Cloud9 unveiled its 2022 Academy League of Legends roster today, confirming the addition of Swedish jungler Malice and announcing how the team intends to use veteran AD carry Zven. In 2022, C9 will sport a roster of 11 players, with five set to headline the LCS lineup and six to be fielded for the organization’s Academy team. 

The team’s head coach, Nick “LS” De Cesare, explained the approach that C9 took when building its Academy lineup this offseason in an announcement video released by the organization earlier today. 

“This may seem weird to some people, but ultimately, Riot doesn’t care about Academy,” LS said. “Because they don’t, all that we care about is making the best version of the Cloud9 team that we can possibly make.”  

Moving into 2022, four of the five players from the team’s most recent Academy lineup will be staying with the org for next season. Top laner Darshan, mid laner Copy, and AD carry K1ng will all play on C9’s Academy team next season. Additionally, the team’s support player Isles, who was reported to be competing for the starting support position with the recently signed Winsome, will start the season at the Academy level, according to C9. 

Related: Here are the groups for the 2022 LCS Lock-In tournament

Zven and K1ng will split time at the AD carry position for Cloud9 Academy in 2022. The two players traded places midway through the 2021 season when K1ng was brought up to C9’s LCS roster for nine games during the Summer Split. C9 posted a record of 4-5 over those games while K1ng sported a KDA of 5.8 during his stint at the LCS level earlier this year, according to League stats site Oracle’s Elixir

“Zven will be playing the majority of scrims with the Academy team, the internal scrims that end up happening, as well as the scrims versus the LCS team, and Zven will be playing more actively than K1ng,” LS said. “The reality is that K1ng is just going to be playing in the matches. Although he’ll be having way less practice time and way less scrimmage time, he’ll still be participating in all of the internals and what not, but Zven is still effectively the Academy AD carry.”

Earlier in the offseason, when Cloud9 revealed LS as its head coach for the 2022 season, LS cited his desire to see the organization’s Academy and LCS rosters practice against each other internally so both teams can grow. In today’s roster reveal video, the veteran head coach cited the need for internal practice once more, saying that “if the Academy team is getting better, it means that the main team is also getting better practice.” 

C9 will return to the LCS stage on Jan. 14 for the annual LCS Lock In tournament.

Make sure to follow us on YouTube for more esports news and analysis.