The year is 2014. Goldenglue steps onto the stage in his LCS debut as Dignitas' new midlaner, replacing veteran scarra. He wins and finishes out the rest of the season as DIG's starting mid, only to be re-replaced by scarra once Playoffs came around. Over the next four years, Goldenglue would face one adversity after another. For the most part, he bounced between bottom-tier LCS teams and top-tier Challenger teams, constantly fighting for his spot in the League Championship Series. For some reason, although he was known as a scrim god, Goldenglue failed to convert on stage. Maybe it was nerves? Maybe it was the pressure. Whatever it was, when it counted, he never pulled through.
With the introduction of franchising and permanent Academy players, Goldenglue found himself a starting spot in Cloud 9. He was leaving his home for the last two years, Team Liquid, to compete as C9 Academy's starting midlaner. In Week 1 of the 2018 Summer Split, due to reported motivation issues, starting players Jensen, Sneaky, and Smoothie were benched, and Goldenglue, Keith, and Zeyzal replaced them on Cloud 9's main roster. The community backlash against C9 and Coach Reapered reached new heights, and C9 found themselves in 10th place.
And then, suddenly, they weren't. A few roster moves later, including Jensen and Sneaky's return to the starting lineup, Cloud 9 turned things around. After starting 3-7, the boys in blue went on to win their next eight games, ending the split 11-7 and securing a playoff bye. Goldenglue still wasn't the starter for the main squad, but C9 Academy made a deep run in Academy Playoffs, taking 1st place over Counter Logic Gaming Academy. It was Goldenglue's first 1st place since his time on Crs Academy in the 2014 Challenger Series.
Last weekend Cloud 9 faced off against longtime rival TSM in their first non-finals meeting in playoffs history. The now-respected 7-man roster found themselves at a 1-2 deficit. C9 Jensen and rookie Blaber, while not necessarily performing poorly, weren't getting it done, and the team was one game away from elimination. In a shocking swap, Goldenglue and C9 Svenskeren were subbed in to start in Game 4.
Wait, what? Goldenglue, the player with zero professional playoff experience, was being subbed in for Jensen, one of the top mechanical talents in North America, in a do-or-die game against TSM? The 7-man roster seems to be doing well but at a time like this? Too much World of Warcraft must be getting to him; Reapered's crazy.
Narrator: He wasn't.
With Svenskeren tearing apart TSM rookie jungler Grig—and Goldenglue holding TSM Bjergsen down with a Malzahar pick— C9 took Games 4 and 5, eliminating TSM from Playoffs. Cloud 9 is the first team in NA to truly take advantage of multi-man rosters (SKT Blank/Bengi & Easyhoon/Faker, anyone?), and so far, their results speaks to its effectiveness. This will be C9's first Finals appearance since 2017 Spring, and they'll be facing the defending champions, Team Liquid, who have already punched their ticket to Worlds.
In Liquid, C9 face a team filled with seasoned veterans, and the greatest difference between TSM and TL is in the jungle position. Where TSM had a rookie, TL have a multi-Worlds participant and MSI runner-up. The way C9 exploited Grig won't be repeatable against Xmithie. Liquid is seeking back-to-back NA LCS titles, while Cloud 9 is fighting for their first NA LCS Championship since 2014 Spring, the split Goldenglue made his LCS debut; the story practically writes itself. A redemption storyline is always the best arc—and C9 are certainly trying to make it happen—but will they find their high, or will Liquid wash them away?