LCS 2021: Cloud9 Announces New Amateur Team

League of Legends/Riot Games
League of Legends/Riot Games /

Following the path of 100 Thieves Next, Cloud9 is the next team to bring on its own amateur team for the new League of Legends tournament format.

About a month ago, Riot announced a new League of Legends tournament structure meant to help bridge the gap between academy and amateur events. This included new tournaments and tier divisions to help get the best competition possible as a way to help strengthen the native player talent scouting pool. As part of this each of the LCS teams is allowed to sign a third amateur team to play under their banner.

Unfortunately, it seems like few LCS teams are taking advantage of this.

100 Thieves Next, the original amateur team to be in this tier, let its roster go so the players could seek out academy offers. This was the correct move, as that team dominated amateur events and each player did wind up finding a spot in the LCS or Academy League.

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As 100 Thieves looks to reload their roster, we see a new challenger approaching, trying to replicate the success of 100 Thieves Next. That team is Cloud9 Amateur.

The roster for the new team has Lawrence “Speedo” Yap in the top lane from several amateur teams as well as Harrisburg University; Lawrence “eXyu” Xu another amateur player in the jungle; Daniel “CptShrimps” Yang in the mid lane, who attended this year’s Scouting Grounds; Michael “Wixxi” Fernandez in the bottom lane, another Harrisburg University product; and support Spenser “Tempos” White formerly of Illinois State. It’s a strong mix of amateur and college talent ready to make the jump to the next level.

I think Cloud9 is the perfect organization to add an amateur team. They have a good track record of developing talent for the LCS.  Players like Blaber, Zeyzal, Palafox, Diamond, Kumo, and Licorice have all had ties to Cloud9 Academy and have seen, or will see, starting time in the LCS this year. It seems like everywhere you turn players from Cloud9 are sought after whether they make it to the main team, or not, a testament to Cloud9’s reputation for developing homegrown talent.

Ranking the 50 greatest LCS players of all time. dark. Next

This makes me excited to see if Cloud9 Amateur can keep up with what 100 Thieves Next did in their first year of existence (I think most LCS teams that sponsor an amateur team will be compared to that 100T Next roster). Though I think Cloud9 stands the best chance of replicating what 100 Thieves did last season.

Overall it’s exciting to see Cloud9 dedicate some resources to amateur talent development and i hope the other teams in the LCS do the same.