Cloud9 looks for new CSGO roster, plans to drop current team
Steven R. September 6, 2020
Cloud9 is once again going to hit the reset button on its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive division.
The organization posted a video to YouTube on Sunday featuring members of its current roster stating that Cloud9 plans to pivot towards a different roster in the future. Though it was explicitly stated that Cloud9 plans to stay in CSGO, the current roster is likely to be transferred to another organization or dissolved entirely.
“To everyone out there there's no reason to be concerned. Cloud9 is not leaving Counter-Strike, they are just in a process of restructuring the entire Counter-Strike division. For now, we'll continue representing Cloud9 for ESL Pro League while Cloud9 looked to find us a new home and while they completely restructure their Counter-Strike division,” Cloud9 coach Tiaan "T.c" Coertzen said.
The current Cloud9 roster transferred to the organization in January. The team rose to prominence in 2019 under the ATK banner, notably placing in the top eight at the ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals.
The move to a top esports organization didn’t improve the roster’s performance. While the mixed American-South African roster had strong showings at ESL One Road to Rio and Flashpoint Season 1, it didn’t reach the grand finals of a single event, internationally or domestically.
The timing of the move is still somewhat strange, as the current Cloud9 team is currently positioned to compete in the next Counter-Strike major due to the roster’s solid showings in official regional events.
Cloud9’s struggles in CSGO continue
The Cloud9 organization has been struggling mightily in CSGO in recent years. Since winning the ELEAGUE Boston Major in 2018, Cloud9 hasn’t won a single event and hasn’t even placed especially highly in a notable tournament either.
Cloud9’s roster was in a constant state of flux throughout 2018 and 2019 as the team randomly stuck high-profile free agents around the core of Major winners Timothy “autimatic” Ta and Will "RUSH" Wierzba. This stretch ended in late 2019 as RUSH left for Complexity Gaming and the remainder the roster was transferred to Gen.G.
The transfer of the ATK roster to Cloud9 in January did bring stability to the team for the first time in years, but this came at the expense of results. Cloud9 in its current form is competitive in North American tournaments, but has still yet to win domestically while prospects in international competitions remain dim.
What comes next for Cloud9 is unclear. There may not be many successful teams without sponsors in North America or Europe, and few of the teams sponsored by smaller organizations would be a clear upgrade from the current C9 roster.