North American juggernaut Cloud9 announced today that both Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan and Kory “SEMPHIS” Friesen had been released from the organisation's Counter Strike: Global Offensive roster with immediate effect.
This will come as little surprise to most, middling recent performances on both international and North American soil hampering any real expectation for greatness, culminating in a 7th-8th place finish at the ESEA Season 18 Finals last week.
Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan, a relatively new addition to the lineup having only been inducted at the tail end of 2014, described disappointment in his personal performances over the past few months as a potential contributing factor behind the move.
"I got the chance to experience many amazing things and travel places I never thought I would."
“Honestly I’d like to thank the guys and Cloud9 itself for even giving me the opportunity in the first place. I got the chance to experience many amazing things and travel places I never thought I would.” said Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan. “Obviously things didn’t go as planned and the results these last couple months were lackluster. Cloud9 gave us everything we needed to achieve and we still didn’t deliver, representing NA CS:GO has a whole poorly. I was not satisfied with my own performances as well. It is completely understandable that there needed to be a change. The guys are still some of the best friends I could have made in my time playing CS and I honestly wish the best for their future. I look forward to see them competing as one of the best again.” - Full quote available on Cloud9.gg
The team's manager, Tres “stunna” Saranthus, spoke about the release of one of their longest standing members in Kory “SEMPHIS” Friesen during the same article, noting that it was "one of the more difficult moves" that they've ever had to make.
"We have made the necessary and painful call to release SEMPHIS from the active lineup. We have nothing but the best things to say about Kory as a player, but as the evolution of this game rolls on and we move deeper into 2015, it is very apparent that the lineup we have now is simply not one of a functioning successful capacity." - Full quote available on Cloud9.gg
Shortly after the news broke regarding two spots opening up in the Cloud9 ranks, North American player Ryan "fREAKAZOiD" Abadir made a blunder whilst streaming on Twitch that may just have leaked his impending movement to fill one of those spaces. A thoughtless reveal of his emails was quickly screenshotted by viewers, revealing a Player Service Agreement to C9.
Whether this will have any impact on the signing or not is yet to be seen, but there's certainly a good possibility that we can expect to see the talented player clad in blue and white very soon. More news is no doubt going to follow in the near future regarding this story.
The team's current official roster is as follows:
Tres “stunna” Saranthus (Manager)
Michael “shroud” Grzesiek
Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert
Sean “seang@res” Gares
Gfinity is bringing Counter Strike: Global Offensive back to London with the Spring Masters II, taking place May 17-19th. More information and tickets are available now. Keep up to date with all the latest gaming and eSports news via our Twitter: @GfinityOnline.
Images Courtesy of ESEA, Goldper10, Reddit user GacNac.