Infinite joins the team.
It seems like Cloud9 went from one of the best teams in the world to the worst overnight. They’ve been struggling since their finish at the ELEAGUE Boston Major in 2018 and have gone through multiple roster changes. Being the first and only team in North America to win a Major is a huge milestone, but that’s not enough to keep fans interested in a team. The most recent acquisition from ATK seemed promising until they started to compete.
Besides their fourth-place finish at Flashpoint Season 1, Cloud9 has been declining on the scoreboard. Henry “HenryG” Greer has made an attempt to rebuild the team after becoming the General Manager in September of this year. He recently took part in terminating the contracts of every player except for Josh “oSee” Ohm due to COVID violations.
The four players had reportedly invited multiple friends over to their team’s house despite COVID regulations. After being warned of their actions, they still managed to repeat their previous offence. Cloud9 couldn’t afford putting their other employees at risk and decided to drop the team. While oSee wasn’t a part of the termination, he still hasn’t put in a lot of work when playing. He was replaced with Patrick “es3tag” Hansen who previously played for Astralis. Because of this, the ex-Cloud9 roster picked up oSee for a charity event. He’s still a part of Cloud9 but is currently inactive and needed a team to play for.
Johnny “JT” Theodosiou subbed in with Rugratz for the ESEA Autumn Cash Cup. They lost to Chaos Esports Club in a 2-1 set where JT bottom fragged with the lowest overall player rating. He went 6-18 on the deciding map and obviously didn’t connect with his last-minute team. JT contacted the remaining ex-Cloud9 roster and put together a team, their coach Tiaan “T.c” Coertzen joined as the head coach to organise the roster for their remaining season. The final piece of the puzzle came down to Gage “Infinite” Green. An ex-Rugratz player who came back to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) after retiring back in March.
Infinite made an attempt at VALORANT but decided it wasn’t the game for him, bringing him back to the classic online shooter. He’s dedicated his life to the NA scene in CS:GO and has played with over eighteen different teams. Infinite has never played with a team for longer than a year but has experience in A/S-Tier tournaments. His most notable lineup was Orgless where he slayed as a rifler for almost three months straight. They placed sixth at Flashpoint Season 1 before Infinite caught the attention of Ze Pug Godz. At the DreamHack Summer Open, Infinite helped his team finish in fifth place before moving onto the ex-Cloud9 lineup.
A two-day charity event known as Mustache Masters invited the ex-Cloud roster to participate in their tournament. Since they had a large fanbase along with a new organisation, inviting the original roster was a smart idea. They went 5-1 after beating YeaH Gaming in the finals earning a total of five HyperX Cloud II headsets. Not only did they win their first event, but the brand new lineup helped spread awareness for Movember. A charity that takes place every November to help spread awareness for men’s health issues.
Besides YeaH Gaming and the New England Whalers, every other team was independent. Still a great victory for the newcomers, but hopefully, this event helped them understand the importance of staying healthy and following COVID regulations.
Cloud9’s CEO Jack Etienne made a brief statement mentioning that putting his staff at risk was unacceptable. The original roster spent their time in quarantine with each other hoping to limit human interactions outside of the team. This way, they could spend their days practising while lowering their chances of catching a deadly virus. Instead, they made extremely terrible decisions by inviting guests over to their main house. A place where the players were supposed to quarantine away from the public. An important tactic used by multiple online workers throughout the pandemic. They paid the price for violating terms within their player contracts which resulted in being fired.
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Cloud9 even managed to pay for their ex-roster's current place of living while they looked for a new team. The main issue with this is that all four players could potentially lose their P-1 visas - a travel visa which is exclusive to the United States and is designed for athletes, including esports players. Unless they can regroup and sign with another American org, they will have to return to their home country of South Africa. The players took advantage of their amenities provided by Cloud9 and are currently in deep water.
Hopefully, they now understand the importance of staying safe during this pandemic and can find another team before late November. They’ve made some good connections in North America and helped Cloud9 in a desperate situation.
Images via Cloud9 | Liquipedia