The League of Legends community received shocking news yesterday. Moments before Cloud9 was about to compete in the LCS against Counter Logic Gaming, the organization tweeted that their head coach Nick “LS” De Cesare had been released, replaced by Max Waldo.

Putting together a “standard draft” that fits the current meta, Cloud9 lost heavily from the laning phase after C9 Blaber got caught out several times. The team would never recover, and lost to CLG, handing them their first victory of the split.

Amidst curiosity over the real reason for LS’s abrupt departure, the players and staff were told to not comment about the situation in interviews and on social media.

In their next match, C9 went up against TSM. This time, the team, which drafted a scaling LS-style composition with Karthus and Senna in the bot lane, came back from an abysmal early game when Robert “Blaber” Huang’s Nocturne stole a crucial Baron.

After the game, the jungler tweeted “One last ride for the church” in a tribute to the departed head coach.

C9 Blaber tweets after TSM game in tribute to LS

In a post-game interview with Gabriella “LeTigress” Devia-Allen after their win against TSM, the jungler highlighted the game-changing moment when he used Nocturne’s ultimate, Paranoia, to dive into the Baron Pit and steal the Baron.

“I just Blue Trinketed [the Baron Pit] last second, tried to steal the Baron,” he explained. “I think we went eight deaths in the first eight minutes or something… but [I’m] happy we got the win.”

On why the draft against TSM turned out the way it did, Blaber told LeTigress, “I think we just decided to go with what we’ve been practicing the whole week. Yesterday’s draft, even though it looked very standard, we did not play that [during practice],” he shared. “We played comps like [today’s] in practice and then we decided we’re just going to play it today regardless… and [it] turned out well.”

One of LS’s signatures is his unconventional drafts. As the pioneer of Soraka and Ivern mid, he already had an influence on the global meta. The way Cloud9 drafted against TSM certainly carried LS’s signature, with Karthus in the bot lane.

To send the former head coach off, Blaber described the win as “One last ride for the church” on Twitter. LS acknowledged it with a GIF of Father Paul Hill from Netflix miniseries Midnight Hill, while bot laner Kim “Berserker” Min-cheol also replied to Blaber’s tweet with an “Amen”.

With the win over TSM, Cloud9 are currently 4-2 in the LCS at joint third with 100 Thieves, below FlyQuest and Team Liquid, both first.

Their next game in the LCS Spring Split 2022 is against Dignitas on February 26, 6.30 a.m. GMT+8 | February 25, 2.30 p.m. PT | February 25, 10.30 p.m. GMT. You can catch them live on Twitch and YouTube.

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