Cloud9's 3-1 loss to Team Liquid in the first round of the 2021 League Championship Series Championship came as a surprise, but C9 came into its first lower bracket match against Golden Guardians as the overwhelming favorite.
C9 eliminated GG in a 3-0 sweep, and after the win, C9 support and player of the series Philippe "Vulcan" Laflamme joined Gabriella “LeTigress” Devia-Allen for a post-match broadcast interview on the LCS stage.
C9 made a few adjustments since its loss to Team Liquid, most notably the banning of Ziggs all three games, a champion that was crucial in TL's strategy used to defeat C9. When asked by LeTigress about the adjustments made after losing to TL, Vulcan did not hold back in his response.
"Well, it seems like...For now, Ziggs is our new Voldemort champ that we don't talk about in the house," Vulcan admitted. "We're going to keep it banned for now and see what happens because we're not sure how to win against it right now." Vulcan paused before adding, "Maybe I'm leaking a bit right now; hopefully my coaches are not too mad at me."
It was clear that Cloud9 didn't have an answer to the Ziggs bot lane of TL AD carry Edward "Tactical" Ra, particularly because of the compositions Team Liquid was allowed to play around the pick. TL's solo laners were allowed to profile fully into physical damage, melee solo laners, which went great with the Sejuani of jungler Lucas "Santorin" Larsen.
The Ziggs-Sejuani composition also allowed TL support Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in, who was already the most frequent roaming support in the LCS, to roam more than ever before.
In the second time playing this type of composition, which was game 4, CoreJJ spent absolutely zero seconds in the bot lane after three minutes and set an LCS record for lowest Duo Proximity at 0.4%, which translates to 3.6 seconds spent within 1500 units of Tactical throughout minute 3 to minute 15, which happened in grouping at the dragon pit.
For now, Cloud9 looks to not have an answer to Ziggs, but fortunately for C9, its next opponent will either be 100 Thieves or Evil Geniuses, two teams who only have one game each on Ziggs in the LCS Summer Split. However, it goes without saying that finding a solution outside of permabanning the Hexplosives Expert will be one of the Cloud9's priorities in preparing for its next match in the lower bracket of the 2021 LCS Championship.