While many questioned the move for Cloud9 to move to a lineup made up of players you probably haven’t heard of if you don’t follow the tier 2 NA scene, this squad is showing the investment and decision by the popular organization isn’t a bad one.
Previously with ATK, the roster is 7-3 in their last 10 series. The losses have come against mousesports (a best-of-one and a best-of-three) and MIBR. Of the seven wins, Ricky “floppy” Kemery and company took down the likes of North, G2, INTZ, Envy, along with the new Complexity lineup just last night.
In these matchups, we’ve been given a good look at just how talented floppy, Aran “Sonic” Groesbeek, and Josh “oSee” Ohm are as players. While there’s still much to prove against higher tier competition, this lineup has already picked up wins or put up a valiant fight against teams that the previous lineups Cloud9 brought in were struggling to do in recent months.
oSee is proving to be a capable AWPer and has shown he can compete with many in the North American region that were previously thought to be a step above the rest. Much like the roster as a whole, oSee has risen through the ranks in relative silence due to the lineup playing in mostly qualifiers, MDL, and other lower-level competitions.
Taking into account all the matches played in the last three months, floppy, Sonic, and oSee have kill-to-death differentials of +49, +68, and +58 respectively. While these numbers are impressive, there is still cause for concern when you filter it down to the teams in the top 20 and take away the likes of DETONA, Singularity, etc.
Applying this filter brings all five members of the Cloud9 lineup into negative territory in the last three months on the eight total maps they’ve played against teams meeting these criteria.
While Johnny “JT” Theodosiou is starting to earn his due as an in-game leader as he helps guide the team to victories against more and more top-level or more experienced teams, his stat line is a bit worrisome. Against all competition in the last three months, he has amassed a -143 k/d differential, a solid 129 less than his nearest teammate.
This isn’t, however, my call for his removal or anything of the like. This stat line lines up pretty well with that of Finn “karrigan” Andersen and he’s proven on more than one occasion that while he isn’t the best fragger or even the best fragging in-game leader, his mind is worth it. It is, of course, worth noting that while the stat lines match up pretty well, karrigan is playing against many more top-level teams.
If JT can continue to improve his team strategically and guide them to more and more impressive wins, there’s no need to fear his benefit to the team isn’t worthwhile.
To wrap things up, this decision by Cloud9 may prove to be a better pickup than many have given the organization credit for (although it’s hard to blame doubtors given previous decisions). A young and improving roster has the potential for a large upside and when looking at the roster’s progress it’s hard not to see it.
(By Steven Cropley)