Cloud9’s South African players now free agents as contracts reportedly terminated

27 October 2020 - 09:28 By Wessel Minnie
Cloud9, an esports organization with teams participating in League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League, CS:GO, Fortnite and Smash.
Cloud9, an esports organization with teams participating in League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League, CS:GO, Fortnite and Smash.
Image: Supplied

In September, Cloud9 announced they would be rebuilding their CS:GO Team Development program. As a result, the organization would help find new homes with new teams for their previous roster. The previous roster included three South Africans, namely Johnny “JT” Theodosiou and Aran “Sonic” Groesbeek, as well as coach Tiaan “T.c” Coertzen.

Cloud9 SA player contracts terminated

Cloud9, throughout the past several weeks, have been announcing their new lineup called Cloud9 Colussus, which includes one player from the previous team, Ricky “⁠floppy⁠” Kemery. They also picked up Patrick “es3tag” Hansen in what Astralis called "one of the biggest transfers on record."

However, we've all been waiting for news on the South African players in the previous Cloud9 squad. We can now confirm these players, alongside American Ian "⁠motm⁠" Hardy are now free agents. These players have not yet announced what they would be doing next, or which team they will be joining.

The reason for all this confusion is that the South African players and motm have had their contracts terminated. According to reports from Dust2 and others, this is due to a violation of their contracts by inviting unauthorized guests to the team house during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sources for Dust2 claims the team had previously received both verbal and written warnings for inviting guests to their house without permission, and recently, a player again invited a guest to the team house, resulting in termination of the contract.

The CEO of Cloud9, Jack Etienne, told Dust2 that:

"The details that really matter is this was the second offence of unauthorized guests coming into Cloud9 property after being told that this is not all acceptable. And the reason it is not acceptable is because you are putting our staff at risk."

At the time of writing, the South African players and their American teammate have not made comment. Instead, on their social media, they all said they are now "free agents".

Due to the free agents status, their P-1 visas are set to expire within 30 days, unless they are signed by another American organization. Should the P-1 visas expire, the players will be required to return home. 

It remains to be seen what will happen to these players, and which team they will be joining. We will continue to follow these South African players on their international CS:GO esports journey.

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