Despite losing to Team SoloMid (TSM) in the Summer Split Finals, Cloud 9 (C9) will successfully return to the League of Legends World Championship as North America’s third seed after defeating Immortals (IMT) 3-1 in the Regional Gauntlet.
After blasting past Team EnVyUs (NV) in the quarterfinals of the regional qualifier with a dominating 3-0 series, Cloud 9’s Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong proved he was still world-champion caliber. Impact’s Gnar destroyed NV’s top laner, Shin “Seraph” Woo-yeong, which eventually broke Seraph’s previous all-time death record and giving him a new one of 11. The rest of the series would sweep in C9’s favor, showcasing Impact’s skill and their drive to make it to the world stage.
The biggest threat to C9 was Immortals, who recently defeated Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) for third place in the playoffs. Although Immortals had an impressive summer split regular season record of 16 wins and 2 losses (the two losses being only from TSM), they lost to C9 in the playoff semifinals 3-2. IMT looked to get revenge on the C9 squad.
However, C9’s upswing and god-like performance by Impact stomped what could have been a close series. Impact dismantled IMT’s star top laner, Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon, with multiple solo kills.
— lolesports (@lolesports) September 5, 2016
After the series, perspectives on Impact dramatically changed. Going through a slump after his world championship days, Impact now looks just as strong as when he hoisted that World Championship trophy back in season 3. Overall, the C9 roster are continually improving towards an international level. William “Meteos” Hartman, C9’s jungler, emphasized that he’s always learning to be a better player, even after he thought he knew everything after being so dominant in the early years of the LCS.
This will be C9’s 4th appearance at Worlds, this time without Hai Lam, their original shot caller and leader. Despite this, C9 have many advantages and way to show up big amidst the international competition. With coach Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu, who many attribute C9’s success to, along with Impact and the rest of the team’s improving skills, anything is possible for C9 at the World Championship.