Cloud9 announces $500 annual membership experience for superfans - Dexerto

Cloud9 announces $500 annual membership experience for superfans

Published: 11/Nov/2020 11:27

by Alex Garton


Esports organization Cloud9 has announced a new annual subscription service for fans. Cloud9’s ‘Stratus’ experience will begin on January 1 and run for the entire year.

Formed in 2013, Cloud9 has risen to become one of the most recognizable brands in competitive gaming. With a large trophy cabinet across multiple titles, the organization has garnered a large and dedicated fanbase.

Of course, as with any fanbase, there are those who want to establish a closer relationship with the brand and offer additional support. That’s exactly what Cloud9’s ‘Stratus’ program is designed to offer superfans of the organization.

Riot Games
Cloud 9’s ‘Stratus’ program will cost fans $500 per year.

Cloud9’s ‘Stratus’ membership program

Cloud9’s ‘Stratus’ subscription service is not designed for a typical fan of the organization. As advertised, it’s targeting the superfans who want to become more involved and connected with the brand.

The ‘Stratus’ program is available to purchase for a one-time payment of $500 or the price can be split into four payments of $125.

The question is, what can a superfan expect from the ‘Stratus’ program? Well, the subscription service offers members a range of perks including an exclusive discord, monthly access to staff in the organization, social media perks, and exclusive merchandise.

The price of Cloud9’s ‘Stratus’ experience has been the main point of contention among fans. The $500 price tag has led some to criticize the organization’s program, labeling it as overpriced: “Been a Cloud9 fan since the original meme team but $500 PER YEAR for some merch is a gross abuse of your fans.”

Despite this, others stand by that no one is forced to pay the price and the program acts as a season pass for superfans of the brand: “It’s basically an esports season ticket membership deal… I  kinda dig it.”

The exclusive aspects of the ‘Stratus’ experience make it difficult to establish the value of the package. Cloud9 has a huge and dedicated fanbase, some of which have been following the brand since its inception.  Whether the $500 fee is reasonable depends on your view and experience with the organization.

Cloud9 are not the only organization looking to capitalize on superfans, with Envy Gaming launching the ‘EnvyUS’ membership program. It’s fair to say there’s a stark difference in price; Envy Gaming’s subscription service is set to cost fans $29.95 for the year. However, it is important to note that Envy Gaming’s program does not offer physical perks and Cloud9’s ‘Stratus’ experience does.

Cloud9’s ‘Stratus’ program begins on January 1, 2021.

Call of Duty

Envoy explains why SMGs “are not viable” in Black Ops Cold War

Published: 26/Nov/2020 7:25

by Brad Norton


Black Ops Cold War may have some strong Submachine Guns, but OpTic Chicago’s Dylan ‘Envoy’ Hannon believes Assault Rifles are absolutely dominant when it comes to competitive play.

Treyarch’s latest release has barely been out for a few weeks but a meta is already forming. As Call of Duty League teams get valuable practice time in, and dozens of early tournaments set the tone, a trend seems to have emerged.

2019’s Modern Warfare featured a solid mix of SMGs and ARs throughout the year. However, Black Ops Cold War is all but dominated by ARs, according to both Envoy and OpTic teammate Seth ‘Scump’ Abner.

While scrimming Atlanta FaZe and a few other CDL teams, they “were getting bodied,” due to the AR dominance. “The subs are not viable in this game at all,” Envoy followed up.

Black Ops Cold War gameplay
Could SMGs be struggling to keep up all year in Black Ops Cold War? Envoy certainly thinks so.

As the primary SMG user on the team, Envoy is the one that will be sticking to the class for essentially every single map. Previous years have featured various mixes of roles, though this year appears to be leaning towards a three-to-one split: Three players running with ARs, and just one with an SMG in-hand.

“On certain maps it’s like three (ARs) and one sub on each team,” Scump explained. However, certain teams are even going a step beyond that due to the sheer power of ARs in Black Ops Cold War.

“We ran into New York and they ran four AK74’s on Moscow,” Envoy said. “I was mind blown. I feel like subs are just harder in this game. We switched to the AK-74u and it’s a bit easier but the MP5 was just impossible.”

Obviously, it’s still early days. Things could change drastically before the start of the 2021 season. Balance updates are already coming through from Treyarch, so SMGs could get some love sooner than later. For the time being though, Black Ops Cold War has Envoy “wishing [he] had an AR.”

The relevant topic begins at the 1:41 mark below.

This isn’t entirely a result of weapon balancing either. There’s more that goes into shaping the meta than first meets the eye. “It’s part of the map design too,” Envoy explained. “How many [head glitches], how many open lanes, where the hills are at.” With four ARs, some objectives are “just unbreakable.”

There’s no date set in stone for the 2021 season just yet. Though we’ll be sure to keep you updated as the meta evolves in the lead-up to the next year of CDL action.