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Recent Echo Fox addition Andy “Smoothie” Ta has finally shone some light on the benching situation on Cloud9, as well as his trade to Echo Fox. Smoothie would release a Twitlonger explaining the decision to bench him at the beginning of the season. There were multiple rumors spreading around the League community. Some rumors were saying that Cloud9 would bench mid laner Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen, ADC Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi and Smoothie due to lack of motivation. However, it seems that the rumors were not completely true.
Smoothie: A Change in Playstyle, A Change in Confidence
Smoothie would go on to say, “I spoke a lot during games, and I’m unsure if it was completely my fault or if it was just incompatibility between me and the team’s communication.” Cloud9’s old way of shotcalling would consist of each player giving input, then Smoothie would make a final call. However, Smoothie says that the organization wanted each player to have their own shotcalling voice. Additionally, the meta was also a big reason for his benching. The drastic changes to the meta made Smoothie less decisive than he has ever been. His lack of confidence in his calls was also another huge reason for the benching.
Ta would go on to say that he gave 100% every time he would play League of Legends for Cloud9. However, even with his best efforts, he was not able to gain his spot back. This would take a huge toll on his mental. Smoothie is one of the hardest working players in the NA LCS, and it is understandable that he would want to move on to a team with a starting position.
Smoothie would end his statement with a heartfelt message to Cloud9 and the fans:
I just want to end this by saying thank you so much Jack and Reapered for being so accommodating with the transfer process. Jack has been almost like a father figure to me for the last 2 years and I never regret once being on, or playing with Cloud9. Thank you to all the fans who supported me these past 2 years and I hope you still follow me through my career with Echo Fox.
We wish Smoothie luck in his future with Echo Fox!
The Effects of a Changing Meta
This is not the first time that the current whirlwind of a meta has affected a pro player. For example, European star ADC player Martin “Rekkles” Larsson would end up benching himself after week one. It is crazy to think that a player of such high quality like Rekkles would bench himself. However, the meta would force him to do so, as his top laner Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau could play his lane better than he could.
He would state in an interview with Travis Gafford that he expected Riot to fix some of the changes to the lane, but they did not. Now, he feels completely useless to his team, even though he is still with them. There is no guarantee that traditional ADC’s will come back into the meta any time soon. There have been some changes in the works for upcoming patches, like crit items being buffed. However, mages and non-ADC’s still have the upper hand in a meta that has forced compositional diversity upon its players.
Pro Player Feedback
Superstar ADC player Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng also made a video aptly named “The Downsides of a Constantly Evolving Game”. Doublelift has been one of the more vocal NA LCS stars who are against the current meta. In his video, he speaks on how the meta and constant patches have affected pro players and the competitive scene.
Kim “PraY” Jong-in, star ADC player for the LCK’s Kingzone DragonX says, “Fans will have fun since there are some interesting picks and the game ends quite early. However, for bottom lane users, it’s like hell. There are too many champions that can be picked. Probably everyone else will agree. It’s so hard. Well, it seems that you need a lot of practice when using AP champions.”
We aren’t sure when Riot will fix the changes they’ve made to the meta, if they ever will. It has made League games very exciting for their viewers with faster-paced games and odd picks. It has made many league standings closer than ever, just because teams are all scrambling to adapt to the meta. However, what is more important to Riot Games, the players or the viewers?
What are your thoughts on Smoothie’s trade and the effect of constant meta changes on pro players? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! If you want more League of Legends content, check us out here!