Cloud9 Blue is looking towards the Valorant 2021 Champions Tour, after a disappointing exit in First Strike.
Many people, including players on C9, were disappointed with their performance in the qualifiers. C9 was defeated by T1 0-2 in the UMG Tournament, disqualifying them for the main event. Fans knew roster changes were imminent, and they’ve already begun. More changes could come before the Champions Tour begins.
Assessing where Cloud9 stands ahead of the Valorant 2021 Champions Tour
C9’s first roster change came on Dec 11th. IGL Josh “Shinobi” Abastado was dropped from the team.
C9 changing their in-game-leader can drastically change the team’s dynamic. New strategies are sure to come from C9. The next IGL may be the reason the squad ultimately succeeds or fails. It’s also worth noting that the team made a relatively recent change to their coaching position in November.
In the JBL Quantum Cup and the Cloud9 to the Skyes tournament, Nathan “Leaf” Orf has been filling the void. There has been no official word on Leaf being signed as a member of the roster, though.
In the NSG Tournament Qualifier, C9 showed how dominant they can be. They defeated Envy 2-1 in the final.
C9’s success has been largely influenced by strong performances by Tyson “TenZ” Ngo. In the NSG Qualifier, TenZ recorded a KD ratio of 1.69. With 22.7 kills per map, it’s no wonder C9 has been able to see some success.
Although TenZ has had some great performances, his teammates have been underwhelming at times. TenZ recorded ten more kills per map than two of his teammates, Daniel “Vice” Kim (12.7) and Mitch “Mitch” Semago (12.6). It’s unlikely a team can be successful on the highest stage when there’s so much disparity between players. Professional Valorant players have jokingly referred to C9 as 'TenZ and Friends'
Cloud9 has some things to figure out before considering them a top contender in the Valorant 2021 Champions Tour. Filling the void for their IGL should be their first move. Also, officially signing their fifth player is a very important step. Overall, Cloud9 needs more consistent performances from their entire roster, even TenZ.
Improving as a team is an absolute essential for this group. Other teams have shown that a balanced roster almost always beats a superstar fragger.
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