Update: over.gg has been informed by eUnited players that Rubikon was removed from the team and will not be continuing with them. An announcement will be coming shortly from the organisation. The original article follows below.
Top European team ex-Cyclone announced today that their Ana and Zen player Boombox had left the team, moving to eUnited. The status of eUnited’s previous flex support Rubikon has not yet been announced.
This marks the first player to leave ex-Cyclone for a salaried position since the roster left Cyclone in mid-March. The players have been without the support of an organisation for two months but had decided to stay together despite individual offers from a number of teams.
With organisations around the Overwatch scene currently dropping their rosters though, Boombox began to feel the pressure to move to an established top team. Although he never searched for another team actively while with ex-Cyclone, the offer from eUnited seemed too good to turn down.
“As much as I enjoyed my time and team-mates in ex-Cyclone, it has always been an issue that the team is org-less”, Boombox said, when asked why he chose this time to make his move. “At first, when individual offers came in, there was always the hope for a big org who wanted to get into the scene to acquire us. However, as of recently these organisations which we were in talks with and had interest in us left the scene because of a lack of information and tournaments in the scene.
“With me also recently leaving commitments to play the game full time in pursuit of my desire to become a professional player it became more apparent how important the support of a well-established organisation such as eUnited would be.”
It’s not just the financial aspect that attracted Boombox though; as strong as ex-Cyclone have looked over the recent months, he believes eUnited has the potential to go even further. “I wouldn’t join a team for only the support, as important as that is, though. A team like eUnited - which is arguable the best in Europe - has a lot of prestige and respect for their skill level,” he explained, “which is also a major selling point to join a team. I still have the desire to become the best as well as to play the game full time.”
Ex-Cyclone Update— Showerg3l (@showerg3l) 18 May 2017
Past teams in similar situations, such as NWA, collapsed following the loss of a single player, as the rest of the team scrambled for similar offers. ex-Cyclone coach iuKeEe is not concerned about a domino effect with his players.
“We are very hopeful about our future,” he told over.gg, “we have an agent who has been helping us. Even with the teams being dropped in the past couple of weeks, we believe we are a higher calibre team and have more potential to offer orgs, especially in the run up to OWL.”
iuKeEe isn’t overselling his team. ex-Cyclone have certainly been showing a higher calibre than those recently dropped, looking like a contender for the best team in Europe over the last two months. ex-Cyclone recently qualified for TaKeOver 2, the biggest European tournament since DreamHack Winter in November 2016. The team is now searching for a replacement to compete with them there.
It will be tough for ex-Cyclone to adapt so quickly and remain a favourite for the tournament, especially at their first LAN, but the team is up for the challenge. “Struggling with the time restraints we have,” iuKeEe said, “it is definitely not optimal going into the event for synergy and team chemistry. On the bright side we have a lot of interest and I have already seen sparks of hope to be even stronger than we were before.”
Boombox also spoke about the competition coming up for Europe’s top teams and how he thinks his personal shift from ex-Cyclone to eUnited may affect it:
“The top of the European scene recently has been a lot more interesting especially with PIT and now Takeover,” he said, ”as many teams are close in level to each other. I feel ex-Cyclone will still perform well as the players on the team are individually strong - as well as Movistar - however, I feel eUnited has a lot more to showcase than just that after coming back from Korea. With this being said, I feel comfortable in saying that eUnited has the potential at least to become the best in Europe.”