Sky is the limit

The Story Of Cloud9 – Part 2


Cloud9 Roster (Image credit: ELEAGUE)

The story behind CS:GO team Cloud9 continues. Stay tuned and find out how Cloud9 won a Major championship and what followed after that victory. Also, make sure to read Part 1 before you dive deep into this one so you can learn how Cloud9 came to be and their rise to glory.

The Cinderella Story – Boston Major 2018

In the CS:GO professional scene, Majors are everything. There are other big tournaments with similar prize pools but Majors are in a class of their own and they are the only thing that matters. It isn’t about the money but it is about the prestige that comes with the trophy.

One of the most beautiful stories was written in Boston on the night of January 28 2018 and it belongs to Cloud9.

At the start of the ELEAGUE Major tournament in Boston, the U.S. Cloud9 team barely secured the playoffs. They lost the first two matches and then, with three victories in a row, barely caught one of the last places leading among the top eight.

Qualifying for the Playoffs was already considered as a success for the American team. However, the eyes of professional gamers are always focused on the title, no matter how far it may seem.

In the playoffs, Cloud9 first knocked out G2 Esports, then SK Gaming, which was at that time, the best team in the world.

Victory against SK Gaming brought them to the Grand Finals where they had to face Faze Clan - a superstar team made up with only one goal, to win tournaments like this one.

The Grand Finals

Although Cloud9 played great in the playoffs, their opponents were not considered as a real threat. G2 Esports often had ups and downs in form, and SK Gaming played with a substitute in the tournament. Therefore, many doubted C9 would perform against the powerful team like FaZe Clan.

Cloud9 chose Mirage for the first map and lost 16-14 thanks to FaZe’s composure and immense talent. However, then came the shock. On Overpass, which many consider FaZe to be the best team in the world, Cloud9 convincingly celebrated. It was only the first of small series of miracles that the American team pulled out of its sleeve.

The third map and the decider was Inferno. FaZe Clan was convincingly better and had the result 15-11. In other words, they had four chances to win the ELEAGUE Major. However, Cloud9 didn’t stop believing.

Video credit: Cloud9 via YouTube

Managing extremely tense situations in a phenomenal way, Cloud9 won four rounds in a row and the match went into overtime. It’s all summed up in the amazing last round of the regular match where Jake “Stewie2K” Yip showed off all his skill and power. He was alone at B site but still managed to singlehandedly secure the round. Although it may have been Finn "karrigan" Andersen’s fault to rotate with no time on the clock, Stewie still kept calm and did his job.

It took two overtimes to get the winner, but it was clearly felt that Cloud9 dictated the pace of the game. It was felt by the players, the audience and more than a million spectators.

During both overtimes, Cloud9 had a little help from the audience which shouted "Send them home" and boosted the morale of the team when it was needed.

FaZe were in agony, as were their fans, but the level of talent in that team from round to round kept hope alive. When it was most needed, their in-game leader karrigan shone in two 1 on 1 situations. Regardless, Cloud9 still celebrated after the second overtime and wrote history.

Post-Major Struggles & Collapse of The Dream Team

The hype created by Major victory didn’t stick for a long time. Cloud9 struggled and couldn’t win a single tournament after that. In fact, up until this day, they didn’t win a single tournament since the Boston Major.

It all started with Stewie2K’s department. He decided to leave the team and went to play for SK Gaming. On top of that, C9's AWPer Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham also announced he would take a break from the professional scene. Martin "STYKO" Styk joined as a stand-in for ESL One: Cologne 2018 but it didn't help. Cloud9 were knocked out in the group stage by no one else than Astralis and Na’Vi.

Not so long after that, Tarik "tarik" Celik decided to join Stewie2K in MIBR (former SK Gaming) so they had to look for more replacements. They brought Maikil "Golden" Kunda Selim and Robin "flusha" Rönnquist but nothing changed.

They also performed badly at the FACEIT 2018 Major with only one victory against Tier 2 team Winstrike. That victory wasn’t enough for C9 to get into the playoffs and they finished the tournament as a 12th placed team.

After the Major, Skadoodle went inactive once again and Golden had some health issues. Clould9 once again had to find another two replacements. They brought former EnvyUs and FaZe star, Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey and Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro came as a stand-in to replace Golden.

Majors Tournaments in 2019 and Series of Roster Changes

IEM Katowice 2019 was the first Major in that year. The tournament in Katowice is always special and it means more than just another tournament for every CS:GO player. This year, that tournament was also a Major. Due to the fact that Cloud9 only had two out of five players from the last Major in their roster, they had to mark Zellsis as coach in order for him to take Golden’s place at the Major.

Cloud9 barely made it through the Qualifier with only 3 out of 5 victories in the Swiss system. In the New Legends stage, they lost against Astralis, Vitality, and FaZe which in the end resulted in a 9th place.

After Katowice, Cloud9 made more changes: flusha, Zellsis and kioShiMa left the team. Golden returned to the active roster and they brought Daniel "vice" Kim and René "cajunb" Borg.

All that was left from the once beautiful team were: Will "RUSH" Wierzba, Timothy “autimatic” Ta, Golden, cajunb, and vice.

The next Major was StarLadder Berlin and that’s where Cloud9 hit rock bottom. In the Minor Qualifier, they finished dead last and didn’t even qualified to go to Berlin.

The team decided to revamp their roster once again and the new roster was composed of: automatic, Damian "daps" Steele, Kenneth "koosta" Suen, Oscar "mixwell" Cañellas, and Tyson "TenZ" Ngo. In December of 2019, esports organization Gen-G decided to step into the CS:GO world and approached Cloud9 players. The whole roster either went to paly for Gen-G or stepped down from Cloud9.

Cloud9 in 2020

Cloud9 2020

Cloud9 in 2020 (Image credit:

Cloud9 started 2020 without any players. On January 6, they acquired the entire ATK roster and started to build a new team. So far, this new team hasn't won a single tournament and their best result was 4th place at Flashpoint Season 1. Is there a chance for this team to be great in CS:GO like they once were? We can only hope for it. Things aren’t working out and some of the players are switching to new games. For instance, TenZ transitioned from CS:GO into becoming a VALORANT player.

We hope you now understand what happened to once-mighty Cloud9. If you liked this story and want to read more about your favorite teams, make sure to bookmark EarlyGame and come back for more.

Here are some other inspiring stories about the greatest esports teams:


Stay tuned for more CS:GO, gaming news and esports. Also, ring that bell on YouTube for more fun videos!

Antonio Kaurinovic

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