Kim "Berserker" Min-cheol, Cloud9’s South Korean bot laner, may have his Summer Split thrown into chaos with the news he has lost his passport and visa, making it impossible for him to travel to the United States. The former T1 academy talent was due to kick off his LCS Summer Split with Cloud9 on June 17th, with his team one of the favorites to take the regional title.
The news was broken by former Cloud9 coach Nick "LS" De Cesare in a Twitch live stream. In the clip, which you can see below, LS claims that “autumn met him (Berserker) for sushi or something and Berserker lost his passport, and his passport also had the visa in it.” We presume “autumn” in this case refers to Jeong "autumn" Soo-hwan, an assistant coach and translator for Cloud9.
According to LS, the process for obtaining a new passport and visa can take anywhere up to five weeks, which would be a significant blow to Cloud9, with their first game due to take place in the next eleven or so days. Should Berserker not be able to make it in time, it is likely that Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen would fill his boots in the bot lane. This would leave the support role open, however, as Zven was Cloud9's designated support for the Summer Split. It's likely that academy player Mitchell “Destiny” Shaw would temporarily fill the support role, if Cloud9 find themselves in the difficult situation that Berserker indeed won't make it in time.
Not C9's first visa problems
Cloud9’s best hope for a swift resolution would be the player finding his documents rather than having to re-apply, but if they don’t there is a chance they miss a full month of play with Berserker. This won’t just impact their early season results, but also limit their chance of gaining full synergy with their preferred starting five, which would put them behind their peers in the race to find form before playoffs.
With the fixtures not announced until a few days before the start of the Summer Split, the team don’t know who they will match up against yet, and at this point in time it is unclear if Berserker will be in NA for that game. The fact there is a chance he might still make it makes it hard for any potential opponent to prepare for them, but equally, Cloud9 presumably don’t yet know what their team will be for match day one.
This wouldn’t be the first time Cloud9 have had these problems, with reports from January also claiming the team was struggling to arrange travel for staff based in South Korea. At the time LS was still employed as head coach of the C9 roster, saying on January 5 that visa issues meant several C9 players and staff located in Korea would not be able to make the trip to the USA for the 2022 LCS Lock-In tournament.