CS:GO: Shroud's team of Cloud9 legends are one step closer to IEM Katowice Major - Dexerto

CS:GO: Shroud’s team of Cloud9 legends are one step closer to IEM Katowice Major

Published: 28/Nov/2018 9:16 Updated: 28/Nov/2018 14:51

by Connor Bennett


The iconic Cloud9 summer of 2015 roster have reunited in a bid to qualify for the upcoming IEM Katowice CS:GO Major.

Playing under their ‘Old Guys Club’ moniker [OGC], Mike ‘shroud’ Grzesiek was joined by Sean ‘[email protected]’ Gares, Jordan ‘n0thing’ Gilbert, Tyler ‘skadoodle’ Latham, and Sam ‘SileNt’ Portillo for the IEM Katowice Major North American Open Qualifier on November 26. 

The band of former pros, who qualified for Mountain Dew League playoffs during the recent online season, advanced pretty easily through the 99-team single-elimination bracket.

Having returned to competitive play in the ESEA Open, a league for amateurs, Shroud’s squad were just playing for fun, even calling themselves the meme team. However, their line-up has changed since then, with Robin ‘Fifflaren’ Johansson and Tomi ‘lurppis’ Kovanen being replaced by Skadoodle and Silent. Now, the only player missing from Cloud9’s popular 2015 roster is Ryan ‘Freakazoid’ Abadir, who is currently a member of Swole Patrol.

While they might not have expected to get out of the open qualifier, fans were glued to Twitch to follow their progress.

Following a first-round bye, the squad of legendary pros played their way through the 99-team single-elimination bracket, defeating a number of ESEA Advanced, amateur and collegiate teams in a series of one-match games.

ELEAGUESkadoodle was instrumental in Cloud9’s ELEAGUE Boston Major win.

Having made it through to the next stage on November 28, OGC then had to compete in best-of-three maps. However, it was no problem for the comeback kings as they defeated team Hysteria in the quarter-finals 16-5, and then swept team LiviD 2-0 in the semis to secure their place in the Americas Minor closed qualifier alongside Test Takers, another team made up of former NA pros.

The 16-team closed qualifier runs from December 12-14, with six teams advancing to the Americas Minor in Katowice, Poland, which takes place from January 22-26, 2019. The top two teams from the Minor will go through to the IEM Katowice Major, which runs from February 14-March 3, 2019.

OGC face a tough task of making it to Poland, however, as top teams such as NRG, Ghost Gaming and Rogue are looking to advance to the Minor.


ForZe under fire for signing CSGO coach implicated in cheating scandal

Published: 24/Oct/2020 21:30

by Alan Bernal


Russian esports org forZe are facing backlash for signing former Hard Legion coach Aleksandr ‘zoneR⁠’ Bogatiryev, who was banned by ESL for abusing a coaching bug that was found to compromise competitive CS:GO matches.

After the initial wave of backlash, forZe clarified that zoneR was brought on for a “testing coach period” to the ‘forZe School,’ a project that teaches and develops emerging CSGO talent. They do not recognize the forZe School as an academy team and said its not affiliated with the main roster.

“Zoner has made a big shameful mistake but we’ve decided to give him a second chance as he’s still a well-experienced coach,” forZe wrote in a statement. His work with the school will be conducted under supervision with the team’s management.

Despite org CEO Sergey ‘MegioN’ Ignatko’s optimism for the signing, debacles within the CSGO competitive landscape in the last year created a perfect storm for doubt on the deal.

“Not the smartest brand development choice, forZe have a lot of lovable characters and their storyline is exciting,” esports host and commentator Alex ‘MACHINE’ Richardson said. “Would be a shame to see an ill-thought out decision damage their reputation or fan base.”

Moreover, people are concerned that the org would position young, impressionable players to work with a person who was found cheating.

“This has to be a joke, right?” FaZe Clan coach Janko ‘YNk’ Paunovic said. “The most blatant cheater in coaching is supposed to set an example for young players? My mind is blown, absolutely disgraceful from forZe.”

On September 1, Hard Legion announced they were parting ways with zoneR, who went by the in-game name ‘MechanoGun’ at the time, following ESL’s decision to ban him as well as two other coaches after an investigation found them guilty of using a coach’s spectating bug.

ESIC csgo coach bug ban
ZoneR, listed here as ‘MechanoGun,’ was given a 36-month ban after ESIC found 16 cases of using the coaching bug.

It was initially decided that zoneR would be banned for 24 months from playing or coaching in ESL or DreamHack events. ESL later upgraded his ban to 36 months after the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) concluded their investigation of the bug’s abuse.

Of the 37 CSGO coaches found cheating, zoneR’s three-year ban was the longest penalty issued by far. He was found of using the bug in 16 cases, and had “Tier 1 Aggravated” sanctions levied against him.

This comes at a sensitive time for the CSGO community, who have been anxiously awaiting any further reaction from Valve on the coaching scandal. Some are worried the publisher might create bigger consequences or tweak team structures to prevent it from happening again in the future.

“If Valve removes coaching it’ll be because of some BULL**** like this,” CSGO commentator and BOXR CEO, Mohan ‘launders’ Govindasamy, said.

A similar concern sprouted when CSGO teams whose coaches were implicated in ESIC’s findings were simply demoted from the position to an analyst role; thereby using a loophole to keep working with the team.

ForZe will monitor their partnership with zoneR for the time being, but said they could part ways with him after the testing phase for his position has concluded.