Cloud9 has been struggling this summer split of the League Championship Series, currently only managed a 3-7 record, the lowest in the teams history at this point in the season. It is typical for Cloud9 to give up early games, but at this point, the team usually finds its edge. In response to the waning performance of the team, Meteos announced he’d be stepping down as the teams Jungler and shotcaller. Meteos has been Jungling for Cloud9 since Season 3, early into the team’s life. The announcement that he’d be leaving his position is one of many very significant roster changes Cloud9 has had to endure, after Hai, their former mid laner, announced his retirement after the Spring Split in April. Frequent roster changes are not uncommon in League of Legends professional play, but losing two veteran players in a such a short time frame is not as common. Hai in particular has been a part of Cloud9 since it was first conceived, with Meteos joining shortly after.
Meteos is not completely leaving the team, though his new role in the team has yet to be decided, and most likely he will move into a coaching role, as many other veterans have done. It was announced that Hai would be moving in to substitute temporarily as the Jungler until the team can find a replacement.
— lolesports (@lolesports) July 3, 2015
But given the short notice, Hai’s return may not be the help the team needs now, despite the ecstatic reaction from fans. Thus far, Cloud9 has only managed to overcome similarly underperforming teams, with one exception. The team started the Summer Split against their long time rival Team Solomid. This game is their first official match since Solomid took the Spring Finals, and was expected to be a heated match, and Cloud9 managed to achieve a decisive victory over the fan favorite. Usually, this would signify a good omen for the team to kick off the Summer Split.
However, in the following game against Dignitas, despite LCS fans overwhelmingly agreeing that Cloud9 had the upper hand, Cloud9 performed dismally, only picking up four total kills for the game. Dignitas picked up a 15K gold lead in the game, and have since gone on to become contenders in the Summer Split, as has Solomid. They faced similar problems the next week against Gravity, and then against Impulse in Week 2. Currently they are tied for 7th in the League, along with Enemy Esports and Team 8, two new teams who just emerged this season.
Analysts have noted that Cloud9 had similar issues at the start of the year, before the Spring Split, where the team had trouble adjusting to the everchanging meta of the game. There however, Cloud9 was still able to maintain their power in the League as major contenders. This season however, at least some of the blame likely rests on the roster changes. Especially given the crucial function of the Jungler, Hai in that position may be able to lift the team out of their slump, at least until a permanent replacement is found, but given his pre-existing injury and that he has not played with the team in several months, his return could do more harm than good.
Cloud9 will play Team Liquid (formerly Team Curse) and Team 8 during Week 6 starting on Saturday, with the new roster in place.