Cloud 9 shocked the League of Legends esports scene when they announced the team parted ways with their head coach, minutes before their match on Saturday started.
Nick "LS" De Cesare was released from Cloud 9, with the team announcing it just a few minutes before their match with CLG began on February 19, 2022. The former head coach received the notice a few hours beforehand but it's currently unclear whether this caught him by surprise.
The abrupt nature of the removal caused a lot of speculation, with many assuming it had to be some sort of breach of contract but there is currently no official information available as LS, C9 and the closest associates haven't divulged the reasoning or additional details of the conflict.
One thing can be extrapolated from subsequent events though - it doesn't appear LS was in conflict with either players or staff working with him. The players look to be especially shaken by the separation as the team immediately fell down from being competitors for the top spot to getting smacked by CLG and initially by TSM, the teams at the bottom of the ladder. Even though C9 managed to salvage a win against TSM, it's worth noting Fudge and Berserker built Liandry's and Shadowflame, the initials of which spell out "LS".
Furthermore, the midlaner Fudge built Liandry's Anguish as his first item in both games which made no sense, other than the item being synonymous with LS in more ways than one. LS is often called Liandry's Salesman as a joke referring to his liking of the item and the meme became so widespread that Riot Games incorporated it into League of Legends.
The reason behind firing LS remains a secret for the time being but it's safe to say it did not resonate well with the main LoL team.