Cloud9 will field a mixture of main roster players and academy players.

Just days out from the start of the 2022 LCS lock-in tournament, new Cloud9 head coach Nick “LS” De Cesare mentioned on his stream that he and the rest of the newly acquired players and coaches will not be available for the kick-off tournament. As is common with most western teams importing, Cloud9 are dealing with visa issues that are preventing them from having their setup ready to go for the start of the tournament.

As it stands right now, what is happening is the lock in is not going to feature me or any of the Koreans. None of the Korean players or myself will be there for January. […] Why so many issues (chat asking him)? because of visas. This happens to teams all the time. Just an unfortunate situation.

Instead, Cloud9 will be fielding the following roster for the lock-in tournament later this month:

  • Top lane: Darshan “Darshan”Upadhyaya
  • Jungle: Robert “Blaber” Huang
  • Mid lane: Ibrahim “Fudge”Allami
  • Bot lane: Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen
  • Support: Jonah “Isles” Rosario

Cloud9 was originally rumored to be fielding four of the five players on this roster, with the change being Darshan for Summit.

This is Isles’ opportunity to shine

With Cloud9 and LS yet to announce who the starting support will be for Cloud9, Isles has a unique opportunity to set the pace early. Isles is a promising player coming through the Cloud9 academy system and deserves an opportunity to play for one of the best teams in North America.

While Winsome will be getting scrim time in with the starting ADC in Berserker, Isles will be getting valuable stage time. This extra time will allow him to shake off any initial nerves and come into his element ahead of the spring split. Although LS potentially has already made up his mind, Isles can prove to the coaching staff he is ready for the challenge by putting in a strong performance in lock-in.

The silver lining for Cloud9 during lock-in

Although this is far from an ideal situation for C9, there are some positives. Firstly, all of the components are in the right places. What this means is that Fudge and Blaber can work on synergy, as well as the bot lane can practise together. In the 2020 offseason, the newly acquired C9 bottom lane of Zven and Vulcan boot camped in Korea ahead of the season.

This practice time helped build their synergy ahead of the spring split. Berserker and Winsome have the same opportunity as they get to take part not only in solo queue but scrims. LS reiterated later in the stream it would be irresponsible to not scrim with 3/5 players being available in Korea.

The second silver lining is that Fudge and Blaber are able to play together during the lock-in tournament. Although they played together last year, role swapping to mid could take some time for both players to get used to on a professional level.

Disclaimer: This news article will be updated upon official confirmation from Cloud9.

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Jordan Marney -

Jordan Marney

| Twitter: @MarnMedia

Jordan "Marn" Marney is an esports journalist from across the pond. Marn specialises in telling stories about League of Legends and Call of Duty. Marn has been a passionate esports fan since 2014 and has written for publications Unikrn, Esports Network, ESTNN and The United Stand.