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Cloud9 sign Gambit roster, return to CS:GO

A backlit keyboard is part of the gear online video game streamer Jordan Woodruff uses in his Gilbert home.Jordan Woodruff
Credit: Nick Oza/The Republic via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Cloud9 are re-entering Counter-Strike: Global Offensive play, acquiring the roster of Gambit for an undisclosed fee.

The California-based organization withdrew from CS:GO play in March 2021, citing logistical issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When we left the league, we always promised that we would be back,” Cloud 9 wrote in an announcement posted to its website. “This week, we are returning to the scene with an iconic lineup. This collection of players have shown incredible promise and talent, and we are thrilled that we can continue to support their passions and careers. Cloud9 will help the team relocate and get settled, as well as providing the type of high-level support that comes with joining an established and winning organization.”

The new roster will feature players Abay “HObbit” Khassenov, Dmitriy “sh1ro” Sokolov, Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov, Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov and Timofey “interz” Iakushin. HObbit is from Kazakhstan with the rest from Russia.

The team is expected to debut under the Cloud9 banner at the PGL Antwerp Major in May. The team won a Legends entry in the competition in a Europe Regional Major Ranking B event, but weren’t allowed to compete under the Gambit banner, instead being called “Players.” A Russian-owned organization, Gambit has been sanctioned because of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Also moving from Gambit are coach Konstantin “groove” Pikiner, analyst Ivan “F_1N” Kochugov and manager Aleksandr “Sweetypotz” Shcherbakov, all from Russia.

“This is an exciting time for Counter Strike, with LAN events returning we’re seeing incredible interest amongst fans. I would definitely say the resurgence is well under way,” said Jack Etienne, the co-founder and CEO of Cloud9.

–Field Level Media