Cloud9's Colossus Completes Starting Five
Cloud9 has completed the starting five of its new Colossus roster with the signing of es3tag.
North American organization Cloud9 has officially revealed the final member of its new Colossus lineup, following the transfer of Patrick "es3tag" Hansen from Astralis.
The foundation of the Colossus
Cloud9 made waves in the Counter-Strike community in early September as the organization announced the addition of Henry "HenryG" Greer and Aleksandar "kassad" Trifunović to its coaching staff. HenryG, who had previously announced his retirement from commentating, joined the NA giant as the CS:GO division's General Manager. His first task was to create a new lineup from scratch alongside the Serbian coach, and the duo decided to pick up Team Vitality's former captain, Alex "ALEX" McMeekin, to start things off. The Brit was later joined by Turkish sniper Özgür "woxic" Eker and fellow countryman William "mezii" Merriman, with Joshua "m1cks" Micks transferring to the Colossus lineup as the team's analyst.
NA's trolling savior
The squad's fourth official member came in the form of Ricky "floppy" Kemery, who transitioned to the Colossus from Cloud9's North American lineup. By already being under C9's employment, floppy will transfer to the new squad free of charge, which is a massive bonus for the organization. Furthermore, floppy was not only the best player on the NA lineup, purely speaking about mechanics and potential to develop, but he was also the fan-favorite, mostly due to his wacky personality and infamous nickname. The American will be relocating to Europe in order to compete with the Colossus squad, not unlike William "RUSH" Wierzba and Owen "oBo" Schlatter, who moved across the pond to play with Complexity Gaming's Juggernaught. According to HenryG, floppy will continue to ply his trade as a rifler and site anchor on CT sides, but it's unclear if he will continue lurking on T sides or if he will transition into more of a trade-fragger for the team.
The Danish star
The last member to join the starting five is non-other than the aforementioned es3tag, who joins from Astralis' bench as he recently joined the Danish organization as a sort of reserve player. The 24-year-old has gained quite a bit of hype in 2020, especially during ESL One Cologne 2020 and ESL Pro League Season 12, where he has averaged 1.22 and 1.12 ratings, respectively. The Dane's addition to the roster is an exciting one, as es3tag is easily one of Denmark's most flexible players. He has experience with a variety of rifling roles but also transitioned into a primary AWPer towards the end of his tenure with Heroic, which only adds to his value as a player. In the Colossus, it seems as though he will become the team's entry fragger.
The Colossus plucks the brightest star from the Danish night sky to complete a line-up with true astronomical power 🌠— HenryG (@HenryGcsgo) October 15, 2020
🔹 Player: Patrick 'es3tag' Hansen 🇩🇰
🔹 Role: Entry / Aggressive Rifle
🔹 Contract length: 3 year deal (from 10/25/2020)
🔹 Value: $2,100,000#C9WIN pic.twitter.com/vwiNb74GFO
Building from scratch
While C9 has yet to reveal its sixth and final member, who will apparently act as both a back-up player and sort of brand ambassador, we have a nearly complete picture of what the roster looks like now, so it's possible to answer the following question: is this really a Colossus? Realistically, the answer to that is yes. While there will certainly be those that doubt in this team's potential or that will claim that it hasn't lived up to the hype, Cloud9's new roster has all the pieces to be a solid world-class team. While signing someone like Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev or Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut would undoubtedly give any team a substantial competitive edge, it's nearly impossible to sign players of that caliber, even with C9 levels of money. Realistically, Cloud9 and HenryG have done really well in navigating the market to create this roster, and while it was undoubtedly pricey and didn't have a fan favorite like s1mple, the team still has everything required to compete at the top.
The other members
ALEX turned Vitality into a consistent tier-one team, able to not only contend for titles but also lift trophies. While he can't necessarily be accredited for turning ZywOo into a world-class player, he certainly knew how to utilize him best, thus getting the most out of him. ALEX's success with Vitality wasn't just a stroke of luck either, as the Brit accomplished similar things with Team LDLC when he transitioned to in-game leading. His ability to recognize his players' strengths and make the most of it, as well as his ability to maintain a stable and consistent individual level of play, are what make ALEX a great leader.
Easily the best AWPer on the market, woxic was a no-brainer for C9 as he has already proven himself at the top level and LAN events. It's easy to undervalue that quality, especially now, but once a return to LAN events is possible, having woxic on the squad is already in of itself a huge advantage. He has a great combination of experience, having already played in international teams, and firepower as he was the 12th best player of 2019.
Every team needs a less experienced player that can develop and learn from the old guard, and that's precisely what mezii is. He has an incredibly solid foundation, excellent communication, fantastic utility knowledge, impressive mechanical skill, and, more than anything, he has a professional attitude and approach to the game. As another very flexible player, his addition to the squad makes a lot of sense, and he has proven time and time again that he was ready to take the next leap in his career.
A match made in Heaven
With the additions of floppy and es3tag, this squad is more than capable of winning titles. On paper, everything is there. From firepower, to experience, to potential, to branding; it's the complete deal. Fans will be able to watch the Colossus play for the first time at Flashpoint 2, as Cloud9 is one of the league's founding members. With less than a month's time before the start of the event, it'll be interesting to see how well the team can perform, but all eyes will be on the international mixture as they are, on paper, one of the favorites to win the whole event.