In a move that has been speculated for weeks, Cloud9 announced on Wednesday that they have signed Nick “LS” De Cesare to be their new League of Legends head coach heading into the 2022 season.
LS is notorious in the League of Legends community for his polarizing analysis of gameplay of other professional teams. This will be the first time in nearly three years that he will be coaching a team in a major region. The last time LS was a head coach for a team was for League of Legends Champions Korea squad bbq Olivers in 2019. Before that, LS got his first coaching gig with SUPA HOT CREW of the EU LCS back in 2014. He then went on to be the head coach of Gravity of the NA LCS in 2015.
Back in 2020, LS was rumored to be joining T1 as a coach for their League of Legends squad. However, that rumor was met with intense backlash from T1 fans. After eventually declining the offer, LS joined T1 as a content creator and streamer.
As a streamer, LS’ reach as an analyst and coach has been impressive. He has formed very good relationships with many top-level players and coaches including Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau, Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle, Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki among others. LS said in the announcement video one of his biggest reasons of joining Cloud9 came after talking to C9 midlaner Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami and one of C9’s coaches Maxwell Alexander “Max” Waldo, who LS himself recommended to C9 founder and CEO Jack Etienne.
Cloud9’s new look with LS at the helm
LS said that he has turned down head coaching jobs several times in the past few years, but that “there was no better landing spot” than C9. As an LCK expert, LS said that the gameplay and performance at Worlds was bad. The eastern teams at Worlds 2021 looked weaker than in previous years. He mentioned that because of this, there is an opportunity for western teams like C9 to reach their level – which was something LS didn’t think was possible until this year.
LS joins a team that has made significant offseason changes coming off their Worlds 2021 Quarterfinals run. In the offseason, C9 said goodbye to their superstar midlaner “Perkz” after just one year. In a shocking move, Fudge is switching to the midlane to make room for Liiv SANDBOX top laner Park “Summit” Woo-tae. On top of that, C9 made a change in the support position. Jonah “Isles” Rosario is moving to the main roster. However, he will compete for the starting job with Kim “Winsome” Dong-keon who is coming over from Korea. Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Kim “Berserker” Min-cheol will be competing for the starting bot lane role as well.
There are a lot of moving pieces of C9 that need to be addressed before the start of the 2022 season in January. With LS at the helm, C9 will head into the new year with a fresh look.