With League of Legends World Championships starting this prior week, there may be some question about which team you might want to cheer for. I'd like to argue that this team will become one of your favorites in a very short time span. The team is making their fourth run at the League of Legends Worlds Championship out of the four year they have existed as an organization. Their team is known as the sole reason that North America is still a competitive region. That team is Cloud 9.
Cloud 9 has faced adversity after adversity throughout their history. Most notably was last year's gauntlet run. Hai, the team's main shot-caller and leader, retired due to his wrist injuries, but would later return as a last ditch effort to make it to Worlds. He managed to get the team to tie for seventh place in their league. Had they finished at eighth, their chances of returning to Worlds were over. They won the tiebreaker and finished sixth in the regular season. Then, they had to run through the gauntlet against teams three, four, and five. The way the gauntlet works is that the two lowest seeds play each other, the winner of that plays the next lowest seed, etc. These games are best 3-of-5, and Cloud9 were down 0-2 in both of the first series, yet managed to stay mentally strong and reverse sweep both series. They eventually won the last match and punched their ticket to worlds for a third year in a row.
That brings us to season 6. This roster might be the best iteration of Cloud 9 yet. Top laner Jung "Impact" Eon-yeong is a prior World Champion. William "Meteos" Hartman, a native jungler, used to be one of the best junglers, especially in season 3 and 4. His pathing and jungle style revolutionized the North American scene. Mid laner Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen is the biggest carry of the team, showing up in high pressure moments with flashy plays and utter dominance. AD carry Zachary "Sneaky" Scuderi is the most consistent member of the team, managing to always output high levels of damage with very little help from his team. Support Andy "Smoothie" Ta is an incoming rookie but has nothing to show his status. He performs at a high level that rivals veterans.
Each player has their own amazing achievements, but the best thing about the team is their personalities. This team spawns memes. Literally after every match they play, there is a meme created. The two most popular memes are "body" by Jensen and "Top die" by Impact. This speaks volumes of how impressive their team is. The body meme became a thing because Jensen would have moments where he decides to just take over a game, whether it's a solo kill or a team fight massacre, he "bodies" those fools. "Top die" is a pretty fresh meme as well. Its origins lie with the recent playoff series and gauntlet run by the team, where top laner Impact showed an amazing performance. In an interview with their jungler, Meteos, he replied that Impact will randomly say "Top die" and then he goes and solo kills the other laner. Solo kills are extremely rare, as they usually happen only once every five or so games, even for the most elite teams.
I have been following this team since they made their existence known in the League Championship Series. One thing I know is that you will never be disappointed with them. This team pulls off ridiculous upsets when they're counted out. Their play style is one that will always make you feel your adrenaline pumping. Best of all, their memes never cease to amaze.