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Just before their first game in Week 3 of the League Championship Series spring split, Cloud9 announced the release of their former head coach, Nick “LS” De Cesare, and the promotion of Max Waldo to take his place. One day later, Cloud9 mid laner Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami responded to the frustrated and confused fans about what it means for their team moving forward.

Fudge noted the team’s reaction somewhat mimicked the shock felt across the broadcast and community, but also spoke to the team’s resilience and positive attitudes amidst the chaotic weekend. He is confident in their ability to continue adapting and pushing the boundaries of the meta and thanked the fans who were still supporting him and the team.

Watch the interview with Fudge here, or read the transcription down below.

Upcomer: I wanna talk about your mid lane performance. You are 4-2 now, you’ve had a few months a mid laner, you’ve played all sorts of different picks. I think, correct me if I’m wrong, this is your first win on…

Fudge: Yeah, not an enchanter.

Upcomer: There we go. How did it feel?

Fudge: It feels pretty good, especially when David “Phreak” Turley is permanently talking sh*t. It feels pretty good to win on a non-enchanter. Or maybe he’ll say that Orianna has a shield so this is an enchanter, but it felt really good to play a slow game where I felt like I didn’t make too many mistakes.

I feel like a lot of games that I play I do make random errors where I’m mispositioning, especially because [with] control mages positioning is the most important thing. I feel like my positioning was a lot better in these games compared to previous games where I was playing enchanters, so I’m pretty happy with my progress.

Cloud9 Fudge
Fudge is proud of his progress, but acknowledges he has a lot to learn on more standard mid lane picks. | Photo by Parkes Ousley/Upcomer

I do think, though, that if I was really good at the Orianna, for example, this game, it could have looked a lot different in terms of laning phase. And also my ability to dish out damage in teamfights where I’m spacing and positioning would have been better, and would have made the teamfights look better as well.

So I think that there’s still a lot to work on where someone like Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg or Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon, Heo “ShowMaker” Su would have made it look better. But I think that I like my progress so far.

Upcomer: I want to talk some about team atmosphere. You know, there’s an elephant in the room, but you guys seem pretty excited, pretty confident. How’s the team feeling today? You got the win, Robert “Blaber” Huang was doing his interview and you’re all out there cheering him on and stuff like that. Can you share some of what it’s like behind the scenes for all of you right now on Cloud9?

Fudge: Obviously, I wasn’t expecting LS to be released. But we found out yesterday morning, about a couple hours before our game. So it was a little bit shocking when I first heard about it, but I think the team has done a good job of still trying to focus on the game and focusing especially for this weekend, because we haven’t really had a time to relax because it happened right after.

We’ve done a pretty good job of just looking at the games, focusing on the games, focusing on what we have to do and what’s in our control. And I think that my teammates are doing a really good job of keeping the mood positive in general.

I think that we still have a lot to work on as a team and we’re focusing on that rather than all the social media drama about LS and everything. I’m sure that C9 themselves will probably make a statement or Jack, I assume, will make a statement about or talk about it. So we’re just focusing on what we can do and waiting for other people in C9 to basically let the public know.

Upcomer: I want to ask about meta though, with that context. So much of what you especially were playing was kind of based on this different set of ideals than the normal Orianna type of play. What is your thought right now for Cloud9’s progression as far as being a team that is willing to push the boundaries of what we expect from the LCS and the pro League of Legends meta?

Fudge: I think with LS we definitely would’ve pushed it way more, just because he’s a person that very much believes in surprising your opponents with certain picks that they’re not used to playing against. I do think it’s very likely that we’ll play more common picks now that he’s not with us, but I do think that we still as people like to innovate.

Especially me and Blaber I would say are very, very willing to sort of wing it on stage. We were even talking about it pregame about winging certain drafts. Obviously, we didn’t get down to doing it because the scenario didn’t happen, but I think in general, we’re still going to be pretty creative with our picks and I don’t think that just because LS is gone means that we’ll be only playing standard. I do think, however, he added more spice to it.

Upcomer: I mean, we got to see the Karthus bot lane, so Berserker is at least willing to play a non-ADC. So I think, just for the fans who are all doom and gloom, it seems like there’s still obviously a lot of life and creativity left in Cloud9.

Fudge: Definitely. I agree.

Upcomer: So I think you’re 4-2 right now, probably tied for second-ish. What is your thought on the LCS overall? We’ve got two teams, not naming any names, that are way down below in the standings, but everyone else is like 5-1, 4-2, 3-3. What is your thought about how things are going to shape up in the next few weeks as we wrap up towards playoffs?

Fudge: Well, playing against CLG and TSM, it feels like every team can beat every team. I also think TL are beatable, I think 100 are beatable, EG are beatable, as we can see from what happened today, right? With 100T and EG. So I think right now, if I had to guess, TL is probably still the best team right now, but I do think that they still make a lot of errors that other teams do as well, which get punished.

Cloud9 in the stands, Fudge gives a thumbs up
The team all sat together to watch Blaber’s interview after their win, cheering him on. | Photo by Parkes Ousley/Upcomer

So I think that it’s very possible that we’ll see upsets even more. And I think that the standings show that some teams are better than others, I think that it’s still very close games, and I think that’s pretty exciting to watch, honestly. I don’t like watching like TL play against CLG and sh*t on them, so I think it’s gonna be exciting to watch.

Obviously, I hope that we end up a little bit better so we actually dominate the other teams, but obviously, right now, that’s not how it is and we just need to focus on what we can improve on in scrims and what we’re going to draft on stage, make sure we practice really well. That’s what we’re focusing on.

Upcomer: At least you’re sitting at a comfortable 4-2, you know? A little buffer there to kind of help out. Thank you so much for the interview. Last question: do you have anything you want to say to the Cloud9 fans who are sticking around who are still excited to watch you all play?

Fudge: I hope that C9 in general will be able to show clarity for the situation and what happened with LS so that people can be more comfortable. I do think right now there isn’t much clarity, which is why there’s a lot of confusion and I guess hate on social media. But I think we’ll start playing a lot better.

I do think that the fans that are still supporting us even through all the LS drama, I appreciate them a lot. People that are still DMing me have very supportive messages, [it’s] very nice. So thank you to all those fans that are still supporting us despite all the drama.

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