The news that Jonathan “Westrice” Nguyen is joining the C9 lineup came up on the team’s official Youtube channel. As an assistant coach, he will be analyzing scrims and forwarding his findings to the current head coach—Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu—in an effort to improve Cloud9’s play. Westrice made it clear in the announcement that most of his focus will be going towards the top lane. Even so, can he really be the change that Cloud9 needs?
A man from another era
If you don’t know who Westrice is, we don’t blame you. Even for someone who has followed the LoL pro scene since its inception, this name hasn’t been relevant in a long time. Westrice is best known for his time on Epik Gamer where he made a splash with his stellar Akali play. Of course, that was all the way back in Season 1, and Westrice’s only NA LCS showing happened on Complexity Gaming in the 2014 Summer Split. Coincidentally, this was also the split when Complexity got relegated, and the North American top laner finished the season with a 1.72 KDA to his name.
Since then Westrice had brief stints with the NA CS lineups of CLG Academy and Ember, but he’s effectively been away from competitive League for more than two years. In fact, Westrice himself mentions in the announcement video that his passion for pro play has whittled down.
But that doesn’t mean he can’t be a mentor. According to Westrice, he’s spent these years coaching on a freelance basis, which made him adept at analyzing games and spotting mistakes. Combine that with the fact that he’s still competitive in Solo Queue (allegedly, around Masters-Challenger level), and he’s a much more valuable pick up than it might seem at first glance.
There’s no denying that Cloud9’s top lane has been struggling this split. Neither Ray nor Impact has been performing at his peak. With a 2.9 KDA, 8.0 CS per minute, and -11.0 CSD10, Ray has had a tough time showing up on his carry-oriented champions. And even though Impact still has his game sense, his 3.2 KDA, 7.6 CS per minute, and 2.8 CSD10 are a far cry from his dominant form in the 2016 Summer Split. When you’ve hit a brick wall, having someone else that can look at the things you’re doing from a new perspective is invaluable. So Westrice might end up making all the difference in the world.
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