- Cloud9 returns to competitive CS:GO after more than a year of absence
- The organization also gets Gambit’s head coach, and analyst, as part of the deal
- The roster is the third-best team in the world
After more than a year away from the competitive CS:GO scene, Cloud9 returns by signing former Gambit Esports players.
C9 Signs New Roster
Cloud9 withdrew from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in March last year when the organization had a dismal season. But now, a year after their absence on the professional scene, Cloud9 is returning with a bang by acquiring Gambit, one of the best CS:GO teams in the world, for an undisclosed sum of money.
The team formed around Vladislav “?nafany?” Gorshkov has been on sale since March, put on the market allegedly as an aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Due to it, many western organizations banned Russian teams and players from competing in their events. BLAST Premier, one of the top world CS:GO competition organizers, was no exception and it banned Russia-based teams from participating.
Gambit was one of the two most notable organizations banned, however, its players managed to compete under the neutral “Players” tag in ESL Pro League Season 15 and the second PGL Major Antwerp Europe Regional Major Ranking event. Now Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov, Dmitriy “sh1ro” Sokolov, Timofey “interz” Yakushin, Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov, and Abai “HObbit” Hasenov are part of the North American organization Cloud9 and are expected to make their debut at PGL Antwerp Major in May.
All Eyes Are on the New Players
Along with the signing of the five CS:GO players, C9 also acquired Gambit head coach Konstantin “groove” Pikiner, analyst Ivan “F_1N” Kochugov, and the team’s manager Aleksandr “Sweetypotz” Scherbakov.
“This collection of players has shown incredible promise and talent, and we are thrilled that we can continue to support their passions and careers,” wrote Cloud9 in their official statement. The team also said it will help the players relocate close to their training facilities and promised to provide them with high-level support.
Historically speaking, Cloud9 has fielded North American teams but has also worked with European players. The organization’s last CS:GO team was an international project managed by former caster Henry “HenryG” Greer and dubbed “The Colossus.” However, this lasted less than half a year due to unsatisfactory results, which resulted in C9’s temporary leaving of CS:GO last year.
Cloud9’s CEO Jack Etienne said that because LAN events are finally coming back, this is an exciting time for the competitive scene. The organization’s new roster is the third-best team in the world, according to HLTV’s ranking.