Cloud9 has confirmed that Kim "Reignover" Yeu-jin, the head coach of C9's League of Legends Championship Series team, did not travel to Iceland with the rest of the squad ahead of the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational. Alfonso "Mithy" Aguirre Rodríguez and Max Waldo will be able to coach on-site, but Reignover will only be able to help the team remotely.
The information was revealed when Cloud9 posted a photo of its team getting ready to fly to Reykjavik, Iceland. The photo includes all five starting players, mithy, Max Waldo, and substitute top laner Darshan "Darshan" Upadhyaya, who normally plays for Cloud9 Academy. After being asked about Reignover's absence in the airport photo, C9 cited immigration reasons in Reignover not traveling with the team.
Cloud9 is not the only team heading to MSI 2021 without its head coach. Just one day prior, it was revealed that League of Legends Pro League champion Royal Never Give up would be traveling to Iceland without head coach Wong "Tabe" Pak Kan due to his expired passport. The Chinese representative and North American representative have strong squads without a doubt, but having to work with a team's head coach remotely can be a major factor in a high-stakes environemnt.
In week 6 of the 2021 LCS Spring Split, Immortals was forced to draft against 100 Thieves without its head coach André "Guilhoto" Guilhoto in the building. In an interview with Inven Global, top laner Mo "Revenge" Kaddoura explained the massive difference due to the unexpected emergency situation that caused Guilhoto to have to draft with his team remotely. "There was a lot of stress even before our match because we couldn't have our coach in our building," Revenge explained.
"There were firefighters outside and they were stopping him from coming up to our office floor, and that was a bit frustrating because we've never drafted without our coach being in the same room as our team." The game was eventually remade.
Cloud9 is a team of seasoned veterans with multiple championships and deep international runs under their respective players' belts, so it's possible that the team will adapt smoothly due to the experience on the roster as well as the stellar nature of C9's supporting staff around Reignover.
Cloud9 won't have to wait long to test the waters at MSI 2021 — the very first match of the tournament features C9 against tournament favorite and League of Legends Champions Korea representative DWG KIA.