After a yearlong hiatus from Dota 2, Cloud9 is getting back into the game with a new roster out of Denmark. Today, the North American organization are announcing their acquisition of The Imperial roster, under captain Marcus "Ace" Hoelgaard.
"Dota 2 is and will continue be a top esports title for the foreseeable future," Cloud9 CEO Jack Etienne said. "Cloud9 is always looking to participate in the most exciting and relevant eSports titles."
The young and somewhat novice Imperial roster does mark a departure from more established, veteran lineups Cloud9 employed in 2014 and '15. While the team has risen quickly on the minor tournament circuit, and had a strong season in Dreamleague, there's no denying that the roster has a lot to prove.
But that's kind of what Etienne and C9 like about them, with Etienne calling the roster "young talent that I believe, if supported correctly, can establish themselves as a solid team."
"I think [Cloud9] saw potential and good results," agrees Jon "BabyKnight" Andersen. "We are a team that will stick together even when times are tough. Every team has issues and the easy thing to do is to throw in the towel, look for another team or just quit altogether. Sticking together and learning from your mistakes, not being too hard on one another but instead looking inwards and improving as a player and a human being is what sets apart good teams from the best."
Andersen has known his teammates for years, and was even on another lineup with his current teammates, Ace and Christoffer "Ryze" Borregaard Winther. That team never quite worked out, but BabyKnight found he missed the experience of working alongside his two friends when he was on other teams.
"I just chose to try playing with different people for a while to see what that experience was like. It was alright, but I did miss playing with [Ace and Ryze], and I'm really happy to say that we finally got a team that I can see a bright future with. After playing competitive for so many years I almost feel lucky to have landed on this team. "
BabyKnight is excited that their squad will be getting support from Cloud9. While he had a great experience as a part of The Imperial, he knows Cloud9 offers a lot of new possibilities.
"I'm very happy to represent Cloud9, since I don't recollect ever hearing anything bad about them," he says. He looks forward to the way C9 can let him and his teammates zero-in on the game, and give them what they need to excel.
"Understanding the individual player and giving him space to do his job is the most important aspect [of a team]. Providing bootcamps would be another nice thing that an organization can provide," he says. But the most important thing of all, he says, is "simply making sure the player doesn't have to think about any unnecessary stuff that he shouldn't have to worry about."
While BabyKnight is positive about the team's future, BabyKnight is staying realistic and focusing on steady improvement rather than any immediate ambitions.
"Our goal right now is to get good at this patch," he says. "We felt very confident last patch, and we're getting there with this one but it takes time. Eventually our goals for 2017 will be to do our best and attend as many big events as possible. The final goal will always be a good placement at TI."
Along with Ace, Ryze, and BabyKnight, Cloud9's new Dota 2 roster includes brothers Mikki "HeStEJoE-RoTTeN" Mørch Junget and Danny "NoiA" Mørch Junget.