League of Legends pro Top laner Eric “Licorice” Ritchie recently announced that LCS team Cloud9 will be parting ways with him for the 2021 season.
Despite being LCS champions in Spring, Cloud9 failed to make a difference in the Summer Split, missing out on a back-to-back domestic championship and a trip to the 2020 League of Legends World Championship (Worlds).
C9 is known for making drastic line-up changes as per its founder and CEO Jack Etienne. Before Spring 2020 began, Etienne released its franchise player of Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi to put some new blood into the team.
Cloud9 brought in EU bot-laner Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen, and even took out US$ 1.5M for support player Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme. While many fans were distraught by Sneaky’s removal, the team went on to win the 2020 Spring Split, and became LCS champions for the first time in six years.
Aside from Licorice, the team had also let go of head coach Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu who played a critical role in their success in the 2020 season. With the sudden drop in performance halfway through the Summer season and the playoffs, many fans and analysts put the blame on Reapered for unnecessary experimentations with the team composition.
Cloud9 will be putting C9 Academy coach Kim “ReignOver” Yeu-jin in the head coach position. C9 Academy top-laner Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami has been rumored to fill in the top-lane position.
Now that OCE players are no longer counted as non-resident players due to the disbandment of the OPL, C9 can now put Fudge in the main line-up alongside both of their star import players — Zven and Yasin “Nisqy” Dincer — still playing.
While not much was really said about Licorice’s move into the free agency, the Canadian top-laner is looking forward to competing with a new team next season.
READ MORE: Reapered parts ways with Cloud9