Cloud9 have made significant changes to its League of Legends Championship Series Roster, with Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami having been promoted to the main starting lineup, while coach Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin will take over as head coach.
Former Academy top laner Fudge is set to replace Eric “Licorice” Ritchie for Cloud9, who will now be available for purchase ahead of the 20/21 League of Legends season, with the free agency period getting underway at 7pm ET on November 16. Licorice should easily find himself a new team, with the 23-year-old being one of the best top laners in the North American scene today. However, Cloud9 could demand top dollar for the Canadian, which could be of concern to interested parties.
Why Cloud9 Promoted Fudge
With Riot Games having dissolved the Oceanic Pro League last week, the home of Fudge, many players will now be hoping to move to the North American scene. Players from Oceana will now not fill an import slot, which are currently held by Yasin “Nisqy” Dincer and Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen at Cloud9.
Fudge helped Cloud9 to a first place finish in his debut season with the Academy, having previously represented Australian organization MAMMOTH, who themselves won the OPL Summer Split, qualifying for the 2019 League of Legends World Championship in the process. Following such exploits, Cloud9 academy offered him a contract, along with AD carry Calvin “K1ng” Truong. Fellow Oceana players Stephen “Triple” Li and Mitchell “Destiny” Shaw also secured moves, joining the Flyquest Academy and Origen respectively.
Licorice had been the starting top laner at Cloud9 since November 2017, having himself taken over from Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong, who left for Team Liquid. Licorice competed at the 2018 and 2019 World Championship with Cloud9, while he helped the team in winning the 2020 LCS Spring Split earlier this year. However, after failing to make it out of the playoffs for the first time in their history, Cloud9 clearly thought it was time for a change.
What We Can Expect from the New Look Cloud9
Fudge’s promotion marks the end of Licorice’s time as the starting top laner for Cloud9, a tenure which began in Nov. 2017 after the departure of Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong to Team Liquid. On Cloud9, Licorice competed at the 2018 and 2019 world championships and this season, won the 2020 LCS Spring Split. However, towards the end of the season, Cloud9 failed to make it through the playoffs and for the first time in organization history, they did not qualify for the world championship.
Cloud9 had already parted company with head coach Bok “Reapererd” Han-gyu, who had been with the team for over four seasons. Reignover will now take over as head coach, with the former Fnatic and Immortals jungler having been at Cloud9 since May last year following his retirement.