He’s the trash-talking top laner taking over North America. Now, Cloud9’s Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami will be the first Oceanic export to make an international event at MSI 2021. While he will avoid domestic hopefuls Pentanet.GG in groups, there’s a real chance he will face his old rivals in the Rumble stage.
He was Oceania’s wonderkid; a prodigy unlike any this region has seen. Now, he’s going to have to live up to that moniker at MSI 2021.
Fudge is the first Australian player to represent OCE on the international stage on an international roster, qualifying for the mid-season tournament on NA’s Cloud9.
The top laner made a splash in his rookie season in the LCS. After a year on Cloud9 Academy, he burst out onto the scene alongside veteran names like Luka “Perkz” Perkovic and rising star Robert “Blaber” Huang.
While it started out slow with a rocky Lock In, by the end of the LCS Spring 2021 season, he was widely considered one of the region’s best top laners.
“During the Lock In tournament I didn’t play well for sure. I still think I’m not playing to the best of my abilities. To be good internationally, how I’m playing well now will not work ever,” he admitted after beating 100 Thieves in Week 4.
He worked hard to push his name up the rankings. Fudge finished the LCS Spring 2021 split with the second highest KDA for top laners (5.96) behind Liquid’s Barney “Alphari” Morris.
While he had the lowest kill participation in the role — not surprising given Cloud9’s lack of focus on the top lane — Fudge is well and truly a role player for his squad. He can absorb the weak side pressure, allowing the rest of the squad to shine.
“A lot of rookies — they sort of have to play tanks and their team isn’t good about playing around them, or they’re not good at improving because their teammates aren’t helping. My teammates are helping me improve playing as a carry and also playing as a weak side tank.”
Fudge’s flexibility, playing everything from tanks like Malphite, to carries like Camille, and even a splash of Karma, was nearly unparalleled in the role.
Now, at an international competition featuring top laners like Kim “Khan” Dong-ha (DWG KIA) and Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Ho (RNG), Fudge’s skill will be put to the ultimate test.
However, he’s been here once before.
He represented Oceania at Worlds 2019 while on Mammoth; although he had a rough tournament against Clutch Gaming and Unicorns of Love, falling out of Play-Ins in Round 1 after a close tie-breaker.
He’s hoping to bounce back at MSI 2021, not only as part of a squad considered one of the best at the event, but as one of Oceania’s most talented players in history.
“It feels really good to be considered one of the best OCE players. Last time I went to an international tournament I was in an OCE team and I got pretty much stomped by the other regions,” he said after winning the Mid-Season Showdown 2021 title.
There’s a real possibility Cloud9 could match up against Oceanic hopefuls Pentanet.GG in the Rumble stage. If both squads make it through the Group stage, they’ll be funneled into one big round robin.
It’ll be a solid grudge match for the export, and the domestic talent trying to chase his success overseas. There’s unlikely to be any hard feelings, but if you are an Oceanic League of Legends fan, it’s one thing to look forward to at MSI 2021.
However, it’s not exactly what Fudge has his eyes on. He just wants to do well, make up for his Worlds 2019 performance, and prove to not just Oceania or NA, but the world, that he is one of the best players going around.
“Going into MSI, I don’t want to get stomped. That’s the main focus for me. There’s a lot of hope for me from the OCE community, so I just want to play well.”
Fudge’s Cloud9 kicks off their MSI 2021 campaign against DWG KIA on May 6 at 11pm AEST.