For years now, North America has been the weakest of the major regions. From failing to have teams escape the Group Stages to poor performances at MSI and beyond, NA is either a laughing stock or the hype surrounding them is high and expectations crumble. This year, NA is sending three very strong teams that could finally break NA’s curse at Worlds. Let’s take a look at the three representatives.
The Heist is Complete in NA. Next: World Domination
For the first time in three years, a new champion has taken the Number One seed heading into Worlds 2021. 100 Thieves surpassed all expectations and took their first title in the LCS. Now, as they head to Worlds, there is a lot of pressure on this squad to do well.
All eyes immediately focus onto superstar jungler Can ‘Closer‘ Çelik who made himself a threat on champions like the Viego. Closer is a mechanically gifted player who is able to be flexible and go across the map in multiple directions to help his team. Joining him this year is Felix ‘Abbedagge‘ Braun who joined the Thieves this summer and made himself known as one of the best mid-lane players in the region.
Teams should also focus on the talented bot-lane of Ian ‘FBI‘ Victor Huang and Choi ‘huhi‘ Jae-hyun who are known to be playmakers and can carry the team on their backs. Finally, Worlds 2021 makes the return of Kim ‘Ssumday‘ Chan-ho to the World stage. Ssumday’s reliability as a tank in the top lane makes him a very impactful member of the team.
Team Liquid Makes the Charge into Worlds
Team Liquid was plagued with issues this summer. From the benching of Barney ‘Alphari’ Morris to the unfortunate sickness of Lucas ‘Santorin’ Tao Kilmer Larsen, TL has been up and down the standings. Now, with both stars back in the lineup, they’re looking to make an impact at the World Championship.
Of course Alphari and Santorin are not the only returning stars to Worlds. Nicolaj ‘Jensen’ Jensen is still a carry potential across the mid lane. Edward ‘Tactical’ Ra, when given proper resources, is still a large carry potential and can make a splash against the best bot lanes in the world.
However, you cannot talk about Team Liquid without talking about former World Champion support Jo ‘CoreJJ’ Yong-in. CoreJJ is still the playmaker, roamer and initiator that earned him a Worlds title in 2017. He will look to continue his dominance on the Worlds stage and lead Team Liquid to their first title.
Can Cloud9 Make Another Deep Run?
Finally, we have North America’s most successful team at Worlds: Cloud9. C9 has had an interesting latter half of the year following their disappointing MSI appearance and a rather shaky Summer. However, if history can repeat itself, C9 in Play-Ins could help them break out of the Group Stage once again.
The roster is still a rather formidable line-up. Top-laner Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami has risen to the occasion as the best top-laner in North America this summer and has carried the team on multiple occasions. Robert “Blaber” Huang is still an MVP-caliber player who can make shockwaves across the rift. Finally, the bot-lane of Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme are a stable duo and can hold their own against the best of the best.
But you cannot talk about Cloud9 without talking about Luka “Perkz” Perković. Perkz is still one of the greatest Western players of all time. While his MSI and Summer split are a bit sour to think about, he still remains a threat across the rift and will be crucial to his team’s success on the rift.