Cloud 9 had ignited hopes of North American fans when they first announced a major overhaul of their roster. With former caster HenryG at the helm, the Boston Major champions set out to reclaim their former glory with a new “Colossus”.
Before the project got off the ground, the first two matches served as harsh reality check to the team. Two straight 0-2 losses (5-16 | 14-16 vs Virtus.Pro & 18-22 | 10-16 vs OG) saw Cloud 9 exit FLASHPOINT Season 2 in last place.
GG @OGesportsCSGO !
I cant say that this one doesnt sting , but we are going through it as team.
Everybody is working very hard every single day since the begining and that makes me proud!
Its rough now , but we are going to deliver!
Thanks for all the support so far! #c9win
— Aleksandar Trifunovic (@kassad) November 15, 2020
Massive hopes and expectations
Right from the get-go Cloud 9 was determined to make waves in the scene with their restart. With high profile signings like General Manager Henry “HenryG” Greer and Head Coach Aleksandar “kassad” Trifunović to start with and the promise to bring in a “New Dawn” for North America Cloud 9 generated hype without end.
The first pages in the new #C9CSGO chapter…
— Cloud9 (@Cloud9) September 7, 2020
Especially HenryG’s show of confidence even before the roster was announced told the story of Cloud 9 taking aim at the very top of the scene. Shortly after he was signed to Cloud 9 he immediately set eyes on the trophy of FLASHPOINT Season 2 saying:
— HLTV Confirmed (@HLTVconfirmed) September 16, 2020
Contract Details and Transparency
But the new Cloud 9 did not only aim to shake up the scene in terms of competition. Through HenryG’s intiative the new roster also tried to give as much transparency as possible to improve the scene and empower the players.
let me be clear:
The last party to benefit from sporting salaries being kept private, is the player.
It only shrouds them from knowing their true market value and therefore allows the team(s) to pay their players less.
all my announcements also at player discretion.
— C9 HenryG (@HenryGcsgo) September 10, 2020
Cloud 9 proceeded to slowly announce the members of their roster over time, earning more and more hype as the parts of the puzzle were slowly revealed. Coupled with the novel transparency Cloud 9 were the talke of town ever since September. Altogether the new “Colossus” cost Cloud 9 approximately $5 million US-Dollar and had one job: Live up to the expectations they set for themselves and win FLASHPOINT 2.
Crashing at FLASHPOINT
Unfortunately for Cloud 9, the team could not quite walk the walk after all that talk. An initial loss to Virtus.Pro had many fans already concerned as the CIS squad around Dzhami “Jame” Ali is solidly not a tier 1 team. However it got even worse as Cloud 9’s subsequent loss in the lower bracket against OG sent the Colossus packing without a single map win.
— Cloud9 (@Cloud9) November 15, 2020
Quite the far cry from the goal set out in the beginning and the resulting schadenfreude from the community was to be expected. In HenryG’s defense we must say that when he set the championship as target neither Virtus.Pro nor OG were part of the competitors at FLASHPOINT but not even taking a map in their debut performance is disappointing.
So far Cloud 9 seems to be taking the incoming wave of disdain in stride as in-game leader Alex “ALEX” McMeekin and HenryG are showing on Twitter.
— C9 HenryG (@HenryGcsgo) November 15, 2020
While the hype train derailed badly for Cloud 9, their defeats are not entirely without merit. Both 0-2 scorelines look harsher than they actually were and the potential within the Cloud 9 roster did shine through in some of the close rounds. But the team clearly requires more time to gel and work on strategies and shotcalling. Especially the call to forcebuy on mappoint against OG on Nuke seemed baffling as the gamble cost C9 the map entirely once overtime concluded.
As much as their early exit at FLASHPOINT must sting, Cloud 9 only has a week to recuperate for their next test. On November 23 the BLAST Premier: Fall 2020 Showdown will begin and offer them a chance at redemption in the eyes of the community.
With the amount of hype and attention C9 had the current situation is far from ideal but it would not be the first time in history that a CS:GO team floundered at first before going on to dominate. So while the losses should have you worried it is not yet the definite end of the Colossus. Should C9 perform well at BLAST no one will dwell too long on their first two official matches. Instead they would just be categorized as growing pains for a fresh roster.
It is still early days for Cloud 9’s Colossus, but they will need to have a decent showing at BLAST Premier to reclaim their former heights, otherwise they might just end up as another iteration of “Clown 9”.
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