Cloud9

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Cloud9
Cloud9 logo.svg
Divisions League of Legends, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Overwatch, Vainglory
Founded 2012
Location Los Angeles, California, United States
Manager Jack Etienne, Danan Flander, Aisultan Sugurbayev
Partners Red Bull
Logitech
HTC
G2A
MSI
Twitch
Axe
Curse
Ibuypower
Hyperx
Crunchyroll
Intel
NeedforSeatUSA
LolWiz
Website Official website

Cloud9 (C9) is an American eSports organization. Sponsored by HTC and previously known as Cloud9 G2A, it fields teams in League of Legends, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Overwatch, and Vainglory.[1]

Cloud9's League of Legends team competes in the North American League of Legends Championship Series and has finished either first or second in the league since it joined in the summer of 2013 except for the summer split in season 5 and the spring split of season 6.[2] The Cloud9 Challenger League of Legends team competes in the North American League of Legends Challenger Series. The owner and manager of the team is Jack Etienne. In 2015, Cloud9's Heroes of the Storm team, won the 2015 Heroes of the Storm World Championship, becoming the first world champions of the game.[3]

History[edit]

Cloud9 has its origins in the League of Legends team of Orbit Gaming, which had several current C9 team members.[4] After Lone Star Clash in November 2012, members of Orbit Gaming signed with Quantic Gaming, which had only been sponsoring a StarCraft II team. Quantic Gaming was an esports team and media company founded in 2010 by Simon Boudreault, a Quebec native who had come upon a large inheritance upon the death of his father and decided to invest nearly all of it in esports.[5] During its existence, several players and coaches claimed that they consistently missed payments from Boudreault.[6] When QG failed to make the 2013 LCS Spring split Boudreault cut off contact with society and soon dissolved the company. Despite being owed tens of thousands of dollars, former players say they are no longer considering legal action against Boudreault. Former Team SoloMid manager Jack Etienne bought the team for US$10,000 in December 2013 and also became its manager.[7]

Cloud9 also recently bought the Call of Duty team LGBT to compete a CWL in new COD title Black Ops III.

In July 2014 the C9 Smite team disbanded just before the start of the Smite Pro League.[8] On May 6, 2014 Cloud9 signed Super Smash Bros. Melee player Mang0.[9] Cloud9 acquired CompLexity Gaming's Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team in August 2014. The team left compLexity after it received a better offer from C9 before renewing their contract with their previous team.[10] Cloud9 announced the formation of a Challenger Series team and held open tryouts.[11] On November 26, 2014 Cloud9 added a Halo team by acquiring The Agency, which boasted several experienced players.[12] In December 2014 Cloud9 withdrew their Dota 2 team from the Chinese I-League because of concerns over poor playing and living conditions and were subsequently banned for the next seasons for doing so.[13] In February 2015 Riot suspended C9 Tempest after it was revealed that the team had illegally used a non-roster member during a game.[14]

League of Legends[edit]

Cloud9
Game League of Legends
Founded 2013
Division titles NA LCS: Summer 2013, Spring 2014

Pre-Season 3[edit]

During the off-season, the Quantic Gaming organization went bankrupt and shut down operations, leaving its League of Legends team without a sponsor. Competing first under the name Team NomNom and then Cloud9, Nientonsoh, Hai, Yazuki, Wild Turtle and LemonNation secured a spot in the Season 3 North American Offline Qualifier for the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS).[6] However, Cloud9 was knocked out of the tournament in the group stage after losing to Azure Gaming and future LCS team Team MRN in a close base race.[6]

Initially, Nientonsoh said that Cloud9 would disband in light of the loss. The team later decided to stay together, although Nientonsoh and Yazuki left the team.[6] Hai shifted from jungle to mid, and the team tried out new junglers and top laners in online competitions.

Season 3[edit]

On April 1, the Cloud9 roster of Balls, Meteos, Hai, Sneaky, and LemonNation was reacquired by Quantic Gaming, now led by former COO Bernie Catalan. However, just a few weeks later the roster would once again become Cloud9 with previous TSM manager Jack Etienne becoming the manager and owner of the team.

On May 17, C9 placed first at the 2013 MLG Winter Championship Summer Promotion, defeating Velocity eSports 2–1 in the finals.

In the Summer Promotion Qualifier, Cloud9 went 5-0 to earn a spot in the LCS Summer Split, beating Team Astral Poke 2-0, and former LCS team compLexity 3-0.[15] Midway through the season, Cloud9 went on a 13-game win streak, the 3rd longest in LCS history.[citation needed] They went on to earn 25 victories, the record most in an LCS season split, and won first place in the Summer Split regular season. Throughout the NA LCS Summer Playoffs, they won every single one of their games and sets, first against Team Dignitas, and then the grand finals against TSM 3-0.[16] Cloud9 took home US$50,000 as well a first round bye at the Season 3 World Championship. They finished their season 3 LCS and playoffs with a 30-3 total, the highest in LCS history and with a 91% win rate.

C9 went into the Season 3 World Championship quarterfinals with a first round bye as the North American champions. Their first international match was against the top European seed, Fnatic.[17] Cloud9 lost the set 1-2, being the last North American team to be eliminated and ending up in 5th-8th place.[17]

Pre-Season 2014[edit]

On November 24, C9 competed at IEM Season VIII - Cologne. They went straight to the semifinals with a first round bye, but lost to Gambit Gaming 2–1.[18]

On October 29, the organization announced the departure of coach Alex Penn and the addition of Dan Dinh as Penn's replacement.[19]

In December 2013, Cloud9 joined four other North American LCS teams at the Battle of the Atlantic, facing European champions Fnatic for the second time. With dominating performances by mid laner Hai, Cloud9 took the series 2-0, resulting in an overall North American win at the tournament and US$10,000 for the team.

2014 Season[edit]

As a top five finisher in the Season 3 LCS Summer Split, Cloud9 earned a berth in the 2014 Season Spring Split, which began on January 17. After having trailed just behind Team SoloMid after the first week, Cloud9 finally regained first place by defeating TSM in week 7. They would go undefeated afterwards (equaling their previous 13 win streak record) and finish first place for the regular Spring Season and securing a spot in playoffs. Cloud9 would repeat their 2013 Summer Playoff success with a 2-0 victory over Team Curse in the semi-finals, and a 3-0 against TSM in the grand finals on April 20.[20] Their LCS playoffs victory earned the team a spot in the 2014 All-Stars. Cloud9's LCS success had resulted in a record regular season win percentage of 87.5% (49-7) and 89.4% including playoffs (59-7).

On April 28, Hai suffered a collapsed lung, which prevented him from attending the All-Star event in Paris.[21] CLG's Link replaced him on the lineup.[22] In group stage, the team defeated OMG, Fnatic, and Taipei Assassins, but lost to SK Telecom T1 K, finishing 2nd with a 3-1 record. In the playoff semi-finals, Cloud9 lost to OMG to finish 3rd-4th in the tournament.

Cloud9's several international encounters with Fnatic in late 2013 and early 2014 has resulted in a rivalry between the two teams.[citation needed] Cloud9 currently has a 5-4 game record and a 1-2 series record against Fnatic, winning the Battle of the Atlantic while losing at IEM and the Season 3 World Championship.

As the winner of the previous LCS split, C9 automatically qualified for the summer split of the LCS, which began on May 23. Cloud9 faced unprecedented competition and briefly found themselves in fifth place at 10-8.[23][24] However, with an 8-2 record in the last 10 games to finish the season, the team leapfrogged struggling top competitor LMQ by holding the tiebreaker at a record of 18-10.[25] With the first-place position, Cloud9 qualified for Summer Playoffs as the top seed.[26] There, Cloud9 first faced Team Curse, a team against which they held a 3-1 record, and continued this success by sweeping Curse 3-0. Advancing to the finals, Cloud9 hoped to extend its unprecedented playoff win streak of thirteen games against Team SoloMid. TSM made history by ending Cloud9's streak and winning its second LCS playoff, while C9 settled for second place and a berth in the Season 4 World Championship.

During the World Championship group stages, due to Balls and Hai excelling, C9 became the first North American team to ever beat a Korean Team at the World Championship by taking down NaJin Shield.[27]

Pre-Season 2015[edit]

After Worlds, Cloud9 beat Alliance in a 2-1 victory and crushing Unicorns Of Love 3-0 to win IEM Season IX San Jose, becoming the best team in two western regions for the third time.

2015 Season[edit]

For the first time C9 had dropped their first three games in the new Season of the LCS, eventually falling to an unfamiliar 10th place. Soon C9 took down second place CLG and then proceeded to defeat through TSM, Gravity, and CLG a second time in the fastest 27 minute win of the split, automatically advancing them to Semi-Finals. Like in the previous Summer Split and right on time Cloud9 rallied excelling with uncommon picks coming from behind and making their way to second place and tying with rivals TSM for first place. Balls, Meteos, and Sneaky all took top players in week 9 in their respective roles. With Sneaky taking first place overall, a familiar place for Sneaky considered to be the best and most consistent ADC in North America.[6]

At IEM Katowice World Championships, C9 was beat by the GE Tigers.[28]

Cloud9 finished 2nd in the Spring LCS Regular Season with a 13–6 record.[29] Cloud9 met TSM in the finals of the LCS Spring playoffs but lost three games to one.[30] It was the fourth consecutive LCS final that featured the two teams.[30] In May, Hai officially retired from the team, citing chronic hand pain. Hai transitioned into a role as Chief Gaming Officer.[31] On March 8 Incarnati0n joined the team and replaced Hai on the starting roster.[32] The team struggled through the season due to issues with shotcalling, as Hai had been the primary shotcalled. The team dropped down to 8th place, in danger of relegation until July, when Meteos steps down and Hai rejoined the team in the jungle.[33] With Hai, they were able to win enough games to rise to 7th place, high enough to avoid relegation, but not high enough to make playoffs.

Cloud9 beat Team 8 in a tiebreaker match in order to qualify for the gauntlet bracket for the third North American seed in the Season 5 World Championship. In the gauntlet they faced off against Team Gravity, Team Impulse and Team Liquid. They beat Team Gravity and Team Impulse by 3-2 reverse sweeps, and beat Team Liquid by 3-1. Their journey from 7th place in NA to the world championship showed how much Hai's leadership impacted the teams performance. By winning the gauntlet, Cloud9 earned North America's third seed to Cloud9's third consecutive world championship.

At worlds, Cloud9 was placed in Group B with fnatic, ahq, and Invictus Gaming. Cloud9 was a heavy underdog and was expected to come in last. Shockingly, they went an undefeated 3-0 in the first week, defeating every team in their group. In the second week, they only needed one win to move on to the next round of the tournament. They dropped 3 games in a row, as well as losing a tiebreaker game against ahq, leaving them in third place in their group and eliminated from the tournament.

Pre-season 2016[edit]

In the offseason, LemonNation retired.[34] Cloud9 announced the signings of two new players, jungler Rush and substitute support Bunny FuFuu. Hai changed positions once again, switching to Support.[34] cloud9 stated that Hai would be playing during the beginning of NA LCS Spring Split, with the intention of teaching BunnyFuFuu, who will overtake Hai some time during Season 6. In December, Incarnati0n announced he was changing his gamer name to his real name, Jensen . The new roster debuted at IEM X Cologne, where they lost 2-1 to H2K and were eliminated.

2016 Season[edit]

BunnyFuFuu and Hai alternated as support for the first 2 weeks of the split but then Hai took over as full-time support due to poor results. Cloud9 finished 3rd in the regular season with a record of 12-6 but faced a disappointing loss to Team SoloMid in the quarterfinals. After failing to achieve the result they wanted, the team made a few roster changes in between splits where the main roster became Impact, Meteos, Jensen, Sneaky, and Smoothie/Bunny FuFuu, with the addition of Reapered as coach. Cloud9 also formed a challenger series roster with Balls, Rush, Hai, Altec, and LemonNation.

Cloud9 started the split slow, with Bunny FuFuu and Smoothie alternating in the support role. Bunny FuFuu then stepped down from the starting roster, giving Smoothie the starting support role. Cloud9 ended the season strong beating Team EnVyUs (3-1) in the quarterfinals and Immortals (3-2) in the semifinals, but dropping to Team SoloMid in the finals (1-3). They moved to the gauntlet for the Regional Qualifiers where they beat Team EnVyUs (3-0) and Immortals (3-1) giving them the #3 seed for North America in the 2016 World Championship.

Cloud9 Challenger did well in the challenger series and qualified for LCS Season 7. Rush then announced he was leaving Cloud9 Challenger and returning to his home in South Korea, to stream and look for opportunities on a Korean team.

On September 20, 2016, Cloud9's coach Bok Han-gyu's Twitter account was compromised by hackers who published Cloud9's competitive scrimmages, account logins, chat logs, and contact information for several NA LCS team members.[35]

At the 2016 World Championship, Cloud9 was placed into Group B with China's IMay, Korea's SKTelecom, and Taiwan's Flash Wolves. Cloud9 went 2-1 in the first round of matches, then finished with a 1-2 record in the second round. Finishing the group 3-3, they earned the second seed from their group and a spot in quarterfinals. They were placed into a quarterfinal match against Samsung Galaxy.[36] Samsung swept Cloud9 3-0 and went on to finish second in the tournament, while Cloud9 was eliminated.[37]

Pre-season 2017 and Sale of C9 Challenger[edit]

On December 9, 2016 Cloud 9 announced they had moved Juan Arturo "Contractz" Garcia into the starting jungler position and signed Jeon "Ray" Ji-won as a substitute top laner.[38] During the off- season, the Cloud 9 Challenger roster, including Balls, LemonNation, Hai, and Altec was purchased by Wes Edens, owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, and rebranded as team FlyQuest.[39]

2017 Season[edit]

In week 5 of the LCS, sub jungler Meteos was traded to Phoenix 1 to fill in for their jungler "Inori".[40]

Roster[edit]

ID Name Age Role Join date End of Contract Hometown
Impact[41] Jung Eon-yeong 22 Top Laner May 9, 2016 November 20, 2017
Contractz Juan Arturo Garcia 17 Jungler December 9, 2016 November 19, 2018 Redwood City, California
Jensen Nicolaj Jensen 22 Mid Laner August 5, 2015 November 18, 2019
Sneaky Zachary Scuderi 22 AD Carry January 4, 2013 November 18, 2019 Winter Springs, Florida
Smoothie Andy Ta 20 Support May 18, 2016 November 18, 2019 Calgary, Alberta, Canada[42]
Ray Jeon Ji-won 19 Sub/Top December 9, 2016 November 18, 2019
Bunny FuFuu Michael Kurylo 20 Sub/Support November 2015 November 20, 2017 San Diego, California
Reapered Bok Han-gyu 25 Head Coach May 2016 November 19, 2018
Cain Jang Nu-ri Assistant Coach December 8, 2016

Former[edit]

ID Name Age Role Join Date Leave Date Hometown Next Team
Rush Lee Yoonjae 23 Jungler November 2015 July 2016
Balls[43] An Le 22 Top Laner May 2013 July 2016 Pharr, Texas Flyquest
Hai Hai Lam 24 Mid Laner May 2013 July 2016 Grandville, Michigan Flyquest
Altec Johnny Ru 19 AD Carry April 2016 July 2016 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Flyquest
LemonNation Daerek Hart 27 Support May 2013 May 2016 Eden Prairie, Minnesota Flyquest
Meteos William Hartman 23 Jungler May 2013 Feb 2017 Fairfax, Virginia Phoenix 1

Counter-Strike[edit]

Cloud9 acquired CompLexity Gaming's Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team in August 2014. The team left CompLexity after it received a better offer from C9 before renewing their contract with their previous team. After going 2-0 in Group D of the group stage of ESL One; Cologne 2014, Cloud9 lost to Swedish team Ninjas in Pyjamas in the quarterfinals, who later won the tournament.[44] On November 26, Sean 'seang@res' Gares took over the in-game leader position, formerly belonging to Spencer 'Hiko' Martin.[45] On December 14, Hiko left Cloud9, to be replaced by Shahzeb 'ShahZaM' Khan.[46][47][48]

On April 24, Cloud9 released Khan and Kory 'Semphis' Friesen.[49] On April 29 Ryan 'fREAKAZOiD' Abadir and Tyler 'Skadoodle' Latham, formerly of iBUYPOWER, joined the team and Braxton 'swag' Pierce joined as an analyst,[50] later changed to a CS:GO Streamer position.

On November 24, Sean "sgares" Gares stepped down from the Counter-Strike roster.[51]

Cloud9 has historically been considered to be one of the best North American CS:GO team, finishing 2nd at multiple LAN events against top European teams, such as FNATIC at the ESEA ESL Pro League Finals.[52]

Cloud9 placed 13-16th at MLG Columbus 2016, losing to Natus Vincere and G2 Esports in the group stage.

On April 12, 2016 announced the departure of fREAKAZOiD from the starting roster. Team Liquid's Eric "adreN" Hoag was announced as a temporary stand-in.[53] Alec "Slemmy" White was announced as the official replacement on April 23, 2016.[54]

The manager of Cloud9's Counter-Strike division, Tres "stunna" Saranthus left the team on July 26, 2016.[55] Timothy "autimatic" Ta joined the team on August 17, 2016, replacing Slemmy.[56]

On October 30, 2016, Cloud9 defeated SK Gaming 2-1 in a best of 3 to win the ESL Pro League Season 4 Finals in São Paulo, Brazil.[57] Timothy "autimatic" Ta

Coach[edit]

  • Danan "Danan" Flander

Streamer[edit]

  • Braxton "swag" Pierce

Former[edit]

Dota 2[edit]

On February 9, 2014 Cloud9 acquired the roster of Speed Gaming, consisting of Jacky "EternaLEnVy" Mao, Weh Sing "SingSing" Yuen, Pittner "bOne7" Armand, Kurtis "Aui_2000" Ling, and Johan "pieliedie" Åström.[58]

At The International 2014, the team finished 8-7 in the group stages. In Phase Three, the team defeated LGD Gaming, but lost to Team DK, placing them in the lower bracket to start the main event. In the main event, the team defeated former TI champs Natus Vincere 2-1, but lost in the next round to eventual finalists Vici Gaming 2-1, finishing 5th-6th place and taking home over US$650,000.

On August 13, SingSing left the team,[59] and was replaced with Adrian "FATA-" Trinks four days later.[60] On January 5, 2015, Aui_2000 and pieliedie were replaced by Johan "BigDaddyN0tail" Sundstein and Rasmus "MiSeRy" Filipsen.[61]

In May 2015, Valve Corporation announced that Cloud9 was one of 10 teams to receive a direct invitation to The International 2015.[62]

After a 9th-12th-place finish at The International 2015, the team was dropped on August 14.[63] On September 1, Theeban "1437" Siva announced on his Facebook page that his team was acquired by Cloud9.[64]

Following the International 2015, on November 16, Ritsu was dismissed from the DotA 2 player roster.[65] No replacement has been found as of yet.

On November 27, the team announced their second disband.[66]

Roster[edit]

Former members[edit]

  • Braxton "Brax" Paulson
  • Arif "MSS" Anwar
  • Jacky "EternaLEnVy" Mao
  • Adrian "FATA-" Trinks
  • Pittner "bOne7" Armand
  • Johan "BigDaddy" Sundstein
  • Rasmus "MiSeRy" Filipsen
  • Weh "SingSing" Sing Yuen
  • Kurtis "Aui_2000" Ling
  • Johan "pieliedie" Åström

Vainglory[edit]

On September 1, 2016, Cloud9 acquired Nemesis Hydra from Team Nemesis, getting their feet into the mobile eSports scene. Nemesis Hydra had been one of the first competitive teams of Vainglory, having first appeared in March, 2015.[67] In their short year and a half of existence, Hydra had made it to the third tournament day, at least semi-finals, in each live championship. While never winning a championship, they completed a 14-game win streak in Split One of the 2016 Summer Season tournament "Evil 8".

In the Vainglory Summer Live Championships, under the blue and white of Cloud9, the team beat Phoenix Reborn in the first round, falling to Team SoloMid in the second round, and Phoenix Reign in the loser's bracket, missing their first day three of live finals in their history.

Roster[edit]

Username Name Position
Oldskool Gabriel Villamariona Lane
iLoveJoseph Joseph Samano Jungle
gabesvizzle Gabe Villarin Roam (Captain)
Hardek Rommel Soriano, Jr. Sub/Lane
LostBoyToph Christopher Basco Sub/Roam

Other teams[edit]

Hearthstone[edit]

Super Smash Bros.[edit]

Roster[edit]

ID Name Game(s) Character(s) Joined
Mang0 Joseph Marquez Super Smash Bros. Melee Fox, Falco May 6, 2014[68]
Ally Elliot Carroza-Oyarce Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Mario August 18, 2016[69]

Heroes of the Storm[edit]

Former[edit]

  • Cameron "bobbyhankhill" Nelson
  • Dana "Syracuse" Holland
  • Pat "Tazza" Yiu
  • Brian "Zixz" Skarda
  • Fan "Fan" Yang
  • Keaton "Biceps" Consentine
  • Christopher "Zuna" Buechter
  • Ken "Kenma" Buechter
  • Josh "RawrJar" Kofalt
  • Rori "CauthonLuck" Bryant-Raible
  • Stephen "Nirak" Hartnett
  • Shawn "Sheth" David Simon
  • Justin "Jintae" Dinh
  • Aaron "bischu" Kim

Call of Duty: Black Ops III[edit]

Cloud9[edit]

  • Adam Assault Garcia[70]
  • Patrick ACHES Price
  • Andres Lacefield Lacefield
  • Richard Ricky Stacy

Overwatch[edit]

  • Daniel "Gods" Graeser
  • Lucas "Mendokusaii" Håkansson
  • Adam "Adam" Eckel
  • Ruben "ryb" Ljungdahl
  • Randal "Roolf" Stark
  • Lane "Surefour" Roberts

Management[edit]

ID Name Role
Jack Jack Etienne Owner/Founder
Kannigit Danan Flander General Manager
Reapered Han-Gyu Bok League of Legends Coach
Hai Hai Lam Chief Gaming Officer

References[edit]

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  52. ^ [1]
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External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Team SoloMid
North American League of Legends Championship Series winner
Summer 2013–Spring 2014
Succeeded by
Team SoloMid