In a shocking turn of events, Dmitry “sh1ro” Sokolov has officially stepped down from Cloud9’s starting roster and is now available for transfer, as confirmed by the organization.
This unexpected decision comes slightly over a week after Cloud9’s group stage exit from IEM Sydney. Despite securing a victory against Lynn Vision, the team faced challenges in matches against fnatic and Complexity, ultimately leading to their elimination from the competition.
IEM Sydney marked a significant departure from sh1ro’s usual stellar performance. It was his lowest-rated individual tournament since DreamHack Open Seville 2019, a stark contrast to his consistent impact and late-round heroics, which had earned him the title of the third-best player of 2022.
For over three years, sh1ro played alongside Abay “HObbit” Khassenov and Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov in teams like Gambit Youngsters, Gambit, and Cloud9. In 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, he rose to prominence with several online tournament victories, including IEM Katowice, EPIC League CIS, IEM Summer, BLAST Premier Spring Final, and IEM Fall CIS.
Although they weren’t dominant in offline play, the team consistently made deep runs at major events. Notable achievements included a 3-4th place finish at the PGL Major Stockholm and a 5-8th place finish at the IEM Rio Major, where they were considered top contenders. Cloud9 also secured victory at IEM Dallas 2022, finished as runners-up at BLAST Premier World Final 2021 and ESL Pro League Season 17, and frequently advanced to the bracket stage of top-tier tournaments, even if they fell short of claiming the championship.
In a post on his Telegram, sh1ro shared his sentiments about leaving Cloud9, saying, “Today my time in Cloud9 comes to an end. For me as a player, it’s like the ending of the whole book. I decided to leave this team, and it was one of the most difficult decisions in my career. Right now I don’t want to go into details: what, how, and why.”
He went on to express gratitude and admiration for his former teammates, stating, “electroNic, Perfecto, Ax1Le, HObbit, I was very glad to play with you in this team, and I truly hate to admit that we couldn’t reach the goals we set for ourselves. Big thanks to Denis [electroNic], thanks to him I started to understand the game differently. We didn’t play much together, but I think I managed to learn something new during this short time.”
sh1ro’s departure deals a significant blow to Cloud9, who have been struggling since the end of the tournament break.
The North American organization made substantial changes during the off-season by adding Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy and Denis “electroNic” Sharipov to their roster. However, despite the high expectations that surrounded the new lineup, they have struggled to live up to their potential. Their performance in ESL Pro League Season 18 group stage, Gamers8, and IEM Sydney has been underwhelming.
Issues surrounding the in-game leader role have contributed to their challenges, with electroNic initially taking on the captain’s responsibilities before recently passing the role to HObbit.
In an official statement, Cloud9 confirmed sh1ro’s decision to step down from their CS2 starting lineup and expressed their respect for his choice. They have mutually agreed to make sh1ro available for transfer, opening up a new chapter in the talented player’s career.
Last Updated on October 27, 2023