Reigning LCS Summer champions are reportedly signing two mid laners from the European Regional Leagues.
Despite winning the 2022 LCS Summer Split, Cloud9 had a very disappointing Worlds. The organization only won one game, against Fnatic, and players drew heavy criticism from fans due to their individual plays. As they played the split with a role-swapped Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen at support, there have been multiple rumors about possible roster changes coming.
But not many people were expecting the veteran mid laner Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen to be the one replaced, and people definitely did not expect Cloud9 to sign two mid laners from ERLs. But according to a report from blix.gg’s Alejandro “anonimotum” Gomis today, C9 reached a verbal agreement with Dimitri “Diplex” Ponomarev, from Vitality Bee, and Jang “EMENES” Min-soo, from now-defunct JDXL. Gomis said EMENES will be joining the C9 Academy, while Diplex is headed to the main roster, although the rosters can change during the season.
Sources: Diplex 🇩🇪 and EMENES 🇰🇷 reach verbal agreement with Cloud 9 🇺🇸. The two midlaners will compete for the North American team next year 2023.
Diplex ➡️ main team
EMENES ➡️ academy team
Main team or academy could change during off season
— Alejandro Gomis (@anonimotum) November 3, 2022
Diplex, a 19-year-old from Germany, has been playing in Vitality’s LFL team for the last two years. He’s been looked at as a possible LEC player, but he couldn’t find the promotion he was looking for in EU. EMENES is also a very promising player. He came up in the Gen.G Academy and has been playing in ERLs for the last year or so. The Korean has been described as “…an extraordinary player in terms of raw skill,” but he had some troubles due to out-of-game issues.
Breaking up the championship team
2022 has been a very up-and-down year for Cloud9’s League team. With the hiring, and then firing, of the head coach Nick “LS” De Cesare, the MVP Split and the eventual playoff collapse of their star top laner Park “Summit” Woo-tae. Eventually, the team managed to come together at the end of the Summer, peaking at the right time and lifting the LCS trophy.
But their not-so-great Worlds performance and the 1-5 exit meant there probably would be some roster changes. Two new mid laners coming in probably means Jensen is once again out of C9. The LCS veteran had already taken a split off during Spring, so it will be interesting to see whether he does the same or not. Another departure might be Zven, who throughout the season indicated that his swap to support was only temporary. After the results of Worlds, Zven might be looking for a starting ADC role in LCS.
In a twist of fate, the biggest free agent support in North America right now is another role-swapped ADC. Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in’s contract with Team Liquid will end on November 22, and it is rumored that the former World champion will stay with the organization. CoreJJ can be an attractive target for Cloud9, especially considering their bot laner prodigy Kim “Berserker” Min-cheol is also Korean. It should also be noted that CoreJJ doesn’t count as an import as he got his green card last split.