Leaked Discord screenshots during a post-APEX stream showed a conversation between Taimou and Surefour that indicated things were not as rosy in Cloud9 as they appeared. Further reports from sources close to the C9 players indicate that multiple players are are planning to play - or are being considered - for other teams, suggesting that Cloud9 is restructuring or disbanding. Most recent of these is news that Kaiser will be returning to RunAway for APEX Season 4.
Per sources, Roolf will not be continuing as a player for Cloud9. He is currently playing in a new project with Mendokusaii and other former professional players not on an active roster; the team is aimed to be more competitive and long-standing than VALFARD, its predecessor, which was primarily an educational tool for the streamers on the roster to teach viewers, though some players are still locked into contracts and so cannot commit to another organisation yet.
Gods has also reportedly been considered as a seventh man for Kungarna.
Bishop declined to comment when asked about a rebuild of the roster, saying that he is “not at the liberty to discuss those matters”. Roolf partially denied reports of a Cloud9 rebuild with players moving to new homes, including himself. “Most of that is false,” he said, “right now nothing is happening. We’re just on break for now and other than that I can’t really say what is happening.”
Kaiser announced on July 11th that he would return to Korea to sort out visa-related issues for an unspecified period of time.
Cloud9 have been through two major rebuilds since their initial roster, with shuffles scattered in between. In September, after the Overwatch Open, C9 brought in Roolf, ryb, and Mendokusaii to the team. After their APEX Season 2 run ended with their elimination in groups, Cloud9 rebooted their lineup with new coach Bishop and two new players, Xepher and Selly. During this time period, their Swedish players claimed to be returning to their home country for visa-related issues before the roster changes were announced.
Korean players and analysts have revealed today that Kaiser will be returning to play for RunAway in APEX Season 4, returning to his former team on main tank. The move will bring stability back to the former top Korean roster which has struggled since his departure after Season 2.
Cloud9 failed to qualify for Contenders Season One, finishing third in Group D of Contenders Season Zero. The two spots in their group were taken by Renegades, who Cloud9 lost to twice, and Kungarna, who they drew with twice and then lost a tiebreaker to for the second place spot. It was a disappointing finish for Cloud9 after a second place finish in the Rivalcade Memorial Day Rumble and a third place finish at TaKeOver 2.
Cloud9 recently dropped out of the BEAT Invitational Season 2 citing “prior commitments”.
Cloud9 are also notably absent from the first seven teams to sign up for Overwatch League, though that does not mean they will be absent from OWL even in its first season. According to the newest announcements from the Overwatch League team, further teams are expected to sign city slots before the season begins at the end of 2017.
Cloud9 would not have to keep their current team to purchase a slot in OWL. Immortals and Misfits are currently the only announced organisations with city slots that have a full roster, as the other five work to secure teams or build their own.
Questions continue to float around the future of Cloud9’s involvement in Overwatch. Once a seeming shoe-in for an Overwatch League spot with an elite team, now it seems uncertain that Cloud9 will even continue to field a roster within the scene.