C9 general manager Henry “HenryG” Greer is probably just as surprised as some fans are. During a September interview, AWPer Josh “oSee” Ohm said that he and floppy had been extended invitations to C9 roster, one it planned on taking international with a newly rebooted squad. By that time, Cloud9 had already announced two blockbuster signings including French in-game leader Alex “ALEX” McMeekin and one of CSGO’s best coaches in Aleksandar “kassad” Trifunović. Adding a AWPing and rifling duo like floppy and oSee would’ve been a smart move, and the organization may have offered them a hefty raise to boot.
Instead of five players that would need time to learn each other’s styles, C9 hoped that two of them would already have chemistry. Floppy and oSee had an opportunity to be the last Americans on a traditionally American roster, but both declined.
At least, initially.
oSee on rejecting offer to stay in Cloud9: “floppy and I felt like it was too big of a risk as we enjoy playing with our current roster” https://t.co/rVKoARNIsX
— HLTVorg (@HLTVorg) September 18, 2020
oSee graciously congratulated his friend when Cloud9 announced that it would retain floppy on a monster three-year deal for the young rifler. oSee will transition into being a free agent along with teammates Johnny “JT” Theodosiou, Ian “motm” Hardy, Aran “sonic” Groesbeek, and coach Tiaan “t.C.” Coertzen. For them, it’s on to something new. For floppy, it’s something familiar but different.
I’m sure this will spark another Esports ‘hot topic’ with the disparity in the salaries.
I sign each player and negotiate their deals on an individual basis.
Ricky has received a pay increase from his previous contract and that will be reviewed each year of his stay.
— C9 HenryG (@HenryGcsgo) October 7, 2020
There’s always the possibility that Cloud9 sells its homeless roster to Immortals Gaming Company before relinquishing its contracts. IGC’s own CSGO franchise MIBR sits empty after the Brazilians squad’s disagreement with management. Cloud9 and Immortals were heavily involved in the creation of B-Site, the organizer of CSGO’s first team-owned league FLASHPOINT.
For now, the four marked men are still playing under the Cloud9 banner, set to finish out the remainder of IEM New York Online.
Afterward, Cloud9 will cut ties quickly while suffering no long-term consequences for its move. There is an argument that Cloud9 waited until 2020’s Major cancellation announcement to shake things up, especially since professional teams normally receive a heads up when it comes to its events or major gameplay changes.
Valve’s Regional Ranking tournaments replaced the Minor system in 2020, but teams were deducted points won in designated tournaments by making roster substitutions. Valve’s deterrent was rendered useless when it canceled ESL One Rio on September 9. Cloud9 hired HenryG on September 7 before bringing on former mouz AWPer Özgür “woxic” Ekera a week later in a three-year deal worth over $1M.
Cloud9’s actions could be a guarantee of at least a six-month gap between now and the next CSGO major. C9 will give up the majority of its RMR points through its release of the current squad. In other words, Rio’s cancellation has given C9 a free pass to make such a dramatic move.
The points still have to go somewhere. While the system’s failures are bad for CSGO’s competitive scene, they’re a good thing for a roster that now seems like it was intended as a stopgap from the beginning. There’s huge potential in an organization picking up the ex-C9 players as they come with a percentage of their existing ranking points. FunPlus Phoenix is among the organizations who could take a swing.