Cloud9 recently followed in the footsteps of Complexity’s “Juggernaut” and assembled their own international super team, naming themselves the “Colossus.” No resource was spared in the creation of this project, with general manager Henry “HenryG” Greer publicizing every financial detail along the way. Teams created from scratch are typically allowed time to settle in and build a foundation they can rely upon. Yet, one lackluster online performance in Flashpoint 2 has fans prematurely claiming the entire project is a waste of money.
You don’t have to look far to find heavily upvoted statements like this on Reddit after just four maps of official play, “I think the pressure will kill this C9 roster if they don't start performing soon.” Follow that up with this one, “Dunno who got played worse, Jack Etienne for giving a caster the carte blanche to spend his money and be the GM for his team or HenryG for signing es3tag for the money he did.” The post-match thread is full of similar quips.
While the claims by both HenryG and in-game leader Alex “ALEX” McMeekin were brash and arrogant heading in, it was a tough ask to see them top both Virtus.pro and OG in their first official matches. Both of those teams have deeply-rooted systems and communicate on a level that gives them a leg up on freshly created rosters. So while they did underperform, we are talking about a minuscule sample size of just four maps. Almost every single one of the top teams in the world have lost four maps in a row, especially this year.
Perhaps this seemingly endless era of online play has altered the way fans interpret performances. Previously, online play existed only for relatively meaningless league play or tournament qualification. It wasn’t out of the ordinary to see high-caliber players drop matches against teams they should theoretically have beaten, due to the volatility online play creates. Despite being the only Counter-Strike we have to watch at the moment, one should take a majority of the results for the entire year with a measured dose of skepticism as it pertains to projecting the future.
Building a top professional CS:GO team isn’t as easy as it looks and above all else, takes time to come to fruition. Map pools take weeks to construct, protocols then must be implemented, communication will always need adjusting, and roles will inevitably need some massaging. Complexity and OG are just now finding their consistency nearly a year into the process, why should we expect anything different with Cloud9? Expecting instant results just because a team was expensive to assemble and their stakeholders talked trash is foolish, even more so in the current environment.