match against Phoenix was great for Cloud9, but they cannot allow themselves to relax as they will be destroyed in the finals if they do that.
Can Cloud9 go all the way? – Perhaps!