Just mere months after joining the team, Alec “Slemmy” White is supposedly being removed from the starting roster. Cloud9 have been in an obvious slump ever since the departure of their former in-game leader Sean Gares – this is simply their latest desperate attempt to fill the void and claw back to the top of the NA CS scene once again.
Slemmy was originally added to the roster to replace Ryan “Freakazoid” Abadir due to personal issues. The ideology was to bring in someone with in-game leading experience to take the weight on the shoulders of Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert, who had been assuming the IGL role at the time.
Slemmy had earned his stripes before arrived at Cloud9, playing very well in lower tier CS when he was acquired. He had been a former teammate of young star Jake “Stewie2k” Yip and this almost certainly factored into Cloud 9 taking a risk in adding White to the roster.
While there were certainly some bright moments for the team, Cloud9 seem to be unable to break out of the slump they have found themselves in. This may have motivated them to make changes to their roster once again, but it appears Slemmy will be switching roles to help coach the team following heavy speculation regarding their current coach’s future within the organisation.
What C9 chooses to do next will be interesting to observe, as they have several options. While there are obvious players currently in North America that would seem viable on the surface, analyst Tomi “Lurppis” Kovanen has other ideas for the team’s new fifth.
If I’m Cloud9 and I think (or know) a big shuffle is happening in Europe, I wait until changes are made to see who is free to be moved over.
— lurppis (@lurppis_) July 28, 2016
Options within the continent would include free agent players such as the very knowledgeable and experienced Eric “Adren” Hoag, or former CLG star Tarik “tarik” Celik; though Hoag has made it clear in the past he has his differences with the current lineup, and Celik appears to be off the market until his contract expires in this coming December.
As Kovanen pointed out, picking up an out of market player may be Cloud 9’s best move possible, as the barriers between European and North American teams are further thinning with each new roster change that comes (i.e: the new Splyce lineup now contains only two North American players). Richard Lewis has made it clear during an ELeague AMA that he has strong reason to believe that some big name players will become available shortly, from the likes of some of the best teams that Europe has ever seen to boot.
I’d pay particular attention to EnvyUs, fnatic and Na’Vi. @sdaohR
— ELEAGUE (@EL) July 26, 2016
All three of these teams making changes, given their current status make perfect sense, with all three of these teams underperforming for quite some time now. Only time will tell which option Cloud 9 will pursue to fill the final spot on their slumping roster – it will certainly be very interesting to see what comes of this given their near limitless options in the coming months.