Cloud9 has released yet another interview with recent addition to the org, streamer Christian "IWDominate" Rivera, speaking to their new LCS head coach, Kim "Reignover" Yeu-jin, and Founder and CEO, Jack Etienne. In the short interview, the trio discussed the transition from their former head coach, Bok "Reapered" Han-gyu, to Reignover as well as the team's decision to replace star top laner, Eric "Licorice" Ritchie, with their Academy top, Ibrahim "Fudge" Allami.
Jack and Reignover explained that the head coaching change was one that had been in the playbook for some time now, with Reignover actually delaying the transition himself, asking for more time to develop as a coach before taking to the LCS stage. He spent the entirety of 2020 learning from Reapered while acting as the Academy head coach to make sure he was ready for the task.
"We started this year with an agreement between me, Reignover, and Reapered that this would be the year of transition," Jack explained of the 2020 season. "At the end of 2019, I actually offered Reignover the head coach job. We already had conversations with Reapered about his future at Cloud9, he was considering other roles inside Cloud9. I talked with Reignover, and he said, 'Wow, that sounds fun, but maybe I need a little more time running a team in Academy.' ... This is something that has been in the works for a long time — over a year."
Watch the Cloud9 interview below on their YouTube channel.
Along with Reignover, Fudge joins the LCS roster from the 2020 Academy squad thanks to the LCS rule change this off-season that made all OCE players non-imports for the LCS. After Fudge joined the C9 Academy roster in 2020, they won both splits with a 33-10 overall record.
"I really believe Fudge will do very well. Even though he is a sort of new player coming in, he has all of the fundamentals. He can play the carry role very well — he's very confident on it — and he can play weak side too," Reignover said of his top laner. "So whatever upcoming meta, whatever playstyle we apply to the team, he is ready to fit all of those styles. Also, his communication is very good, his side lane is very good."
Finally, they addressed the questions fans have about the roster change despite announcing that they'd all stay together for the 2021 season. "We actually did consider [Fudge before the rule change]. We could see Fudge as the future of Cloud9," Jack explained. "When riot changed the rules so that Fudge was considered NA, we had to revisit this. That change was enough to tip the scales... It feels bad because we did make the announcement that we weren't going to change the roster, and we meant that."
Cloud9 has made two big changes in the break, and as always, before the free agency period even began, they've already lost the off-season. However, the interview clears up some of their moves and decisions. Be sure to check out all of the roster moves here, and get ready for the free agency period starting mid-November.
Images by Riot Games
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