Ali "Alicus" Saba, manager of Cloud9's Overwatch roster and former general manger for Misfits and Renegades, has left Cloud9 partially due to what he calls a contractual dispute with former players.
"Due to some unforeseen circumstances, including both personal and business matters, it is best for my career development and for the organization that I move on to explore other options and opportunities that have been presented to me," he said in a statement.
"In particular, an alleged contractual dispute with a few former players has surfaced that now requires my full and immediate attention to ensure that the situation is properly and justly resolved. I will not currently comment any further on this alleged matter as I still have hope that this unfortunate situation will be resolved amicably and expeditiously without the need for additional recourse."
The exact nature of the legal dispute is not clear at this time, however a lawyer for five of the former players and a staff member, told theScore esports the dispute does not involve Cloud9.
"The underlying legal dispute has nothing to do with any acts or omissions of Cloud9. Jack and Cloud9 are and have always been reasonable, fair, integrity driven, and forward thinking pioneers in esports. No further comment at this time."
On Sept. 20, Cloud9 announced they had signed the Korean KongDoo Panthera roster that had placed second in OGN APEX Season 3 and currently stands undefeated in the fourth season of the tournament series. For its first season, The Overwatch League will have no restrictions on player imports.
Following the signing, Cloud9 owner Jack Etienne took to the Competitive Overwatch subreddit to discuss the situation facing the org's EU and NA Overwatch players. According to Etienne, Cloud9 will continue to support the players while they trial for new teams, but Laser Kittenz' former EU players have "zero buyout from their agreement if they are not offered an OWL agreement from Cloud9."
"I want to thank Jack and the rest of the Cloud 9 family for all of the support and friendship and for the amazing opportunity to learn and grow with such an esteemed organization and from such a talented leader," Alicus said in a statement. "I also want to thank the amazing players that I have worked with in my tenure, you know who you are, and you all made every day an exciting adventure."
theScore esports has reached out to Cloud9 and Alicus' representation for more information.
Sasha Erfanian is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.