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Cloud9 Returns to CS:GO With New Roster

Antonio Kaurinovic

Good news for all Cloud9 fans: Cloud9 will officially be returning to the CS:GO scene a full year after withdrawing from the game. Even though they have tried to reestablish this team multiple times since 2018, this time, it may actually work. 

interz csgo

Image Credit: PGL - Joao Ferreira

Acquisition of Gambit

Gambit was/is a Russian CS:GO organization that made a name for themselves after winning the PGL Major Krakow in 2017. This team always had a good roster and decent results on the pro scene. Their latest roster made quite an impact during the COVID-19 online period. They won 3 S-Tier tournaments in 2021, and many may argue that it was only due to restrictions and online format. Be that as it may, this team surely showed great initiative, and with a little bit of guidance, they have the potential to be number 1 someday. They are currently ranked as the third-best team in the world.  

This year, during the Ukraine crisis and sanctions on Russia, all teams that had ties to the Russian government were banned from all ESL and PGL tournaments. Gambit was one of those teams, and their players had to compete without any organization behind them under the neutral banner Players. Cloud9 saw the opportunity, and they took it by acquiring the whole Gambit roster. 

The organization promised to take care of its players and ensure safe relocation. It is not yet disclosed if they will move to NA or maybe get a new training facility in Europe. The majority of CS:GO teams are already based in Europe, mainly because most of the tournaments are located within the continent so it is easier to travel.

Cloud9’s return marks one of the biggest roster transfers in CS:GO. Not only have they signed the whole ex-Gambit roster consisting of Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov, Dmitriy “sh1ro” Sokolov, Timofey “interz” Yakushin, Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov, and Abai “HObbit” Hasenov, but they also signed their coach Konstantin “groove” Pikiner, and Ivan “F_1N” Kochugov, who was their analyst and a former team manager. With that in mind, we can conclude that this squad is already harmonious with no need to experiment with other roster solutions. Therefore, we don’t expect to see any roster changes in the near future of this team. 

What Happened to Cloud9

Every CS:GO fan remembers that very moment in 2018 when Cloud9 star player Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip had a 1 vs 4 clutch against FaZe clan in the Grand Finals of ELEAGUE Boston Major. FaZe had a championship point, 15-14, on the final map, Inferno. Stewie was the one to save the day, and he single-handedly secured overtime. With the momentum on their side, Cloud9 triumphed and thus became the first and only NA team to ever win the Major Championship. 

Some may argue that Finn “karrigan” Andersen, who is one of the smartest CS:GO players and best in-game leaders, made the wrong decision to rotate to B with not enough time on the clock. Be that as it may, this team did it, and they were on to something. 

However, everything collapsed after the Major. It all started with Stewie’s departure to SK Gaming. Not so long after that, Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham decided he would leave the professional scene, and Tarik “tarik” Celik also went to join Stewie in SK Gaming. 

Those events were followed by a series of roster changes; the team itself struggled and couldn’t win a single tournament during 2019. 

They started 2020 without any players. However, on January 6th, they acquired the entire ATK roster in the hope of rebuilding a team. They later hired Henry “HenryG” Greer, who brought a new squad, and we all know how that went. Finally, in March of 2021, they decided to temporarily cease their involvement with CS:GO.   

A full year has passed, and we are here with the newly acquired roster; only this time, it is a promising one. What do you think? Can this team be good enough to outshine the C9 roster from 2018? What does the future hold for Cloud9?