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The team that many thought would hoist the 2022 League of Legends Championship trophy before the 2022 season even started ended up doing so. In the end, Cloud9 took down 100 Thieves in a 3-0 sweep to head into Worlds 2022 as North America’s number one seed for the first time in nine years.

But that’s obviously not even close to the full story. C9 were actually not the favorites heading into the 2022 summer split after their experiment with Nick “LS” De Cesare went up in flames. With the head coach being ousted early on into the spring split, the team he left were not able to reach their peak. Their experiments with moving top laner Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami into the mid lane and bringing in unproven Korean imports didn’t meet expectations although there were some highs to go along with those lows.

But instead of blowing it up entirely, heading into the summer split C9 made critical adjustments that seemingly paid off. With moving Fudge back into the top lane, signing veteran mid laner Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen and moving bot laner Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen into support, the roster went through growing pains but unlike spring, this team managed to hit their goals.

Through trusting the C9 system, the team went out and proved to the world that they were, in fact, still the best team in the region even with entering playoffs as the fifth seed. Fudge was motivated by the doubters.

“When I played mid lane, we fell flat and lost that’s why coming into summer split I felt like I had a chip on my shoulder and I needed to prove something,” Fudge said. “Looking at us now we sorta did prove something. We proved we are the best team and it’s seemingly not even close.”

In a post-season with so many five-game series, C9 were the only team to win multiple best of five series in less than five games including dismantling both of the other two Worlds 2022 qualifiers from NA 100 Thieves and Evil Geniuses. When asked about the two other teams joining C9 at Worlds 2022, Fudge didn’t shy away from speaking his mind.

“I think EG will make it out of play-ins. They are a pretty good team and honestly I think they are probably better than 100 Thieves,” Fudge said. “But neither team will do well at Worlds, C9 will be the only hope for NA, as usual.”

In the Worlds 2022 group draw, C9 were drawn into a group featuring defending Worlds 2022 champion Edward Gaming and the record-breaking 2022 League Champions Korea Spring champions T1. But Fudge trusts that his team can stand up to the best of them.

“Although throughout the entire League of Legends history Asian teams have just sort of dominated everyone, I think that people sort of overexaggerate the difference in skill between us and the teams that win worlds,” Fudge said. “I think we definitely have the capability, if preparing well for our matches, to beat all the other teams.”

Speaking of history, the last time C9 were drawn into a group with EDG and T1 was back in 2017. That year C9 managed to make it out of groups.

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