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With a drive to develop new North American talent, Cloud 9 hinted at a new challenger team that mixes rookies and C9 veterans.
Cloud 9 are no strangers to investing in the NA Challenger Series. Previous teams such as Cloud 9 Challenger and Cloud 9 Tempest made waves in the challenger leagues, but never saw the opportunity to advance to anything greater. The veteran LCS players of C9 are now taking a more hands on approach with the announcement of a brand new challenger promotion roster, where many of C9’s old star players will be participating with the goal to teach rising NA talent and foster a new era of the LCS.
It is unclear if the players on this roster will stay there upon reaching the NACS and potentially the NALCS, or if they are simply on the roster to boost the team through the tournament.
Current members include Hai “Hai” Lam, An “Balls” Le, Lee “Rush” Yoon-jae, and C9 coach Daerek “LemonNation” Hart. A listing of C9’s team on the NA summer CS open qualifier also names accounts such as “Licorice”, “Morning”, “tss” belonging to Thomas “Thinkcard” Slotkin, Colin “Solo” Earnest, and “Tangerineorange” possibly belonging to Johnny “Altec” Ru. Many of these names are speculative and not confirmed as of yet. Hai encourages any NA players with a challenger ranking to contact him to try out for the team via a 5v5 match.
A challenger team consisting of such high caliber NA talent definitely draws quite a bit more hype to such an underrated competition. With a team such as this, Hai plans to be using his varied experience in the LCS to mold these rookie players into a team worth competing with the rest of NA’s best. Will C9 finally have a successful challenger roster? Be on the look out this summer as they fight their way through the challenger bracket to show that NA still has new talent worth discovering.