March 29, 2021 | 0 | 3
A bit over six months ago, Cloud9 made their biggest announcement of 2020. The legendary organization was taking steps to rebuild its CSGO team. Moreover, the project was supposed to bring the Cloud9 name back to the top.
Promoting themselves as a “colossus”, Cloud9 invested heavy in this project. Betting in unproven young players as well as a few known pieces, the project surely was promising.
How they are doing now, though, six months and plenty of matches later? Let’s look at how one of the biggest esports organizations is faring in Counter-Strike nowadays.
Cloud9’s starting pieces
In order to take in such a massive project, Cloud9 was willing to bring good names to their ranks in order to make sure they had the right pieces and made the correct choices.
So, in September 2020, Cloud9 announced the first bits of the new team: Henry ‘HenryG’ Greer as General Manager, and Aleksandar ‘kassad’ Trifunović as coach.
Later on, the team announced the ones who would be taking charge in-game. Ex-Vitality captain “ALEX” returns to his role in C9. “mezii” and “woxic” were next, followed by “floppy” and “es3tag”.
The team itself had a very interesting promise. ALEX had shown good signs in Vitality, while mezii and floppy were unproven but highly talented players. Woxic and es3tag had experience in big teams, so they could help their less experienced colleagues.
The first results
The first event fans watched Cloud9’s new roster in action was in November 2020. At Flashpoint 2, Cloud9 finished last place, after being dismantled by both Virtus.Pro and OG.
Unfortunately, 2020 wouldn’t be a good year for this roster. The team gave fans some hope going into their next event, BLAST Premier Fall 2020 Showdown. They won over NiP and Complexity, but were eliminated by Mousesports.
The team went on to DreamHack Masters Winter 2020 and Nine to Five 7, both tournaments saw Cloud9 showing slow, but good signs of improvements. Yet, they weren’t able to leave their mark, and closed the year hoping for better results in 2021.
First red flag
Coming as an undesirable surprise for many fans, Cloud9 didn’t close 2020 in a high note. The team announced in late December that their coach, “kassad”, would be leaving the project.
The fan reaction was negative as many were caught off-guard. Cloud9’s General Manager then explained the reasons behind kassad leaving:
“[…]It simply felt like there was somewhat of a stylistic clash between the IGL [ALEX] and kassad’s game, leading to a few too many compromises from a strategic point of view.”
More changes were in the horizon back then. Rumors of ex-Mouz “woxic” leaving the team kicked off in the new year, and were proven correct shortly after. In his place, Cloud9 brought in “Xeppaa”. As the new head coach, “Elmapuddy” was signed for the role.
Cloud9’s results since then
Cloud9 started 2021 with their renewed roster at cs_summit 7. There, the squad played fairly well for a team still discovering itself as they beat NiP and MiBR. The team went on to try a chance to qualify for IEM Katowice, but they disappointingly lost to OG.
Comes March, and it’s clear that Cloud9 has had enough time in order to start working. Yet, the team can’t qualify to DreamHack Masters Spring as they lost to an unsigned team playing under the “VOYVODA” name.
The team then finishes last in Snow Sweet Snow 2 as they are beaten by Winstrike. The squad went on to play at ESL Pro League Season 13, but again, were eliminated. The team managed to take on FURIA for the first time, but got dismantled by MiBR afterwards.
Where is Cloud9 sitting at the moment
Right now, the situation is very difficult for Cloud9. We’ve discussed OG’s situation which shares some similarities with Cloud9’s here, but things are a big different for the wannabe Colossus.
First, different than OG, Cloud9 never hit a good momentum from where they could build from. When you look at both rosters, you see pieces you definitely need to keep in OG. Cloud9’s, in the other hand, doesn’t really have those.
Yet, there’s some valuable clues as to Cloud9’s lack of success as of ESL Pro League Season 13. In their matches, Cloud9 looked tactically broken and clearly, they missed a player who could make some impact with an AWP.
Moreover, Cloud9’s doesn’t seem to have developed their map pool as they should by now. While ALEX is doing a great job of keeping his team composed during games, he doesn’t seem to be exceeding at any other area as a leader.
Should Cloud9 try to rework their roster?
There’s plenty of players available to pick from as free agents, but how many would work with Cloud9’s plans? The team might want to move back to North America once the pandemic is over. The uncertain future is certainly a key matter that players might not want to deal with now.
It’s impossible to ignore the fact that we’re living on a strange era of Counter-Strike. With online matches becoming the standard, we won’t know if a team playing right now is at their absolutely best. After all, some players will perform better offline.
Still, it’s important that Cloud9 starts dealing with their biggest issues. Is there someone with a compatible style available to lead the team, or can ALEX improve? Who can take up the AWPer role in order to provide some much-needed firepower to the squad?
Results won’t change until they answer these key questions.
Cloud9’s next showing
For now, Cloud9’s calendar is empty. This is a reason that many might be feeling they could be looking into doing changes. Still, such a big name won’t have their calendar blank for much longer.
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Published at Mon, 29 Mar 2021 19:00:55 +0000