Cloud9 completes miraculous gauntlet run, earns spot at Worlds | LoL Esports
Cloud9 completes miraculous gauntlet run, earns spot at Worlds
Cloud9 didn't need a third miraculous reverse sweep to punch their ticket to the 2015 World Championship. After an against-all-odds run through the North American Regional Qualifiers, Cloud9 dropped Team Liquid in a four game series, securing the No. 3 seed behind Counter Logic Gaming and Team SoloMid to represent NA at Worlds.
It certainly wasn't their early 2015 NA LCS Summer Split performance that got them to where they're at now. Thanks to the Championship Points they earned in Spring and a just-good-enough run at the end of Summer, they were able to eek their way into the Regional Qualifiers gauntlet. That success can largely be attributed to Hai "Hai" Lam, who subbed in for William "Meteos" Hartman during Week 6 as Cloud9's jungler and -- perhaps more importantly -- shotcaller.
That legendary shot-calling was on full display as Cloud9 astonishingly ran the entirety of the NA LCS Regional Qualifier gauntlet. After dropping two games to Gravity in the opening round of the Qualifier, they managed to rally for a reverse sweep of the one-time NA leader. And then, they did exactly the same to Team Impulse, thanks to stand-out performances from Cloud9's once-dormant carries, Zachary "Sneaky" Scuderi and Nicolaj "Incarnati0n" Jensen.
"I think I've always been pretty good, but recently I've been much more confident," says Cloud9's mid laner Incarnati0n. "I know Hai's always backing me up so I can do my own thing and he'll always have my back. He's helped me feel more confident and comfortable. I know that I can trust him, so if I ever want to do something he'll be there to back me up. Also, his shot calling makes the entire team work much better as a team."
"Reverse sweeping feels really good," continues Incarnati0n, though he admits it's exhausting playing in so many Best of 5 series. "It feels better than winning a 3-0 because you fought really hard to win. I think it feels much better, and I'm really happy we reverse swept two times!"
Riding that momentum from their sweeps, Team Liquid proved to be the final boss in Cloud9's quest for Worlds. But C9 came prepared. In the series that mattered most, every member of the team stood out, with Sneaky's exceptional Draven being a pivotal pick to counter World Champion Gwang-jin "Piglet" Chae's Vayne. It was an emotional series, but together, Cloud9 took it 3-1.
And looking back through the series', Incarnati0n laughs, thinking about how his team won more games in the Regional Qualifiers than they did in the entirety of Summer. "We did it as a team and I think I played a big role," Incarnati0n says. "I was proud that I played very consistent and at a good level."
As a team once on the brink of relegation, then repeatedly faced with elimination, Cloud9 have finally come through to qualify for the 2015 World Championship. And now with Worlds on the horizon, they've got yet another month to prepare even more strategies as they head off for their intense training bootcamp in Korea. "It was a dream of mine to go to Worlds. When I first joined Cloud9 I was expecting us to go to Worlds, but it was just not working out. And in the end, it's worked out. It's such a relief."
You can watch Cloud9 compete at Worlds alongside the other two qualifying NA LCS teams, Counter Logic Gaming and Team SoloMid, this October on Lolesports.