The news that Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong is departing from Cloud9 and joining Team Liquid came out in an investigative ESPN article by Jacob Wolf. The move was somewhat confirmed by the Dot Esports interview with C9’s owner Jack Etienne who announced that Eric “Licorice” Ritchie will be joining his team.
But is this really a good decision for both teams?
An unstoppable force and immovable object
Over the course of his career, Impact gradually became the rock of top lane. Whether it’s on SKT T1, Team Impulse, NRG, or Cloud9, you could always count on him to play well in the laning phase while making the calls in the later stages of the game. Even when he shared playtime with Jeon “Ray” Ji-won on Cloud9, the team felt much more cohesive with Impact was starting.
And coincidentally, this solid presence is exactly what Liquid need. Throughout their NA LCS journey, TL struggled to find some semblance of stability, and a huge part of it was connected to the fluctuating performances of its top laners. With Impact joining their roster, Liquid will finally have a top laner they can rely on. And considering their recent roster moves, it seems TL are determined to turn their bad luck around in 2018.
But what about Cloud9?
After Impact’s departure, Ray also decided to look for greener pastures in Korea, and Cloud9 were left with a hole in the top lane. They’ve decided to fill this void with Licorice, an up-and-coming top laner that’s been putting on a clinic in the North American Challenger Series. Most recently, he was a part of the NA CS team EUnited that went all the way to the promotion tournament finals before falling 0-3 to Phoenix1.
Even so, Licorice showed up as a talented top laner with exceptional mechanical prowess, and if he works on brushing up his macro game, he’ll become a valuable asset to Cloud9. Not only that, but Licorice has a lot of history with the North American organization, as he’s played for C9’s Challenger lineup in 2016. Of course, we very much doubt he’ll be instantly capable of fulfilling Impact’s duties on the team.
After all, no one should expect a rookie to overshadow a World Champion during his first NA LCS split. But Cloud9 likely know this. And with franchising coming to the league, what better time is there to invest in new talent?
What do you think about Impact joining Team Liquid and Licorice signing with Cloud9? Share your opinion in the comments below!
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