Cloud9 reveals new Dota 2 team featuring surprising names

Steven R. January 29, 2020

After two years out of Dota 2, Cloud9 has announced its return to the game with an new roster.

Following a subtle tease of the news on Twitter, the North American organization has revealed a new international roster. The new Cloud9 roster consists of the following players:

  • Rolen Andrei Gabriel "Skemberlu" Ong
  • Cheng "vtFaded" Jia Hao
  • Rasmus "MISERY" Filipsen
  • Francis "FrancisLee" Lee
  • Johan "pieliedie" Åström

“Ever since departing the Dota 2 space in 2017 we’ve been keeping an eye on finding the best time to re-enter and I’m glad to say it’s finally arrived. These players have had success across the world and everyone here is looking forward to what they’ll do as a team,” Cloud9 CEO Jack Etienne said in a statement on the team’s official website.

Notably, Cloud9 stated that the roster will be starting in the Southeast Asia region, with plans to return to North America in the future. This fits given the team’s composition, which includes two SEA locals as well as pieliedie, who has mostly been competing in the region since joining Fnatic in 2017.

Cloud9 likely looking to qualify for ESL One Los Angeles Major

Cloud9 has bounced in and out of Dota 2 on several occasions, with varying degrees of success each time. The organization is mostly closely associated with the teams built around Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao in 2014 and 2017. That makes it somewhat surprising that the team is not signing EternaLEnVy’s currently sponsorless team, Fighting PandaS, and instead opting to build a new team from scratch.

There’s a lot to like about this lineup. Though the team is relatively short on name value, it features a strong mix of veteran and new talent.

MISERY and pieliedie are accomplished veterans from the European scene. MISERY is best known for his successful stint with Team Secret and his grand finals run at The International 2016 with Digital Chaos, while pieliedie has competed with a number of successful teams including the 2014 iteration of Cloud9 as well as Team Secret.

Skemberlu’s time as a professional Dota 2 player has been mired by his use of racially charged language at an event while competing for Complexity Gaming, but the player has maintained a spot near the top of the Southeast Asia Dota 2 leaderboards as a core. He most recently competed for Neon Esports.

vtFaded is an incredibly talented core player who competed at the MDL Chengdu Major as part of EHOME. He left the organization following a public blowout with coach Zhang "xiao8" Ning and was last seen competing for Alpha x Hashtag in the qualifiers to the DreamLeague Leipzig Major. Like Skem, he sits near the top of the Dota 2 leaderboards in the SEA region.

FrancisLee, also known as FLee, has been a journeyman in the North American and South American regions since 2016. He has had brief stints with bigger organizations such as VGJ.Storm and SG E-Sports, but has also popped up with the likes of Flying Penguins, Team Leviathan, and Team Freedom. He currently sits as the fifth-ranked support player on the Americas Dota 2 leaderboard.

The roster has very good upside and has a strong opportunity to make noise, given the lack of depth in the SEA region. Outside of TNC Predator and Fnatic, there is very little competition in the qualifiers for Dota Pro Circuit which could see the team make it to events almost immediately.

The team will likely debut in the SEA open qualifiers to the ESL One Los Angeles Major.

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