Cloud9 has announced the acquisition of an academy Counter-Strike: Global Offensive lineup to form its CS:GO academy roster. The roster consists of the following players: in-game leader Daniil “alpha” Demin, Artem “sstr1ct” Mesnyankin, Maxim “dekz” Korolev, Vladislav “h1te” Khait, and Matvei “sm3t” Gogin.
Although Cloud9 did not reveal the new team’s debut tournament, the academy team will possibly start attending online cash cups and open qualifiers this month. This comes months after Cloud9 made a return to CS:GO in April 2022 with the acquisition of the former Gambit roster.
The former Gambit roster acquired includes Timofey “interz” Yakushin, Dmitriy “sh1ro” Sokolov, Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov, Abai “HObbit” Hasenov, and in-game leader Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov. The players made their debut under Cloud9’s banner in the PGL Antwerp Major in May.
Ivan “F_1N” Kochugov will assume the position of the team coach, transitioning from the head coach position of the main team roster. He has been a part of Cloud9 since April 2022, taking the reigns of the former Gambit squad. The roster was declared as one of the best counter-strike teams worldwide at the time.
Cloud9 made the announcement on its Twitter page, saying: “We are excited to announce that Cloud9 is expanding its presence in the CS:GO scene. Our academy squad consists of five young prospects and will be coached by Ivan “F_1N” Kochugov, who has previously worked as the main team’s head coach and analyst. Our initial goals for this squad are to get competitive experience and, with time to establish itself as a top 30 team in the world.”
The Colossus was the last CS:GO roster project the organization had, and it was an international project led by the previous manager, Henry “HenryG” Greer. As a result of underwhelming results, the project lasted just six months before being shut down.
F_1N functioned as a head coach for years before joining Cloud9, but was suspended in 2020. At the time, F__1N was accused of exploiting a case of the notorious spectator bug. The 38-year-old, along with 36 other CS:GO coaches, was banned by the Esports Integrity Commission for periods ranging from 3.7 to 36 months after reviewing 20% of the demos, which numbered 99,650.
The ban affected the players’ participation in only ESIC tournaments. Non-member tournaments were also asked to uphold the suspension to protect the CS:GO community.
Due to their recent academy team acquisition, Cloud9 joined several esports organizations to enter CS:GO at an academy level. The WePlay Academy League, which took place in August 2021, made the junior CS:GO lineup a trend. The tournament recently kicked off its fifth edition with a $100,000 cash prize for academy teams from around the world.