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The freshly rebranded Dignitas organization has agreed to trade main roster support Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme to fellow North American team Cloud9 in exchange for both a massive $1.5 million buyout and academy bot-laner Johnson “Johnsun” Nguyen, according to report by Jacob Wolf of ESPN.
The transaction cannot be officially processed until Monday at 7:00 p.m. ET. If the deal does go through, it will be one of the biggest individual buyouts in league history. Vulcan would then join a Cloud9 roster that is expected to bring back its starting top laner, Eric “Licorice” Ritchie, starting jungler, Robert “Blaber” Huang, and starting mid-laner, Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer.
Cloud9 is expected to lose its star starting support, Tristan “Zeyzal” Stridam, as well as its MVP starting jungler, Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen, and two more academy players in a massive transfer agreement with the returning Evil Geniuses organization, according to a previous report by ESPN.
Vulcan arguably had his best taste of success with the Dignitas organization (then known as Clutch Gaming) when the team took a 3-2 victory over legendary LCS squad TSM in the 2019 LCS Regional Finals this past summer. The tournament was to determine the third North American seed at Worlds, which Clutch slotted into after the big victory.
Judging by the early reactions, many followers of the scene are puzzled by this news. Vulcan isn’t exactly one of the more vaunted supports in the LCS, and this seems like a wildly high price to pay for Cloud9. That being said, it should be noted that Cloud9’s acquisition of Nisqy last year was also met with a lot of skepticism, and it seems to have most definitely panned out in the two splits since. Nisqy just finished a very successful summer split as 9th place in MVP voting and 2nd LCS All-Pro honors, with a close finish behind his predecessor in Nikolaj “Jensen” Jensen.
Cloud9 has an excellent track record of player development and discovering high potential talent. It remains to be seen if we’ll see a similar rise to prominence for the organization’s newest starting support.