Coming into the spring split, all eyes were on Cloud9, their new roster and head coach, Nick “LS” De Cesare, to see how they’d approach the game and change up the meta. In their first game, LS locked in Ivern mid for recently role-swapped Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami. In Game 2, Ivern was banned away, so Cloud9 locked in Soraka mid for Fudge instead.
“This is the quintessential LS champion,” caster and analyst Mark “MarkZ” Zimmerman said immediately upon its lock-in. “He put this champ in S tier for solo lanes every single patch. This is the champ.” Clayton “CaptainFlowers” Raines followed it up saying he spoke with LS before the match and that he “hoped he had some more deviations for us,” to which LS responded, “Oh yeah, I do,” locking in Soraka mid to prove his point.
LS randomly bringing up Soraka vs Viktor and showing me it in 1v1s right before the game pic.twitter.com/aHLxHRRQZJ
— C9 Fudge (@Fudgecakey) February 6, 2022
For those initiated in the Church of LS, Fudge’s Soraka pick is no surprise. But for those who haven’t been paying attention to the former caster and streamer’s content, they’ll be left wondering what is up with his drafts.
Before the 2021 World Championship, LS and Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek did a champion tier list for each role. LS included Soraka in both the top and mid champ pools, along with her intended role, support. Each time she came up in the solo lanes, Nemesis refused to rank her, asking why she was listed, and then he claimed she was C tier in support.
Each time, LS insisted she was broken in both solo lanes and support but that players just didn’t know how to play her, and that they wouldn’t. He also did a similar tier list for the Mid Season Invitational, where he put her as an A-tier champion in top, despite Nemesis begging him to leave her out of the list.
Now that LS is a head coach, he’s in a position to not only teach his players how to operate seemingly his favorite champ, but also to lock it in for them on stage. Cloud9 went on to win the game against Evil Geniuses, who are one of the leaders in the League Championship Series, bringing their record to 2-0. “The Church of LS cannot be denied,” Markz said at the end of the game. “Welcome everyone, the doors are open.”