Esports tournament organizer BLAST announced that North American-based esports organization Cloud9 will become a BLAST Premier member team for the 2024 season. According to a release, Cloud9 acquired the slot owned by Evil Geniuses, following what is being described as “a competitive bidding process.”
Financial terms of this transaction were not disclosed.
Cloud9 will begin competing in Counter-Strike 2 as a “member team” during the Spring Groups in Copenhagen, joining other partnered teams including Astralis, NIP Group, G2 Esports, OG Esports, Team Vitality, NAVI, FaZe Clan, Complexity, Team Liquid, Heroic, and BIG. It should be noted that since GameSquare owns both FaZe Clan and Complexity, one team may have to leave the circuit or they will have to combine brands under one name in order to avoid the appearance of impropriety (as two teams owned by the same company could create questions about match integrity).
“I am thrilled to announce Cloud9’s participation in BLAST Premier,” said Jack Etienne, co-founder and CEO of Cloud9, in a release. “Joining this prestigious league reflects our commitment to excellence and competitiveness on a global stage. We look forward to showcasing the skill and determination of our talented players as we continue our CS2 journey with BLAST Premier.”
“Since its inaugural season, Evil Geniuses has supported and participated in BLAST Premier as part of our commitment to the NA Counter-Strike scene,” Evil Geniuses CEO Chris DeAppolonio said in a release. “While we will no longer participate in Premier going forward, we are thankful for the three years we competed and look forward to supporting NA Counter-Strike talent within the league from afar.”
EG has been methodically selling off parts of the organization and releasing rosters over the last several months; recently it announced that it was leaving League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) alongside Golden State Warriors-owned Golden Guardians (as Riot whittled down the number of franchised team from 10 to eight), and revealed that it had let its Super Smash Bros. roster go. Sources have told TEA for several months that the company’s majority stakeholder Peak6 has been actively looking for a buyer for whatever remains of EG.
EG remains a partnered team in Riot Games’ Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) for 2024 (Americas region) alongside 100 Thieves, Cloud9, FURIA, KRÜ Esports, MIBR, LOUD, NRG Esports, Sentinels, G2 Esports, and Leviatán.