Following a highly successful NA Academy debut, Cloud9 top laner Fudge has been officially promoted to the team’s LCS starting lineup today. He’ll be taking over the position from longtime top laner Licorice for the 2021 Spring Split.
Fudge joined C9 Academy at the start of 2020 and helped the League of Legends team reach new heights. They finished the Spring Split with an impressive 14-4 record and only lost a game on the way to that season’s championship.
Fudge was one of the best-performing players in his role during that split, racking up the second-highest KDA of any top laner, according to Oracle’s Elixir. He even had the lowest counter-pick rate in his role, which means that he usually picked his champion early in the pick-ban phase. This makes him vulnerable to a losing matchup, but he’s good enough to hold his own in almost any situation.
The following season was just as successful for C9 Academy and Fudge, with the team finishing in first once more with a 13-5 record. In a similar fashion to the Spring Split, the team only lost one game in the summer playoffs, leading to back-to-back Academy trophies.
Fudge also picked up exactly where he left off and led all top laners with a 6.3 KDA in the Summer Split. He had sky-high damage numbers and boasted a diverse champion pool featuring Camille, Ornn, Wukong, Gangplank, and Lucian.
The 18-year-old will be replacing Licorice on C9’s main roster, which means that the longtime C9 top laner will now be a free agent this offseason. As a First-Team All-Pro player, the veteran talent will be a prime target for many teams heading into the next season.
Licorice was a huge voice for the team, both on and off Summoner’s Rift. If this move goes through, all eyes will be on Fudge heading into the 2021 LCS Spring Split.
“I’m so proud I could help bring the trophy home for all of the C9 fans while I was here,” Licorice said. “Changing teams is part of being a pro and I’m ready to compete with a new team next year.”
While this seems like an awful decision due to C9’s performance with Licorice being a beast in the top lane, it’s a great decision from a business-wide perspective. Licorice is really good and has the potential to earn the organization a lot of money, while the difference of skill between him and Fudge isn’t that high. It’s likely that Fudge will ask for much less money to play on the main roster.
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