Cloud9 have benched long-time CS:GO team members Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert and Michael "shroud" Grzesiek, and replaced them on their starting roster with William "RUSH" Wierzba and Tarik "tarik" Celik, the organization announced Tuesday.
The roster move comes ahead of the ESL One New York qualifiers, the first major event after the month-long CS:GO break, and just after mixed results in July saw them take second at ESL One Cologne 2017 and 9th-11th at the PGL Krakow Major.
“It’s been a thrill watching RUSH and tarik develop into the players they’ve become," C9 CEO Jack Etienne stated in a press release. "We’re no strangers to what they bring to the game and I’m really looking forward to what this roster is going to accomplish.”
Both tarik and RUSH come to the team from OpTic Gaming, which has seen rough results of their own over the past few months. The team placed 5th-8th at ESL One Cologne, 15th-16th at the Kraków Major offline qualifier, and 7th-8th at the ECS Season 3 Finals. OpTic has yet to make a statement regarding their departure from the team.
"It’s a huge day for me as I say farewell to my long-time team OpTic, and start my new adventure on C9," RUSH stated in the press release. "I really believe this will be a world-contending roster and I hope you, the fans, believe this as well!"
Both n0thing and shroud have played for C9's since 2014, when the organization signed compLexity Gaming's roster. Since then, C9 has swapped various NA players in and out of their CS:GO roster, but n0thing and shroud have remained constant on the squad for three years.
"It's painful to put personal relationships aside from business and hoping that these decisions will make my career brighter," Jake "Stewie2k" Yip said in a TwitLonger. "These two people changed my life and I love them for that. I hope to compete with you guys someway or another, one day."
tarik and RUSH's first games with C9 will be at the ESL One New York closed qualifier from Aug 19-20. Notably, Braxton "swag" Pierce will be standing in for Timothy "Autimatic" Ta on C9 at that tournament.
Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.