Cloud9 is back to CS:GO after having withdrawn from the professional scene in March 2021. The North American organization has completed the acquisition of Gambit, one of the best Counter-Strike teams in the world, for an undisclosed fee.
Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov, Dmitriy “sh1ro” Sokolov, Timofey “interz” Yakushin, Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov, and Abai “HObbit” Hasenov are expected to debut under the Cloud9 banner at PGL Antwerp Major in May. They recently secured a Legends spot at the competition at the Europe Regional Major Ranking (RMR) B event, where they competed under the tag Players due to sanctions imposed on Gambit, a Russian-owned organization, as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.
On top of the signing of the five CS:GO players, C9 is also bringing in Gambit head coach Konstantin “groove” Pikiner, analyst Ivan “F_1N” Kochugov, and the team’s manager Aleksandr “Sweetypotz” Scherbakov as part of the deal with Gambit.
“This week, we are returning to the scene with an iconic lineup,” C9 said on its official website. “This collection of players have shown incredible promise and talent, and we are thrilled that we can continue to support their passions and careers. 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.”
C9 has historically fielded North American teams in CS:GO, but the organization also worked with European players in the past. The last CS:GO team C9 had were an international project managed by former caster Henry “HenryG” Greer and dubbed “The Colossus.” But it lasted no longer than six months due to underwhelming results, which made the organization move away temporarily from Valve’s FPS.
“This is an exciting time for Counter-Strike, with LAN events returning we’re seeing incredible interest amongst fans,” C9’s CEO Jack Etienne said. “I would definitely say the resurgence is well underway.”
The new C9 lineup qualified for PGL Antwerp Major, the first Valve-sponsored event of the year, following victories over Sangal, Anonymo, and Astralis. They are the third-best CS:GO team in the world, according to HLTV’s ranking.
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