After his mid lane swap Fudge is returning to Cloud9's top lane in LCS Summer 2022, taking big learnings to gain an edge over his rivals.
Cloud9 young gun Ibrahim ‘Fudge’ Allami took a big step in LCS Spring 2022, rotating down the Rift into mid lane. While the mid lane experiment was rocky, the Australian is taking plenty of learnings back to top lane where he hopes to reign supreme with his new skills.
“I like playing mid lane a lot,” he said. “Mid lane as a role is much more cerebral than mechanical. Right now, whenever I play mid lane, I don’t feel like there’s insane mechanical outplays happening more so than just very small outplays in terms of the macro of the game.
“It doesn’t feel like there’s many chances to smash your opponent 1v1 and go up 40 CS and solo kill them. It’s control mages [in the meta]: Viktor, Orianna, Syndra, Ryze, Twisted Fate. These champions are sort of boring, they don’t play into a lot of mechanical skill, but they show when you’re smart at the game overall which I enjoy. I’m a player that likes to think very deeply around ideas about the game rather than headbutting my way through.
“I do think I improved a lot in one split. I felt like at the start I was literally a ninth-place mid laner and by the end I was top 4.”
On the shift back to top lane though, there were some major learnings to be had in the mid lane that he’ll he taking with him on his return. Fudge pointed to the small things, like gaining a better understanding of jungle and support timers for roams.
This knowledge is something that’s underrated in his eyes, and he wasn’t afraid to speak his mind on the gap he believes exists between him and the rest of the LCS pack.
“I play a lot smarter rather than brute forcing things, which I think a lot of the top laners in the LCS do. I’d say they’re dumb in general. They don’t play around the whole map state. I’m not even referring to anyone specifically, it feels like every top laner in the league.
“My skill set as a top laner is very rare, which is why I think I’m a lot better at top lane. I’m a lot closer to a lot of the mid laners in terms of the way I think, but I play the top lane champions mechanically better.”
“I think a lot of top laners are bad at understanding jungle and support which is why me being a mid laner and understanding all three roles [jungle, support, mid] a lot better will help me a lot as a top laner. I don’t have the same weaknesses as other top lane players.”
Cloud9 are trying to get started in Summer on the right foot. With rumors abound of their roster — including a role-swapped Jesper ‘Zven’ Svenningsen in support — there’s a bit more trepidation around their moves after an explosive off-season fizzled out.
However, while core parts are changing with a Fudge return to the top lane, he believes it covers over a lot of their Spring weaknesses.
“The team dynamic will be a lot different with me being top lane, but I don’t think the team will be all that different. The players will be different skill levels, but we’ll operate pretty similarly mainly to do with review and practice and the way we think.
“The main thing will be working on being able to communicate directly to each other honestly. That’s something we struggled with a lot in Spring, not just because of us not wanting to, but also language issues. That’s something very important we’ll have to work on because it felt like people had problems but they weren’t willing to open up about them.”
The Spring failure comes with the bitter cost of missing out on MSI. For Fudge, MSI 2022 is a difficult topic of discussion — especially as he has both NA and OCE to cheer for in Group C.
If you ask him where his allegiance lies, it’s hard to get a straight answer.
“My heart lies with EG honestly,” he exclaimed. “I’m friends with all the Chiefs guys and they lost to ORDER, so I don’t want them to win. I don’t have regional pride, I have pride with my friends and they lost. I’ll be sure to tell Vulcan to sh*t on Corporal.”
Then, a slight backflip: “I don’t think either team is going to do very well at MSI though. I assume EG will make it to top six, but maybe they’ll pull a Pentanet and come out swinging. That’d be funny. Actually, I kind of want ORDER to win against EG but I don’t expect them to.”
With all eyes now on Worlds for the new-look Cloud9 heading into Summer, the top laner is confident the team’s worst is now behind them. Much simpler goals in terms of cohesion and positive team relationships will lead them back to the top of the LCS — not just good skill on paper.
“You never know what’s going to happen, maybe I’m not going to be as good as I was. It’s possible I’m going to be insane on these champions mechanically, we don’t know,” he mused.
“I’m sort of trying to focus on making sure we’re direct with each other rather than thinking too much about player skill. It’s about working together a lot better than we had in the past.”After mid lane swap, Fudge is taking big learnings back to LCS top lane with Cloud9 View Story