Astralis confirm sale of es3tag to Cloud9 in $2.1 million deal

Andrew Amos
es3tag playing for Heroic with Cloud9 logo

Danish CS:GO star Patrick “es3tag” Hansen has only been a part of Astralis for six months, but he’s already moving on from the squad’s ambitious 10-man project, with the organization confirming he will join Cloud9 at the end of October.

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Astralis have said they want to create a 10-man team for CS:GO in 2020, a plan that started when members of the legendary lineup took time off after a strenuous couple of years that saw the team lift four Major trophies, and cement themselves as one of the greatest squads of all time.

With the idea to create a two-team core, filled with players who could rotate in and out for each other, es3tag was signed to play a major role in that expansion. Just months later though, his time with the Danish organization has officially come to an end.

es3tag holding Astralis jersey with Zonic
es3tag is moving on from Astralis six months after signing.

es3tag joins Cloud9

Despite being the first man to join this new initiative, es3tag is set to depart for Cloud9, with Astralis CEO Anders Hørsholt admitting that this was “not something [they] saw coming,” but player transfers will always be part of the game.

“We will not be commenting on any specifics, but I do believe it is one of the biggest transfers on record, and the conditions offered to Patrick are also of a kind he wanted to pursue,” he continued. “We have an obligation towards our own business and towards the player, and as such we are pleased to have finalized this agreement with Cloud9. Patrick will be missed by everybody here, and I hope one day he will yet again be part of Astralis.”

Cloud9 manager Henry ‘HenryG’ Greer later confirmed the details of the deal, with es3tag joining on a 3-year-contract, in a deal worth $2.1 million – the most of any player on the new C9 ‘Colossus’.

Es3tag has also commented on the news, saying he is proud to represent Astralis, and never thought he would be moving so soon: “I just won my first big title, and I truly enjoy working with all the guys on and around the team. That being said, what Cloud9 is offering me is something I needed to consider seriously. I love the ideas behind the project, and I believe it will be a team to consider in the top of CS for years to come. While I am sad to leave Astralis and the people here, I look forward to the challenge in Cloud9.

es3tag joined Astralis properly in July 2020, but the move was announced months earlier during Flashpoint Season 1. He was the first part of Astralis’ 10-man puzzle, as the Danish squad looked to implement a new rotation system.

Jakob “JUGi” Hansen was also a part of the squad earlier in 2020 but left when Astralis onboarded Bubzkji. Marco “Snappi” Pfeiffer was temporarily used as a substitute for es3tag as well before his contract with Heroic ran out.

Cloud9 have announced four of the six pieces of their new CS:GO team after dropping their South African-NA hybrid roster in September. Ricky “floppy” Kemery is the only player from the former ATK squad remaining, with Cloud9 picking up Alex “Alex” McMeekin, William “mezii” Merriman, and Ozgur “woxic” Eker. They will be coached by former 100 Thieves coach Aleksandar “kassad” Trifunovic.