League of Legends

Cursed Cloud9 fall to NRG, drop five-game streak at LCS Summer Split

The curse cannot be broken.

Photo by Stefan Wisnoski via Riot Games

Cloud9 were seeking yet another strong start to a League of Legends Championship Series split, but NRG Esports were out for blood in week two’s final matchday, downing the reigning LCS champions and bringing about an end to their undefeated streak.

Winning five straight to open this split, C9 entered their June 23 match with confidence—but were ambushed by an NRG squad hungry for their second win of the season. Despite losing first blood in the top lane, C9 claimed two quick Dragons relatively uncontested.

But back-to-back mid-lane team fight wins from NRG quickly swung the game against the ladder leaders. With Niship “Dhokla” Doshi on Jayce and Cristian “Palafox” Palafox on Azir, the two combined to demolish C9’s outer structures.

With no map control, C9 was forced to play catch-up from the base, leaving NRG to mop up key objectives and push as one unit, resulting in a last stand for the undefeated squad hoping to keep their streak alive.

But ahead by 10 kills and with a five-digit gold lead, Cloud9 had no chance against the NRG juggernaut, who swiftly dispatched the squad in just under 30 minutes.

“It feels pretty great to beat C9,” said Palafox in the post-game interview, highlighting the squad had been “shaky” and was “lacking confidence” early in the split, but was becoming accustomed to the stage and competition.

“Communication in team fighting is always something I’ve lacked, so I’m just trying to work on making both myself and everyone else confident,” he said.

Related: 2023 LoL LCS Summer Split: Scores, standings, and schedule

Funnily enough, it was this NRG core of Dhokla, Palafox, and Juan Arturo “Contractz” Garcia who ended C9’s seven-game win streak in the Spring Split in March, then as Counter-Logic Gaming. It would be CLG’s last series win in the LCS before the organization shuttered for good.

C9’s “curse” isn’t just recent either—despite finishing in the top three in the LCS for the last five splits, C9 continues to drop matches against this core, most of which they’re heavily favored in. It appears the curse remains as strong as ever.

Cloud9 will look to bounce back in week three against Immortals, while NRG moves to 2-4 and widen the gap to last-placed FlyQuest, who are the only team yet to find victory on the Rift this split.

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