On April 24 North American organization Cloud9 signed a new roster consisting of ex-Gambit Esports players. Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov, Dmitriy “sh1ro” Sokolov, Timofey “interz” Yakushin, Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov, and Abai “HObbit” Hasenov played under the team name “Players” in the PGL Major Antwerp 2022: European RMR B qualifiers and will debut as Cloud9 in the PGL Major Antwerp Legends Stage which begins on May 14.
Cloud9 has mostly signed North American teams in the past, but this time it’s going to be an all-European roster. Their last formation consisted of es3tag, mezii, floppy, Xeppa, ALEX, and Elmapuddy the roster’s head coach. But this roster didn’t find much success for quite a while and disbanded after playing together for half a year. This was the last time we saw Cloud9 participate in any Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitions and it took them more than 1 year to come back into the scene, now with the former Gambit Esports roster.
All of this unfolded because ESL imposed sanctions over the Gambit Esports organization on March 2 due to the war situation in Ukraine. The organization got such sanctions due to having “apparent ties” to the Russian government, but the players were fully allowed to compete only if they played under a neutral name and didn’t represent Russia or anything related to Russia. The roster went on to compete as “Players” for the ESL Pro League Season 15 where they made it out of the group stage but got knocked out of the tournament in the round-of-12, which was an unexpected result considering the caliber of the players in the lineup.
Cloud9 is not only signing the players, but also will sign the coaching staff which consists of head coach Konstantin “groove” Pikiner, analyst Ivan “F_1N” Kochugov, and manager Aleksandr “Sweetypotz” Scherbakov. Cloud9 released an official statement on their webpage that said “It’s our time to strike. We’re jumping back into the CS:GO arena with our newest team”. The organization also added that “Cloud9 will help the team relocate and get settled, as well as providing the type of high-level support that comes with joining an established and winning organization.” This will be highly appreciated by the roster considering all the recent hassles they went through due to their former team’s situation.
This roster is considered the 3rd best in the entire world if we take a look at the HLTV international rankings. It’s an exciting time to be a fan of Cloud9 as this team will come in as a strong contender for the PGL Major Antwerp 2022 title. “This is an exciting time for Counter-Strike, with LAN events returning we’re seeing incredible interest amongst fans. I would definitely say the resurgence is well under way” Jack Etienne, Co-Founder, and CEO of Cloud9 added to the official statement. It’s going to be very interesting to see Cloud9’s return to the CSGO competitive scene. We’ll be covering Cloud9’s run in the upcoming PGL Major Antwerp 2022 so be sure to stay tuned.