The report comes days after Astralis’ wayward rifler Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth announced that he was returning to the Danish Counter-Strike powerhouse after nearly five months spent away from the team. Xyp9x is currently listed on Astralis’ official DreakHack Open roster list as an alternate, meaning that he’d be able to play in if needed.
Despite having proclaimed that a roster full of talented players was best for the player’s health and career, Astralis is now tied to a deal that would send away not only a competent rifler but one who is a legitimate star under the right leadership. Since joining Astralis as a stand-in for Xyp9x, es3tag has shown that he is calm and composed even in high-pressure situations. The 24-year-old CSGO player would be a tier-one pick for C9, especially after rival organization Complexity snatched up Justin “jks” Savage immediately after the player’s release from 100 Thieves.
Cloud9 has been on a massive spending spree since September, doling out several million dollars in total since starting a complete roster overhaul in September. In that timeframe, the famed North American organization has signed four players to three-year deals under its new general manager, former pro player and caster Henry “HenryG” Greer. Cloud9 is no longer an organization famed just for its North American players. It’s gone international.
It started with the signing of British in-game leader Alex “ALEX” McMeekin, who had left France’s Team Vitality. C9’s announcement of that addition now makes more sense, especially after populating its roster with other European talent. C9 proceeded to sign newcomer and British rifler William “mezii” Merriman and AWPer Özgür “woxic” Eker to go along with American in Ricky “floppy” Kemery. es3tag, who has shown he’s the real deal while standing in for xyp9x, would complete a roster that is full of talent, experience, and three-year contracts.
As LAN tournaments start to reappear in Europe, teams are beginning to make the transition across the ocean. MIBR and Evil Geniuses have already done so, ensuring that they’ll be ready and able to attend CSGO’s first LAN since Katowice, BLAST Premier’s Fall Series.
If the deal goes through, Cloud9 would field an international roster for the long-term for the first time, not counting several substitutes and tryouts over the course of 2019. It announced it would release its current roster, formerly of ATK, early in September after only nine months.
Read sport.tv2.dk’s original Danish report here.