A Sad End to the Cloud9 CSGO Story
The most recent Cloud9 CSGO project looked to be very promising when it was first announced. A team hand-picked by HenryG, a great mind of the game and a solid bankroll to back him up led to high hopes. Unfortunately, due to possible difficult contract situations, rabid fanbase and the unfortunate online era, Cloud9’s journey ended not with a bang, but with a whimper.
From a top contender for CSGO betting on paper, to a story of aboslute mockery within a year. This is the how terribly the Cloud9 CSGO story developed.
Cloud9 CSGO Roster Difficulties
It is difficult to put together a roster if other team organizations are not willing to let their players leave. When Cloud9 announced HenryG would be the general manager for the new squad, his goal was to sign a top tier roster that was capable of winning tournaments. During and after the roster being built it had been intimated that the players Henry had wanted to sign were in difficult contract situations. Impossibly high buyouts and teams not allowing players to leave are both issues that industry leaders have hinted at. This forced C9 to look for lesser known talent who inherently have less experience playing against the top teams in the world. Though lacking experience, floppy, mezii and Xeppaa were promising young talents that just needed time to adapt.
Interestingly, all three players also show an affinity for Valorant more the CSGO lately that is a further cog in the wheel for the team. Players not fully committed to the cause are not going to earn you a Top 10 ranking anytime soon.
The Unforgiving “Fans”
Due to bold promises made by HenryG, Cloud9 needed to win. This opened them up to unprecedented mockery from the community when things didn’t go as promised. The promises made did not mix well with the inexperienced talent he signed. Though these things were said when he thought he would be able to sign bigger names, context is easily forgotten amongst the public.
HenryG’s openness about contracts was a wonderful thing that could have propelled the scene forwards. Transparency helps players contextualize their own contracts in order to get paid what they are worth. Unfortunately, this was used against Cloud9. Every time they lost, the cost of the team was brought up in an attempt to humiliate Henry. “20 Million Dollars for this”, a song written in good fun by his longtime friend Richard Lewis comes to mind. You can find it on “By The Numbers #140 w/ Moses, HenryG & Anders”. Jests made amongst friends lose their meaning when the public starts to use the jokes in order to shame. Instead of being publicly mocked the way he was, HenryG should have been admired and been an inspiration for his openness and risk taking.
The Online Era
Cloud9’s biggest signing was W0xic, the star AWPer. Plagued by performance issues perhaps due to living where he does, the online era was unkind to him. Historically, W0xic’s biggest performances have been on LAN, where he tends to turn up. Due to Ping issues based on location and possibly motivation issues (caused by the ping) he was unable to be the star player C9 needed. When your most exciting signing turns out to be dead weight, it weighs on the results. This caused him to be released and replaced by Xeppaa, who did not bring the same gravitas as a name like W0xic could.
At the end of the day, perhaps some good can come from all of this. Will other teams start to follow suit and be more transparent with salaries? Will they start to banter and make bold statements to cause excitement? Only time will tell. Maybe it was the wrong place at the wrong time, but regardless, the Cloud9 project was a massive let down. Most of all to those involved.