Cloud9, one of the most well-known eSports organizations in North America, has its fingers in many pies. They have been fielding teams in League of Legends, CS:GO, Hearthstone, Overwatch, CoD, Smash and Vain Glory for a long time now. The org used to have a Dota 2 team as well, however, it was disbanded in November of 2015. Now, it seems like Cloud9 is coming back to the second great MOBA in eSports with an announcement of signing the former Imperial roster to their brand.
Captained by Marcus “Ace” Hoelgaard, the all Danish roster will also have Jon “13abyKnight” Andersen, Mikki "HesteJoe-Rotten" Junget, his brother Danny “NoiA” Junget and Christoffer “Ryze” Winther. The team is not very experienced at the highest levels of Dota 2 play, however, the CEO of Cloud9, Jack Etienne, seems to believe in their potential, saying that the roster is full of “young talent that I believe, if supported correctly, can establish themselves as a solid team.” With local title contender CS:GO and League of Legends teams under contract, C9 likely doesn’t really have the resources to acquire a world-class Dota 2 roster as well. The org is probably banking on hitting the jackpot if they can grow the roster into strong competitors.
It’s not like the new C9 roster hasn’t been blooded, however. Under the banner of The Imperial, the players had a great couple of months, winning several Minor tournaments and WESG 2016 Europe and CIS Finals to get paid almost $30k US dollars. They have also placed 3rd in the Group Stage of DreamLeague Season 6, finishing the League in 4th place, having lost against Escape Gaming in the Playoffs. While the new C9 Dota 2 roster probably won’t be Major or The International contenders any time soon, they showed that they have room to grow in the future. A bit uncharacteristically for the org, that is probably all C9 expects from their new Dota2 roster—growth.
It seems like Jack Etienne weighed the pros and the cons of getting back into Dota 2 and decided to be careful, investing much less than he would have to if he decided to go for the throat of the Dota 2 pro scene. Still, speaking about it in the official statement, he said that “Dota 2 is and will continue be a top esports title for the foreseeable future and Cloud9 is always looking to participate in the most exciting and relevant esports titles.”