The Worlds hasn’t even ended yet and the ever-spicy LCS offseason is already rearing its head. Cloud9 Founder & CEO Jack Etienne recently tweeted about their offseason, which doesn’t officially start until Nov. 18. However, teams typically make verbal agreements and arrangements during this time. Especially with new teams arriving to the LCS, there’s plenty of demand for proven and established stars to anchor new rosters.
A reliable source of ESPN’s Jacob Wolf revealed to the public that C9 will move 2019 Summer MVP Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen to Evil Geniuses. Aside from him, the transfer will also include Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam, Ziqing “Kumo” Zhao and Matthew “Deftly” Chen. Given his length of stay, he might opt into residency soon, which makes him a valuable asset. Both parties declined to make statements.
Svenskeren played two seasons for Cloud 9 but originally arrived in North America to play for TSM in 2016. Teaming up with fellow Dane Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, they won three consecutive titles. However, they failed to make a mark internationally. They failed to get out of groups in two Worlds and MSI 2017. After Worlds 2017, TSM owner Reginald decided to shake things up and sent Svenskeren to Cloud9. In C9, he split time with Robert “Blaber” Huang and made decent runs in the World Championships. Despite the success of the roster, it seems C9 is opting into an all-new lineup in 2020 and Svenskeren’s price tag will definitely help them start the rebuilding process.
This move didn’t surprise many esports fans. Despite an MVP split from Svenskeren, they failed to halt Team Liquid’s historic 4-peat in the Summer finals. They also failed to qualify for the Knockout Stage of this year’s Worlds. Moreover, they’ve done this several times in the past. Players like Juan Arturo “Contractz” Garcia and Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen debuted for Cloud9. However, fans have expressed their concerns regarding C9’s long term aspirations. Of the original Cloud9 lineup, only Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi remains. C9 have always made it to Worlds and in 2018 made it to the semis after demolishing LCK’s Afreeca Freecs in quarters. Despite their relative success, not a single modern C9 roster had ever been considered good enough to win Worlds. Fans are speculating this shakeup might be the start of a full rebuild similar to TSM and Team Liquid, in order to keep up with Europe.
Meanwhile, Evil Geniuses’ roster spot belonged to Echo Fox, who after much controversy are now rumored to be dissolving entirely. They still haven’t made any official announcement regarding their roster moves. They might be waiting for their final lineup to be completed before doing so. In that case, we’ll have to wait until the official start of free agency.