Astralis has confirmed that they have reached an agreement with Cloud9 for the transfer of Patrick “es3tag” Hansen to the North American organization. Es3tag’s arrival in Cloud9 will finally complete the active lineup overhaul of the North American organization’s CSGO division that has long been underway.
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The Danish rifler officially joined Astralis from Heroic in July as a replacement for Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth. The transfer was not without controversy, as it hampered the acquisition of Heroic’s roster by FunPlus Phoenix for FLASHPOINT Season 1.
The Colossus is nearly completed
Cloud 9 started off the year by acquiring ATK’s South African roster. Although unproven, the team held its own against North America’s best, even earning a respectable fourth-place finish at Flashpoint Season 1. Despite the success, the lineup never really managed to ascend to the very top of the regional scene.
Although Cloud 9 announced in April that it would be stepping away from the CS:GO scene, the decision was a short-lived one. In early September Cloud 9 announced the signings of Henry “HenryG” Greer as General Manager and Aleksandar “kassad” Trifunović as Head Coach to help rebuild its CS:GO division.
Soon enough, in a series of blockbuster acquisitions, Cloud 9 formed a superteam. Before signing Es3tag in a deal worth $2.1 million, Cloud9 acquired Alex “ALEX” McMeekin and Özgür “woxic” Eker for deals worth $1.65 million and $1.3 million, respectively.
Cloud 9 also acquired William “mezii” Merriman from Team GamerLegion, in a deal worth a “measly” $83,000. Rounding out the starting five will be Ricky “floppy” Kemery, who played on Cloud 9’s soon-to-be-former North American roster.
Cloud9’s hunt for players is still not over as HenryG has stated that the team will be fielding a six-man roster.
Astralis looking unfazed
Astralis is once again down to a six-man active lineup as Xyp9x is officially back on the team after spending five months out of action due to medical leave. With es3tag’s departure from the lineup, Astralis’ previously declared plan of a two-team roster with ten players will seemingly have to wait.
“The transfer leaves an open spot but having Andreas “Xyp9x” back leaves us with 6 of the best players in the world. Having worked and gained a lot of experience with a 6-man set-up, it is obvious that this is something Danny, our coach, is comfortable with, and we are in no rush to increase the roster short term. Possible future transfers and securing consistency in the overall performance might mean we will have 5 or 7 players in shorter periods, though, but this is not a part of the plans right now.”, said Kasper Hvidt, Director of Sports at Astralis Group
Es3tag will have a chance to leave his former team on a high note, as he is currently competing with Astralis at DreamHack Open Fall, seeing as the deal will become effective after the tournament.