Rubbernecking is not polite, but sometimes it’s literally harder to look away, and that feels like the reality at Cloud9, at least in terms of their CSGO line-up. The org announced that Maikil ‘Golden’ Selik will join the team as a permanent in-game leader, with it now all-but certain they’ll play at the Major with Golden and Martin ‘STYKO’ Styk as their final two.
Initially, the pair had both been taken on as temporary players after being rejected by European orgs ranked higher than C9 are today, but it seems Golden makes a good first impression. “Coaches, players, and myself were impressed with the professionalism and structure Golden brought to our team,” Cloud9 owner Jack Etienne said of his new signing. “The organization is thrilled to be moving forward with him as a part of Cloud9."
As for STYKO, it was confirmed in the Reddit thread on Golden's move, by top CSGO-writer Dekay, that the ex-mous would also be playing for C9 at the Major, although it is still unclear what the org plans to do afterward. Speculation is that the former mousesports player will essentially be ‘auditioning’ in London for a permanent spot on the team, which piles on the pressure in what is already the most pressurised event in the game.
Unsurprisingly from Golden, a player who was kicked around and abused by his last org before nearly being made to entry-frag, which would have been a massive blow to his reputation, is pleased to have found any new home. “I can’t express how much I want to wear the Cloud9 jersey and give my all for the fans,” said Golden in the C9 press release. “After just one week with the team, I feel like I’m at home already. The atmosphere has been unreal and I’m looking forward to the success we’ll have in the near future, and maybe a few rib-eyes on the way.”
Online, Golden’s reaction was typically stoic, at least for his Twitter profile anyway, and it will be very interesting to see how he gets on. The is talk that a lot of professionals believe he is overrated for his achievements in Fnatic, where a bunch of capricious veterans made a big song and dance about giving him total control of the team, before watching him win them some major events and promptly stabbing him in the back, pretty much off spawn.
Fan reaction to the move has been mixed, with a large percentage still aware of what he was able to eke out of the husks of Fnatic’s old men, and wondering what he can do with the corpse of a team that won a major this year. There is no doubt that if he can squeeze some performance out of this C9 line-up he’ll only see another boost to his reputation, and expectations aren’t high even with the team being current major champions.
As for the organisation, all you need to know is the following: Since winning the major, they have let their two best players leave for MIBR, and replaced them with a reject from Fnatic and a reject from mousesports. Available during the latter period were players such as ScreaM, apEX, NBK and Kio, but instead they signed Golden and STYKO, to take to a major when they are defending champions.
They won the Overwatch League, though.