Cloud9 and the Amateur League of Legends Scene

By John Nomis | |

Hello, my name is Jonathon “Platypus” McDaniel. Before Cloud9, I worked as an analyst for Team Huma throughout the 2016 EUCS Spring Season. I wasn’t sure in which capacity I would be working for Cloud9 initially, but they extended an open-ended offer for me to work under their brand to train and maintain their pre-NACS roster, dubbed as the Cloud9 Challenger Sub Squad (C9CSS). Beyond this, I was also introduced to the LCS and NACS rosters, becoming an analyst for each of those teams as well. Ignoring the current status of the NACS roster, I am currently enlisted as a Remote Analyst for any-and-all League of Legends Division teams at Cloud9.

Initially, the C9CSS had a somewhat unstable roster due to the team’s general purpose, which was to be a consistent practice partner for C9C while effectively “testing” various amateur talents. As is normally the case in amateur League of Legends, not all players were capable of committing to a full-time schedule. As the C9C roster worked towards earning qualification into the NACS, we began to finalize the C9CSS roster as follows:

  • Edward “Rohammers” R.
  • Alec “Morning” Chen
  • Bob “Bobqinxd” Qin
  • Ainslie “Maplestreet” Wyllie
  • Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam

Ultimately, these players would become the C9CSS members that remained together through most of the 2016 Summer NACS split, leading up to the Summer Trade Deadline and International Roster Lock. At this point, four of the five players were signed to teams, including Cloud9, Dream Team, Team Liquid, and Team Liquid Academy. Outside of our C9CSS endeavors, we also acquired Juan “Contractz” Garcia and Johnny “Altec” Ru, who replaced Yoonjae “Rush” Lee and Colin “Solo” Earnest. To clarify, An “Balls” Le was intending to return to the AD Carry role until Colin elected to join Team Liquid Academy two hours before the NACS Open Qualifier roster lock.

By the end of this split, we had acquired the following talents:

  • Thomas “Thinkcard” Slotkin
  • Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam
  • Eric “Licorice” Ritchie
  • Juan “Contractz” Garcia
  • Jonathon “Platypus” McDaniel

Throughout the split we elected to maintain an open-door policy for each and every player involved in the C9CSS roster (until the Trade Deadline) so as to allow them to pursue offers with any competitive NACS or LCS teams. I like to believe that our process was successful, as we scrimmed regularly, saw marked improvement, and celebrated together as any team would whenever we took games off of arguably stronger teams. Beyond this, we also played C9C each and every week throughout the split to effectively measure our growth while warming them up for their NACS matches as well as other scrims throughout the season. We may or may not have taken a game or two off of them. ;^)

Thanks for reading and allowing me to share my perspective of this last split. To follow up, Danan Flander, the Cloud9 General Manager, asked to share a few words.


I have much to say on the subject of Cloud9 and our interactions with Riot’s amateur League of Legends systems, and I have frequently shared my opinions directly with the Riot eSports staff. Myself, Hai, Jack, and Jonathon will hold an AMA soon on Reddit to field questions about our thoughts and concerns over the past, present, and future iterations of Cloud9 amateur rosters. For now I’d just like to take a page from Reddit and share a list of talented individuals (in order of appearance) who, at one point or another, grew under the Cloud9 amateur banners.
  • Cloud9 Eclipse

    • Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu

    • Tri “Kou” Tin Lam

    • Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten

    • Petter “Hjärnan” Freyschuss

    • Erih “Voidle” Sommermann

    • Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen

    • Jonas “Trashy” Andersen

  • Cloud9 Tempest (The Walking Zed Edition)

    • Gabriel “Yazuki” Ng

    • Kevin “Kez” Jeon

    • Aaron “Bischu” Kim

    • Johnny “Altec” Ru

    • Nicolas “Gleebglarbu” Haddad

  • Cloud9 Tempest (Charlie’s Angels Edition)

    • Colin “Solo” Earnest

    • Anthony “Hard” Barkhovtsev

    • David “Yusui” Bloomquist

    • Benjamin “LOD” deMunck

    • Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes

    • Charlie “Charlie” Lipsie

    • Ritchie “Fade” Ngo

    • Jamie “Sheep” Gallagher

    • Royce “Bubbadub” Newcomb

    • Justin “Jintae” Dinh

    • Sujal “kT Smurf” Adhikari

  • Cloud9 Challenger (Meteos Edition)

    • William “Meteos” Hartman

    • Yuri “KEITHMCBRIEF” Jew

    • Colin “Solo” Earnest

    • Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer

    • Alex “Xpecial” Chu

  • Cloud9 Challenger (Hai Edition)

    • Colin “Solo” Earnest

    • Yoonjae “Rush” Lee

    • Hai “Hai” Lam

    • An “Balls” Le

    • Daerek “LemonNation” Hart

    • Johnny “Altec” Ru

    • Thomas “Thinkcard” Slotkin

    • Kublai “Kubz” Barlas

    • Jonathon “Platypus” McDaniel

    • Juan “Contractz” Garcia

    • Eric “Licorice” Ritchie

  • Cloud9 Challenger Sub Squad

    • Eric “Licorice” Ritchie

    • Thomas “Thinkcard” Slotkin

    • Sujal “kT Smurf” Adhikari

    • “Gosu”

    • Maria “Maria” Creveling

    • Cole “Fragnat1c” Gregory

    • Joshua “Impactful” Mabrey [on loan from Immortals]

    • Tristan “xPecake” Côté-Lalumière

    • Ainslie “Maplestreet” Wyllie

    • Derek “Lohpally” Abrams

    • Alec “Morning” Chen

    • Edward “Rohammers” R.

    • David “InsanityXXX” Challe

    • Bob “Bobqinxd” Qin

    • Tanner “Damonte” Damonte

    • Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam

With that being said, I look forward to sitting down with the /r/Cloud9 and /r/LeagueOfLegends communities to address their concerns and complaints about our interactions with the League of Legends amateur scene!
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