Cloud9 Overhauls CS2 Team as HObbit, Perfecto Exit

Cloud9 Overhauls CS2 Team as HObbit, Perfecto Exit

In a significant turn of events, Cloud9 has announced a comprehensive restructuring of its Counter-Strike 2 team following the departure of key players Abay “HObbit” Khassenov and Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy. This move comes in the wake of Denis “electroNic” Sharipov’s recent transfer to Virtus.pro, signaling a pivotal moment for the North American organization.

Initially formed in July 2023 with high aspirations, the Russian super team under the Cloud9 banner aimed to dominate the competitive Counter-Strike scene. The team acquired prominent players including Denis “electroNic” Sharipov and Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy from Natus Vincere. However, the project quickly faced challenges, most notably with Dmitriy “sh1ro” Sokolov’s earlier exit, leaving a significant gap in the team’s lineup.

Jack Etienne, CEO of Cloud9, has decisively quelled rumors of disbanding the team, opting instead for a “full rebuilding process”. The strategy involves focusing on the Russian duo of Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov and Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhaylov, indicating a continued preference for Eastern European talent.

The departures of HObbit and Perfecto mark the end of their short but impactful tenure with Cloud9. HObbit had been a significant figure, carrying forward his experience from the Gambit Esports team acquired by Cloud9 in 2022. Perfecto joined more recently but has also made his mark in the team’s dynamics.

Cloud9’s Counter-Strike division has seen various iterations and rebuilding efforts over the past five years, capturing only one significant trophy since their peak at the ELEAGUE Major Boston in 2018. The organization has experimented with different team compositions, including the ambitious “Colossus” lineup, but with limited long-term success.

The search for new talent appears challenging, with top players like CS:GO legend Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyljev still on the market but potentially out of financial reach due to high contract demands. Furthermore, other desirable CIS players may be constrained by large contract buyout clauses, complicating recruitment efforts.

Cloud9 Overhauls CS2 Team as HObbit, Perfecto Exit

With Boombl4 set as one of the foundational members of the new roster, Cloud9 may steer clear of integrating a pre-existing team core for him to lead, a strategy that could pose significant risks. The timeline for assembling this new lineup remains unclear, but with the Counter-Strike 2 season ongoing and commitments looming, further updates from Cloud9 are anticipated soon.

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