Cloud9 with a bold return to CS:GO
Cloud9 announced their return to CS:GO with the purchase of Players, the entire roster and coaching staff of the team that was better known as Gambit. The purchase was made public after the CIS roster ensured their qualification to the Antwerp Major in PGL’s Europe RMR B.
The North American organization had left the game back in April 2021 after they disbanded the exciting project led by caster-turned-GM HenryG. Cloud9 used the project to show their unique approach to the game with a much more transparent view on how things worked behind the scenes.
Salaries and transfer fees were made public, but this kind of attention only seemed to amplify criticism when the results didn’t come. Although their run can’t be considered a success, Cloud9 remained a dangerous team the whole way and a lot of people felt that the project didn’t get enough time, especially since all their games were played online.
Regardless of the circumstances, Cloud9 pulled the plug on the HenryG-led squad and ended leaving the game entirely, changing their FPS focus over to Valorant, where they created a team around ex-CSGO players floppy and Xeppaa.
The Cloud9 organization is still amongst the most prestigious North American orgs in CSGO, especially since it holds the only Major title the region has ever won, so their return seemed to be a matter of when, and not one of if. It seems they came back when no one expected them to.
It was recently announced that the North American org is back in Counter Strike with the purchase of a full roster, along with its coaching staff. This is a completely opposite approach to their last (and previous) attempts at building a successful roster. This is a previously successful team which became available under very specific means which are mostly unrelated to CS itself.
The opportunity is golden, as long as C9 can make the bureaucratic side of things work. The ex-Gambit is an utter bargain as a full package deal, regardless of price. The team was competing for first during 2021, and has maintained some very impressive results despite the obvious caveats surrounding the Russian-Ukrainian war and their inability to represent their organization.
Yet, due to the ongoing conflict, which doesn’t show any sign of stopping, a lot of countries are restricting the access of Russian people to their territory. Adding to it, and as was pointed out by Richard Lewis, Belgium, the country which will host the CS:GO Major, has made their point clear when it comes to Russian citizens in general.
Presumably Cloud9 has this issue under control and, if they do, that only means that Counter Strike as a game will win. A tenured organization is back in the mix, the careers of five incredible players and their coaching staff are under a stable environment again and we can all sit back and enjoy some good CSGO. All eyes are on Antwerp now, let’s see what the CIS squad can while wearing their new, shiny blue logo.
Images via Cloud9.