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Published: October 27, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • Sh1ro has decided to step down from the Russian Counter-Strike team’s starting lineup
  • He did not go into details about why he decided this but thanked his team and C9’s staff for the time spent
  • Cloud9 brought Kirill “⁠Boombl4⁠” Mikhailov from 1WIN as a stand-in

Dmitry “⁠sh1ro⁠” Sokolov’s unexpectedly announced he is withdrawing from Cloud9, ending his one-and-a-half-year stint playing for the Russian organization.

Sh1ro Leaves C9

Kirill “⁠Boombl4⁠” Mikhailov will be used as a stand-in in place of Dmitry “⁠sh1ro⁠” Sokolov, Cloud9 announced in a Twitter post today. The decision comes after sh1ro stepped down from the organization’s starting roster yesterday after the 21-year-old player recorded his lowest-rated individual tournament since DreamHack Open Seville 2019. “As much as we would like to have him be part of our team, we want to respect his choice. As a result, we have mutually agreed to make sh1ro available for transfer,” a statement by Cloud9 reads.

“Today my time in Cloud9 comes to an end. For me as a player, it’s like the ending of the whole book. I decided to leave this team, and it was one of the most difficult decisions in my career. Right now, I don’t want to go into details: what, how, and why,” sh1ro wrote on his Telegram. He further explained that he thought about this decision for a long time and went over the many pros and cons. He concluded by saying he was happy to play alongside his teammates and thanked them and coach Konstantin “⁠groove⁠” Pikiner, manager sweetypotz, and analyst FiN.

This marked the end of sh1ro’s three-year stint playing alongside Abay “⁠HObbit⁠” Khassenov and Sergey “⁠Ax1Le⁠” Rykhtorov as the trio was part of Gambit Youngsters, Gambit, and Cloud9. During that time, sh1ro was crucial for victories in online Counter-Strike tournaments such as IEM Katowice, EPIC League CIS, IEM Summer, BLAST Premier Spring Final, and IEM Fall CIS.

When offline play returned after the COVID-19 pandemic, Cloud9 still consistently posted decent results in live tournaments. This includes a 3-4th place finish at PGL Major Stockholm and 5-8th finish at the IEM Rio Major, where the Cloud9 were favorites, although they were eventually eliminated by MOUZ.

Cloud9 Bring Aboard Boombl4

With sh1ro suddenly announcing his withdrawal from the team and neither he nor the organization providing much detail on the reasons why, Cloud9 had to quickly find a player to fill in the gap left by the AWPer. They rather quickly did so in the face of 1WIN’s Boombl4, who turned out to be quite the good choice.

The 24-year-old player has a few important accolades in his name, including a victory at a Major and being an in-game leader for NaVi. It looks like this decision has already paid off, as Cloud9 won a difficult 2-1 match versus fnatic at the Thunderpick World Championship earlier today.

Cloud9 will complete their run at the event with the following roster composition:

  • Denis “⁠electroNic⁠” Sharipov
  • Sergey “⁠Ax1Le⁠” Rykhtorov
  • Ilya “⁠Perfecto⁠” Zalutskiy
  • Abay “⁠HObbit⁠” Khassenov
  • Kirill “⁠Boombl4⁠” Mikhailov (stand-in)
  • Konstantin “⁠groove⁠” Pikiner (coach)
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