The debut of Cloud9’s newest roster took an unexpected turn. In their first ever tournament together, Alex “ALEX” McMeekin and his men suffered two straight losses and didn’t even manage to win one single map. What’s up with this roster?
DON’T COMPARE THEM TO THE ‘JUGGERNAUT’
The announcement of this new super-team naturally led to comparisons being drawn between them and Complexity. Back then, Jason Lake announced under similar circumstances the creation of the ‘juggernaut’. Amongst others, he signed Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke, who had been in a slump for quite some time. However, this new team has seen him revitalized and playing great Counter-Strike – albeit not on the same level that he held during his peak days.
Will “RUSH” Wierzba is arguably one of the better supports in North America. Valentin “poizon” Vasilev played under the Windigo banner before and was one of the reasons for their short-lived success on the international stage. Owen “oBo” Schlatter was a promising North American youngster and already signed to Complexity at that point. Jason Lake knew of his potential. So to create this ‘juggernaut’, he gathered international talent and created a super-team from promising free agents and bought out some star players on top. Does that ring a bell?
Henry “HenryG” Greer has dubbed this Cloud9 project the ‘colossus’ for a reason. His marketing intentionally goes the same route as Complexity’s, but so far, his plan hasn’t exactly worked out. Complexity’s offline debut was celebrated with victories over Vitality and Astralis, Cloud9 however have lost out to Virtus.pro and OG. So where are the issues at?
For one, the roster lacks a veteran player. While k0nfig and RUSH offer some stability and managed to counter-act the inexperience of oBo and poizon, the Cloud9 roster doesn’t have a character who can fill this role. And this hints at the center of the issue: ALEX.
ALEX MIGHT NOT BE THE RIGHT FIT
Why was Özgür “woxic” Eker so good under the mousesports banner? The answer is Finn “karrigan” Andersen. For years, this experienced in-game-leader has formed well-rounded and intelligent players from young and fresh talent. Robin “ropz” Kool is a great example for this and most recently, he has propelled Aurimas “Bymas” Pipiras to new heights. ALEX throughly lacks this quality, which is understandable given his young age and short tenure in the top scene. This problem didn’t arise in Vitality, because he mostly played with seasoned veterans like Dan “apEX” Madesclaire and Cédric “RpK” Guipouy.
ALEX himself is much too young to take over this mentor role for wowic or William “mezii” Merriman. The influence of Aleksandar “kassad” Trifunović seems to be insufficient as well and will break away as soon as the players are back on offline soil. Taking a look at the statistics of their two matches highlights this issue. Patrick “es3tag” Hansen, woxic and mezii all get their frags, but the team fails to convert them into rounds most of the time.
WHAT CLOUD9 DEFINITELY SHOULDN’T DO
This will be a crucial moment for HenryG to show how much influence he has over the project. Historically, Cloud9 haven’t exactly been patient with their players. Following the dissolution of the 2018 Major roster, athletes were rotated in and out of the roster almost every month. Maikil “Golden” Selim was supposed to lead this team, but barely got enough time to build a foundation with the players, before they were already swapped out again.
Cloud9 cannot afford to make this mistake again. This lineup definitely has potentional, even though initial results look bleak. ALEX and kassad willl need time to work with their players and build a stable foundation. However, should Cloud9 start shuffling players again, this colossus will go down before it manages to take off.