Cloud9’s Southeast Asian Dota 2 lineup was short-lived, but fans of the brand should be very excited about the new roster.
The organization has confirmed the long-rumored signing of former Fighting PandaS players Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao and Jingjun “Sneyking” Wu, while also revealing the acquisition of former Team Secret and Ninjas in Pyjamas player Marcus “Ace” Hoelgaard. The news was broken on the team’s official website, with the new roster standing as follows:
With the additions of EternaLEnVy, Sneyking, and Ace, the organization benched Rolen Andrei Gabriel “Skemberlu” Ong and Cheng “vtFaded” Jia Hao. The team also released Francis “FrancisLee” Lee entirely. The only players that are returning are MISERY and pieliedie.
This is undoubtedly a disappointing turn for Skemberlu and vtFaded. The duo joined Cloud9 in February and competed for the organization just once, in the SEA open qualifiers for the ESL One LA Major. The team placed in the top eight, but did not take a spot in the regional qualifiers. The team was strong from a talent perspective, but had little opportunity to realize its potential.
Though it would have been interesting to see how the SEA Cloud9 squad developed, it is unlikely that the team would have made the same kind of immediate impact as this lineup.
With the exception of Sneyking, each player was a part of Cloud9’s previous Dota 2 teams, with pieliedie and EE playing on its strong 2014 roster, MISERY joining in 2015, and Ace playing with the 2017 all-Danish squad. All four have enjoyed success on Dota 2’s grandest stages in the time since.
“We’re really glad to be welcoming EternaLEnVy and Ace back to C9, and we have no doubt Sneyking will make a tremendous impact as well. We’re all looking forward to seeing this team compete at the highest levels,” Cloud9 Sr. General Manager Gaylen Malone said in a statement.
For the most part, each player is proven in their respective roles. EternaLEnVy and Sneyking were performing well with Fighting PandaS before joining Cloud9. Pieliedie performed ably as a support for Forward Gaming in 2019 before becoming a journeyman after The International 2019. MISERY struggled competitively with Chaos Esports Club, but previously captained Digital Chaos to the grand finals of The International 2016.
The big question mark on the team is Ace. Though Ace has done strong work as a carry player, most prominently playing a role in Team Secret’s renaissance during the 2017-2018 Dota Pro Circuit season, he will be playing mid for Cloud9. He has no real experience in that role and it unclear why the team opted to bring him in over other more proven options.
Regardless, fans will likely get a first look at the team within the next month. The team could possibly make its debut at the recently revealed Dota Summit 12, but the most likely landing spot is the qualifiers to the fourth major of the Dota Pro Circuit season, the 2020 Epicenter Major.