Yassine “Subroza”‘ Taoufik joining Cloud9 on a trial basis seemed like a golden opportunity when it was first announced. The player had competed at a high level in North America’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene, but was set up to join one of esports’ top brands at a time when its CSGO team had seemingly settled into having a strong core.
But shortly after his first event with the team, esports organization Gen.G announced that it had signed the majority of the C9’s roster, and Subroza was left on the outside looking in.
In the time since, Subroza has started competing with other teams in qualifiers and that missed opportunity seems to be frustrating him. He made that clear on Twitter when responding to a tweet about his participation in the qualifiers
“Team was dead before I even joined,” he said before discussing the team’s run at BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen. “Didn’t [practice] a single day and faced Astralis, Natus Vincere, FaZe. Good comparison.”
Subroza’s apparent frustration coupled with questions about the state of Cloud9’s CSGO team sparked a great deal of discussion across Cloud9’s dedicated social media platforms. That chatter prompted a response from C9 CEO Jack Etienne.
“The Cloud9 staff did an incredible job supporting the team…Once Timothy “autimatic” Ta, Kenneth “koosta” Suen, and Damian “daps” Steele were traded to Gen.G, at their request, they made a decision to not practice,” Etienne said on Reddit. “Cloud9 has always fully supported our CSGO team with a direct manager, sports psychologist, physical therapist that comes to them at the office multiple times a week, catering daily, and much more.”
In response to this, fans pushed back by questioning Cloud9’s commitment to CSGO after the team’s ELEAGUE Boston Major team fell apart. Etienne responded by noting that the team had spent over $1 million just in buying out players’ contracts.
He didn’t offer specific figures on player buyouts, or a clear indication on how long it took to reach this sum. Regardless, Cloud9 has made a number of splashy free agent signings over the years, making this a feasible number for the team.
Robin “flusha” Ronnquist, Fabian “kioShiMa” Fey, and Maikil “Golden” Selim are a few of the big names brought into the Cloud9 fold, but none of those signings ultimately led to sustained success for the team.
Despite the expense and the team’s lack of success in spite of it, Etienne was firm in suggesting that Cloud9 is here to stay when it comes to Counter-Strike.
“We’re not giving up and will continue to invest and work hard towards building a championship team again,” he said.
Cloud9 is currently rumored to be in talks with ATK on acquiring its CSGO roster.