OpTic Gaming-Cloud9 roster shakeups: building a super team?

In the biggest surprise of the offseason, longtime OpTic players Tarik and RUSH left to join Cloud9 in what could be the formation of a North American super team.


The Swap

OpTic Gaming has been a roster in turmoil for the last seven months after the untimely departure of former in game leader Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz who left citing a lack of organizational support. After trying out Tier 1 and 2 players for months, the constant lack of a solid fifth finally got to Will “RUSH” Wierzba and Tarik “Tarik” Celik who left to join the ranks of Cloud9.

Benefits for Cloud9: North American Super team

Cloud9 have long been the team to perform for a short period (think Summer9) and fizzle out after a stretch of good tournaments. While the performance of their superstars Jake “Stewie2k” Yip and Timothy “Autimatic” Ta has been consistent, the fragging of longtime players Michael “shr0ud” Grzesiek and Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert has been anything but. At tournaments such as ESL One Cologne and ECS Season 3 finals, the ability of Cloud9 to perform at a top five level relied on the bottom half performing their roles.

While Tarik “Tarik” Celik and Will “RUSH” Wierzba do not exactly fit the roles left by shr0ud and n0thing, the duo bring a high level of play in their respective roles. RUSH was a key cog to OpTic’s season of success which saw them win Northern Arena Montreal and Eleague Season 2 as his entry fragging was easily top five in NA. Tarik has long been a player with a high skill ceiling, prone to bad events, but surrounded by players he likes and with a stable organization his play could benefit tremendously as a result.

Calling the new Cloud9 a “North American super team” is probably a bit much because there are arguably better players at every position available on different rosters, and the main AWP of Tyler “skadoodle” Latham is shaky; but Cloud9 has the most talent on one roster in all North America. With the disbandment of OpTic Gaming’s NA roster the only true domestic rivals are Team Liquid and CLG giving Cloud9 a chance to truly compete against the world’s finest on an international scale again.

Benefits for OpTic Gaming: Rebirth

Trading away RUSH and Tarik seemed to spell the end for OpTic CS:GO. The organization has made long ties with the North American esports scene in CS:GO and other esports such as Call of Duty and Halo. This gave the impression that the org would build around the remaining Keith “NAF” Markovic and Oscar “Mixwell” Canellas by acquiring the best available North American free agents. Unfortunately, the best available free agents in North America are not fantastic and to spend an exorbitant amount on them would only cause OpTic to fall further behind.

Currently, all reporting leans to OpTic Gaming leaving behind their NA roots and embracing an all European roster consisting of Mixwell, friberg, allu, Magisk, and HS. If true, this would be a team with a high skill ceiling especially if the team keeps the services of Coach Chet “ImaPet” Singh. Choosing to embrace new roots is only a good sign for OpTic as all the players currently rumored have performed at a high level at one point of their careers.

The continued North American Shuffle

Despite the positives for both, the North American shuffle continues. The current rumors suggest that longtime OpTic Gaming player “NAF” will be left out in the cold and potentially headed to NRG to reunite with his former OpTic Gaming in game leader (IGL) Damian “daps” Steele. The North American scene at both the top and bottom is not settled with free agents such as Skyler “Relyks” Weaver available and teams such as CLG and Misfits under-performing.

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Ezekiel Carsella

My name is Ezekiel Carsella and I am the Senior Rocket League Writer here at RealSport who is heavily invested in esports and traditional sports. I am a big fan of my National Champion Clemson Tigers, 27 time World Series winning New York Yankees, PSG, and two time Super Bowl champions Baltimore Ravens.

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