San Francisco, (CA): Throughout the history of sports there have been monumental changes which forever changed the landscape of the game. E-Sports holds no difference in this light in that sometimes a change is reluctantly necessary in order to field better, if not the best, results possible. As we say goodbye to a core member of the lineup, it holds self-evident that superior results were achieved for North America in a game predominantly ruled by different parts of the world. Today marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new for both Cloud9 and North American CS:GO as a whole. Remaining a member of Cloud9, after choosing to step down from the current lineup while exploring different options, will be Spencer “Hiko” Martin.
“I am sad to announce that I will no longer be a part of the Cloud9 CS:GO team. This decision has been one of the hardest in my entire life. I am grateful from the bottom of my heart the amount of support and belief that not only the fans have given us, but that Cloud9 had in us as a team. Over the last two years the team has seen great ups and downs and have accomplished a lot more than anyone thought we would, maybe even ourselves at times.
We have been through good times and bad times, and have had the same core for almost two years now. In the end, time is not wasted as I have grown and learned so much playing and traveling the world with this group. I am very fortunate to still call them my brothers as well as our manager Tres “stunna” Saranthus who was placed with the unrelenting task of ensuring the best possible for everyone involved, both in and out of game.”
– Spencer “Hiko” Martin
Effective immediately, a new chapter in Counter-Strike begins for Cloud9 as we welcome on board a long time member of the CS:GO North American scene, Shahzeb “ShahZam” Khan. ShaZham has proven his value in both online and offline competition and going forward will be asked to compete amongst the best in the world. There has been no question about his ability to frag and make the plays necessary to give Cloud9 CS:GO the edge needed to succeed in the nearest future as the online and LAN seasons loom upon us all once again.
The manager of the team had a few words to add regarding the changes in which his team will be undergoing:
“This entire ordeal is really something no one on this team wanted to see have to happen. We were reluctant to make any changes going forward as we always truly felt that it was something we could play through the pain on and come forward with the proper solutions. I am nothing less than overwhelmingly grateful for all the time and effort Hiko put in with this unit and with me thus far. Even now as Hiko moves to a different position we are excited about what the future is to bring.
With the acquisition and addition of ShahZam, I feel that the roles of this team become more defined in certain areas in game while continuing to expand on the team atmosphere out of game. We know ShahZam has had an interesting and sometimes even questionable series of interactions within the community in the past. Per Cloud9’s policies and history, we will continue ensuring that all our players will behave like true professionals and represent the CSGO community properly. Moving forward, we hope that allegations of any kind can be put behind and support can be given to return an NA presence to the highest tiers of competitive play worldwide.
We have assembled a lineup capable of giving it’s all in the spirit of competition. It is my job to build the team and the players themselves, and in 2015 I plan to continue to do that starting with the reintroduction of Shahzeb “ShahZam” Kahn.”
- Tres “stunna” Saranthus (Team Manager)
Introducing the new face of Cloud9 CS:GO for 2015:
Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert (Team Captain)
Sean “sg@res” Gares
Kory “Semphis” Friesen
Michael “Shroud” Gresziek
Shahzeb “ShaZham” Khan
Tres “stunna” Saranthus (Team Manager)