North American Counter-Strike team Cloud9 is in discussions with Epitácio "TACO" de Melo about joining the active roster to replace Jake “Stewie2k” Yip, according to multiple sources.
DBLTAP reported Monday that Stewie2k has been practicing with SK Gaming and in talks to join the Brazilian lineup after TACO left the team last week. If both moves were to take place, it could be either a trade or involve both teams securing buyouts for the players, according to sources.
TACO had been a member of the same lineup since November 2015, first with Luminosity then making the move with the rest of the players to SK Gaming in July 2016. He won two Valve-sponsored Majors, one with each organization, and many other large scale tournaments, most recently at the ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals against FaZe Clan. He is well known for his willingness to play the most difficult roles while maintaining a wide skillset, including entry fragging and secondary AWPing.
In late January, Stewie2k won the ELEAGUE Major: Boston with Cloud9, becoming the first North American team to win a Valve-sponsored Major in CS:GO. Following that event, the team has struggled to recapture that success with early exits at both StarLadder StarSeries Season 4 and WESG. Stewie had been with Cloud9 since January 2016 and had the second longest tenure of anyone on the Cloud9 roster behind Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham.
Cloud9 could not immediately be reached for comment.
Photo courtesy of Turner Sports/ELEAGUE