The League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) squad Cloud9 have announced the signing of Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin as the new head coach of their League of Legends team. The South Korean strategist has previously served as a positional coach for C9 and the head coach of C9’s academy team.
Busy offseason for Cloud9
Like many other high-profile League of Legends squads, Cloud9 did not take any time off during the offseason and have to date already announced a couple of changes to their team in a bid to see more success comes the 2021 LCS season. As revealed last week, C9’s star top laner Eric “Licorice” Ritchie has left the team and was shortly after replaced by academy player Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami, who in 2019 played for Oceanic Pro League (OPL) squad MAMMOTH.
The biggest change in C9’s team, however, happened just a month prior, when their head coach Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu announced he is leaving the organization after a four-year-long stint. The motive behind his departure is unknown, but it’s likely C9’s disappointing run through the 2020 LCS Summer and their failure to qualify for the League of Legends World Championship had something to do with it.
Losing such a prominent figure and an iconic coach was a huge blow for C9, who struggled to find a suitable replacement, although there are not many coaches that are regarded as highly as Reapered and even fewer that are free agents and available to take over the North American team. In the end, C9 decided to promote Reignover who served as C9’s academy team head coach for the last nine months.
Reignover’s successful stint with C9 Academy
Reignover joined C9 Academy in January 2020 along with jungler Rami “Inori” Charagh, ADC Calvin “K1ng” Truong and top laner Fudge. Reignover led the new-look team to incredible heights in the NA Academy 2020 Spring split where C9 ended the regular season with an impressive 14-4 and concluded the split with a near-perfect run through the playoffs to secure the spring title.
To no one’s surprise, C9 Academy continued with their dominant showing into the summer split, where they finished the regular season with a 13-5 record and later added another title with a 3-1 win over Team SoloMid Academy team in the finals of NA Academy 2020 Summer playoffs.
C9 Academy were a force to be reckoned with for the past three seasons, however, the 2020 season was still a huge improvement from their run in 2019. Last season C9 Academy won both regular seasons but failed to win the title by losing the Spring split finals against TSM Academy and dropping the ball in the NA Summer playoffs semi-finals against 100 Thieves Academy.
What makes C9 Academy’s run through the 2020 season and Reignover’s accomplishments as a coach even more impressive is the fact that he has never before served as a head coach for a League of Legends team. The closest Reignover has come to coaching experience was in May 2019-October 2020, when he served as a positional coach for C9’s LCS team.
Cloud9 hope changes will bring success in 2021
Cloud9 had a phenomenal run through the early stages of the 2020 LCS season and quickly established themselves as the strongest North American LoL team. They ended the LCS Spring regular season with a near-perfect 17-1 record and ended up winning the Spring split title with ease.
Cloud9 continued with their dominance into the LCS 2020 Summer and once more proved they’re a level above all other teams by finishing Week 5 with a 9-1 record at which point things turned sour. In the succeeding weeks, C9 started to slump and lost four out of the next eight games to finish the regular season in second place (13-5).
Even after their less-than-inspiring run through the latter stages of the split, C9 entered the 2020 LCS Summer playoffs as the main favorites to go all the way and hoist the trophy, however, they failed to deliver and lost against FlyQuest (1-3) in the second round.
C9 saw some success in the lower bracket where they crushed Evil Genuises (3-0), but ended up suffering a shock 1-3 loss to Team SoloMid in the next round. That not only meant C9 were eliminated from the LCS title race but have also lost their last chance to secure a ticket for the World Championship for the first time since in their history.
Even though the arrival of Reignover and the departure of Licorice are both massive changes, it’s fair to assume more big moves are in motion. As it stands now, however, C9’s lineup consists of Fudge, Robert “Blaber” Huang, Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer, Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen, Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme and Reignover at the helm.