Join Us At Cloud9’s January Events

By John Nomis | | Read more

Calling all Cloud9 fans, kick off the year right by joining us at some of the most exciting events of the month! From January 24-25, you can join the Cloud9 crew at Genesis 7 at the Oakland Convention Center in Oakland, California! You can also join us January 25-26 at the LCS Studios in Los Angeles to kick off the LCS Spring Split!


Event Information

Genesis 7

  • January 24th - January 25th
  • Booth opens @ 10am on Friday and Saturday
  • Oakland Convention Center - 550 10th St, Oakland, CA 94607, USA
  • Exclusive Mang0 merchandise available

LCS Spring Split Week 1

  • January 25th - January 26th
  • Tailgate Opens @ 12pm on Saturday, January 25 and @ 10am on Sunday, January 26
  • LCS Studios - 12312 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064
  • 1v1 Mundo Dodge with C9 Pro Player Banana
  • C9 Merchandise on sale
  • Prizes provided by Cloud9 Partners and Riot Games
  • C9 Loot Pass eligible*

*We’ll be premiering our Cloud9 Loot Pass at the LCS Studios!  Whether you’re a Cloud9 superfan or just checking out something new, nothing makes us happier than seeing you come out, we’re excited to introduce more perks and rewards throughout the LCS Spring Split - stay tuned for more details!


For more info and event coverage, make sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Discord. Thank you for being a fan! #C9WIN

Sneaky Takes on New Role at Cloud9

By John Nomis | | Read more

Today we are announcing the departure of Sneaky from our League of Legends roster, however he will continue to be connected to Cloud9 in an owner and advisor capacity.  Going forward, Sneaky’s primary focus will be his career as an independent full-time streamer. 


Although he won’t be in the competitive circuit for the time being, he will continue to keep all options open in the future. We are grateful for what Sneaky has helped Cloud9 achieve and we will support him as his career begins its next chapter.



“Working the last seven years with Sneaky to build what Cloud9 has become was an incredible experience for me. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with him as a player and I'm excited that Sneaky has made the decision to stay on as an owner and take up the additional responsibilities of being an advisor at Cloud9. We’re both looking forward to the successes to come!” -- Jack Etienne, Cloud9 CEO & Owner


You can keep up with Sneaky by following him on Twitter, Twitch, Instagram, and YouTube


From all of us at Cloud9, thank you Sneaky!

Introducing the 2020 London Spitfire

By John Nomis | | Read more

With our aces hosting two homestands in 2020, the Spitfire are excited to announce the roster for the upcoming season! Taking to the skies this year will be:

  • Sewon Bernar Shin - Tank
  • Geonhee Clestyn Cho - Tank
  • Jihun Jihun Kim - Tank
  • Daehan JMac Choi - Tank
  • Hyeon Wook Although Jung - DPS
  • Sangjun Babel Park - DPS
  • GilSeong Glister Lim - DPS
  • Dongjae Schwi Lee - DPS
  • Younghoon Krillin Jeong - Support
  • Sunghyeok Highly Lee - Support
  • Taehoon Fuze Kim - Support
  • Gyumin SanGuiNar Lim - Support

The coaches and managers who will be helping them lead the charge are:

  • Chul-Yong Agape Hong - Head Coach 
  • Sunghoon awesomeguy Kim - Assistant Coach
  • Youngbin Twinkl Lim - Assistant Coach
  • Hyeonsang Pavane Yu - Assistant Coach
  • Seunghwan Robin Lee - General Manager
  • Jihun Hoonmaru Lee - Assistant Manager 

“We have a lot of new talent this season and we’re already seeing so many things starting to come together for this roster. We’re looking forward to kicking the season off against NYXL in New York and even more excited to bring the Overwatch League home to London during the homestands.” -- Chul-Yong Agape Hong, London Spitfire Head Coach 

“Everyone here can’t wait to get to London and put on a show for the hometown fans. They’ve supported us from half a world away for two years now, so we’re ecstatic to be there for two weekends and we’re going to make the fans proud all year long.” -- Seunghwan Robin Lee, London Spitfire General Manager


The entire organization is thrilled to be playing in front of the hometown fans this year, so mark your calendars and join the team! Our first homestand will be in London on March 28th and 29th, where the Spitfire will take on the Paris Eternal and the Toronto Defiant, respectively. The team then returns, this time to Birmingham, for another homestand on June 6th and 7th. During this second homestand, the Spitfire will go head to head against the defending champions, the San Francisco Shock, and will wrap up their home games by taking on the Los Angeles Gladiators.


You can make sure you don’t miss out on this historic moment for the Spitfire and Overwatch League by purchasing tickets at spitfire.gg/homestand! #AcesHigh

Introducing the 2020 Cloud9 LCS Academy Roster

By John Nomis | | Read more

Cloud9 is happy to announce our LCS Academy roster for 2020! The players and staff who will be leading the charge for Cloud9 in the LCS Academy League are:

  • Ibrahim Fudge Allami - Top
  • Rami Inori Charagh - Jungle
  • Cristian Palafox Palafox - Mid
  • Calvin k1ng Truong - ADC
  • David Diamond Bérubé - Support
  • Yeujin Reignover Kim - Head Coach
  • Minseong Rapidstar Joeng - Assistant Coach

The team features several new members, all of whom have displayed tremendous talent in their careers thus far. Inori most recently played with ANEW Esports, where his efforts helped the team take the championship in the 2019 Scouting Grounds Circuit Finals this past September. Palafox joins us after a successful tenure with Golden Guardians Academy, where he helped the team to a 14-4 record and 2nd-place finish in NA Academy 2019 Summer. Fudge and k1ng helped lead Mammoth to a Worlds 2019 appearance where they performed admirably in the Play-In Stage, coming up just short in their group’s tiebreaker. 


Rejoining us is Diamond, who was a pivotal part of the team’s league-best 15-3 record in summer, as well as Head Coach Reignover and Assistant Coach Rapidstar. 


“We had a very strong showing in our most recent split and we’re all eager to continue that success this year. Our new players are excited to make C9 proud and we’re thrilled to have Diamond as our veteran presence. This will be a great year!” -- Yeujin Reignover Kim, Cloud9 Academy Head Coach

“There’s always an electricity to bringing in new talent, and it’s a feeling that sparks both motivation and growth. Our roster and staff have a deep knowledge and commitment of the game and we’re all itching to kick things off once again.” -- Jack Etienne, Cloud9 CEO & Owner


We will have more information as to the start of the season soon, and you can always find the latest news and updates on our social media channels and the official Cloud9 Discord.

 

About Cloud9

Founded in 2013, Cloud9 has grown to become one of the most recognizable esports organizations in the world. With championships industry-wide, unmatched viewership hours, and extensive benefits packages for players and staff, Cloud9 prides itself on being the best in all categories. At this time, Cloud9 fields professional teams in League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, World of Warcraft Arena, Hearthstone, Super Smash Bros Melee, Rocket League, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS: Mobile, Fortnite, Rainbow Six Siege, and Teamfight Tactics. To find more information about Cloud9, visit http://www.cloud9.gg.

Cloud9 Signs ATK Roster for CS:GO

By John Nomis | | Read more

Cloud9 is ecstatic to announce the signing of the ATK roster for our Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team. Joining the Cloud9 family are Johnny JT Theodosiou, Ian motm Hardy, Aran Sonic Groesbeek, Joshua oSee Ohm, Ricky floppy Kemery, and coach Tiaan T.c Coertzen, who will be leading the team moving forward. 


These players have turned many heads with their successes in the past few months, including a 1st-place finish at Esports Championship Series Season 8 - North America: Week 2, another 1st-place finish at the WESG 2019 North America: United States Qualifier, and a strong 7th/8th showing at the ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals. They’ve gone toe-to-toe with some of the best teams in the world and we look forward to seeing what they’ll achieve with Cloud9.


“Joining Cloud9 is a dream come true for the entire squad. Words can’t describe how excited we all are to represent such a prestigious organization. We’re very grateful for the opportunity. I think it came at the perfect timing to provide us with more resources to continue our growth and to strive for new heights. Our team is still very young and I’m very excited to see how far we can go with the support Cloud9 can offer.” -- Coach Tiaan T.c Coertzen

“I think everyone in the community has been impressed with what these players have accomplished and we’re thrilled to be welcoming them to C9. I can’t wait to see them make even greater strides in the coming year! ” -- Jack Etienne, Cloud9 CEO & Owner


Please join us in giving a warm welcome to the newest faces of Cloud9 CS:GO! You’ll be able to see them in action soon as the team will be playing at the IEM Katowice Closed Qualifier, starting January 9th. For more on this, as well as other #C9CSGO news, follow us on social media and check out the official Cloud9 Discord.

 

 

About Cloud9

Founded in 2013, Cloud9 has grown to become one of the most recognizable esports organizations in the world. With championships industry-wide, unmatched viewership hours, and extensive benefits packages for players and staff, Cloud9 prides itself on being the best in all categories. At this time, Cloud9 fields professional teams in League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, World of Warcraft Arena, Hearthstone, Super Smash Bros Melee, Rocket League, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS: Mobile, Fortnite, Rainbow Six Siege, and Teamfight Tactics. To find more information about Cloud9, visit http://www.cloud9.gg.

Cloud9 CS:GO Update

By John Nomis | | Read more

Today Cloud9 announces the transfers of Timothy autimatic Ta, Damian daps Steele, and Kenneth koosta Suen to Gen.G. All of us here at Cloud9 would like to thank these players for everything they brought to our organization, and we wish them the best as their careers progress.


In addition to these moves, Assistant Coach, Christopher Elmapuddy Tebbit has elected to depart Cloud9 and join Gen.G as their CS:GO Head Coach. Cloud9 is also retaining Oscar mixwell Cañellas.


With more on these changes and what’s to come, here’s Cloud9 CS:GO Head Coach James JamezIRL Macaulay with additional information:



Cloud9 would like to especially thank Timothy autimatic Ta for not only being a leader in competition, but a pillar of the entire Cloud9 organization dating back to his arrival in August of 2016. His talent, direction, and camaraderie provided cornerstones for some of the team’s greatest triumphs, including a championship at the ESL Pro League Season 4 Finals, and, of course, North America’s finest CS:GO moment, victory at the ELEAGUE Major: Boston 2018. Throughout his tenure, autimatic has been a consistent force for Cloud9, and the organization will forever be grateful for his contributions.


“It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Tim these past few years. I’ve always been impressed by his work ethic for the game and I wish him the best of luck at Gen.G. I’m grateful for the good times we had traveling the world and attending tournaments and I am looking forward to seeing him at many more in the future!” -- Jonathan Tran, Cloud9 CS:GO General Manager


“A huge thank you to Tim for the three incredible years he’s spent on Cloud9. I’ll never forget the incredible Boston Major run the team had and everything he has done for us. Best wishes for the future.” -- Jack Etienne, Cloud9 CEO & Owner


We will have more updates on the CS:GO team soon, which will be made available on our social channels as well as here on the Cloud9 website.

 

Thank You, valens

By Emily Gonzalez-Holland | | Read more

Today Cloud9 announces that we mutually part ways with Soham valens Chowdhury. Joining Cloud9 in February 2017, valens was pivotal in the Cloud9 CS:GO success through the 2017 iBUYPOWER Masters, 2017 ESL One: Cologne, and the 2018 Boston Major. 

Throughout the ebb and flow of roster movements, valens played a crucial role in recruiting and vetting players. Valens veteran experience and leadership lended to him leading in more ways than just a coach and analyst; valens had always sought ways to provide those around him with a strong foundation to build on. All of us here at Cloud9 want to thank valens for his unshakable work ethic, dedication, and leadership which will always hold a special place in our hearts.

 

"It has been a pleasure working alongside some of the brightest and hardest-working minds in esports. Thanks to Jack, Paullie, and Dan for welcoming me with open arms, and seeing the benefit of getting a little more scientific in our approach to esports. Coaching was actually supposed to be  a temporary position for me but it turned into something greater. We won the major, we had roster issues, we lost out at the minor qualifiers, and we started again from scratch. 
I plan to keep pushing the envelope when it comes to esports analytics and hope to be a part of the innumerable number of folks dedicated to turning this industry into a sustainable, ethical, and exciting one. Thank you, Cloud9 fans and family, for all the love you’ve shown me. We’ve made history and I fully expect all of our teams will continue to do so.
Shout outs to Tim, Tarik, Stewie, Rush, Skadoodle, Flusha, Golden, David, Jonathan and Danan. You guys are the real MVPs. If you are interested in learning more about the work I did at Cloud9 or have any business inquiries, feel free to reach out via Twitter DM (@valens)" -- Soham "valens" Chowdhury
 
“Thank you for all the time and effort you have put into Cloud9 CS:GO over the past few years. It’s been a pleasure learning from you about the game and I wish you the best of luck in whatever comes next! ” -- Jonathan Tran, Cloud9 CS:GO General Manager
 
“We've accomplished incredible things with Soham and I'm confident he will continue to find success in his future endeavors." -- Jack Etienne, Cloud9 CEO & Owner

 

For more on this, as well as other #C9CSGO news, check out the official Cloud9 Discord.

 

 

About Cloud9

Founded in 2013, Cloud9 has grown to become one of the most recognizable esports organizations in the world. With championships industry-wide, unmatched viewership hours, and extensive benefits packages for players and staff, Cloud9 prides itself on being the best in all categories. At this time, Cloud9 fields professional teams in League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, World of Warcraft Arena, Hearthstone, Super Smash Bros Melee, Rocket League, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS: Mobile, Fortnite, Rainbow Six Siege, and Teamfight Tactics. To find more information about Cloud9, visit http://www.cloud9.gg.

Cloud9 Announces CS:GO Roster Shuffle

By Bobby Koh | | Read more

Cloud9 announces our new active CS:GO roster:

  • Timothy "autimatic" Ta
  • Damian "daps" Steele
  • Kenneth "Koosta" Suen
  • Tyson "TenZ" Ngo
  • Óscar "mixwell" Cañellas Colocho
  • James "JamezIRL" Macaulay - Head Coach

Our new team lead by JamesIRL brings a wealth of variety and experience, ranging from true veterans to rising stars.  Pairing the experience of autimatic, daps, Koosta and mixwell with the new rising talent of TenZ, we are excited to take the next step in the evolution of Cloud9 CS:GO.

To provide insight and clarity to these extensive changes, out of our previous roster:

  • Timothy "autimatic" Ta will remain on the team. 
  • William "Rush" Wierzba will be placed on the bench.
  • Soham "valens" Chowdhury will move to a Data Scientist role in support of the new head coach, James "JamezIRL" Macaulay. 
  • Maikil “Golden” Selim Rahim is on loan to NIP (Ninjas In Pyjamas) and will be participating in the 2019 Berlin Major with them.

Finally, we want to thank Daniel "vice" Kim and Rene "cajunb" Borg for their time, hard work, dedication, and amazing spirit, and we can’t wait to see what they will accomplish next! 

 

"I would like to thank Cloud9 for the amazing opportunity to play with them. Although this is the end of my time at Cloud9, I wish the team the best of luck in the future" - Rene "cajunb" Borg
 
“Some things can only be achieved with a deliberate step in a new direction. These changes will help perpetuate the mindset that we all need to be willing to be a beginner every single morning. Thank you to Mike, Dan, Rene, Will, and Kevve for trying to right the ship-- I am excited to see where they continue their journey. Without further ado, please join us in welcoming James, Damian, Tyson, Oscar, and Kenny to build a team with Tim that we can all be proud of! I'll be cheering... try and stop me. ” - Soham "valens" Chowdhury

 

With the roster now complete, the team is setting their sights on a strong showing at BLAST Pro Series: Los Angeles 2019, which kicks off on July 13th. For more on this, as well as other #C9CSGO news, check out the official Cloud9 Discord.

 

 

About Cloud9

Founded in 2013, Cloud9 has grown to become one of the most recognizable esports organizations in the world. With championships industry-wide, unmatched viewership hours, and extensive benefits packages for players and staff, Cloud9 prides itself on being the best in all categories. At this time, Cloud9 fields professional teams in League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, Apex Legends, Hearthstone, Super Smash Bros Melee, Rules of Survival, Rocket League, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS, and World of Warcraft. To find more information about Cloud9, visit http://www.cloud9.gg.

 

It’s The Best Thing That You Can Do—EmZ Spotlight

By John Nomis | | Read more

Emma EmZ Rankin begrudgingly rolls her Secretlab gaming chair away from her desk so as to not get any egg on it. Draped in a nautical-themed blanket, she pulls over a stool and sighs deeply.

“This is gonna be fantastic,” she says sarcastically. “You could have done anything else, anything, but you decided to have me do this.” In a motion so fast it seems to have even caught her by surprise, EmZ swings her arm up and smashes a raw egg on top of her head.

“Thanks! Lovely! Wicked!” she proclaims as the yolk runs down her back. In a moment, she is gone, stepping away to get cleaned up.

The fact of the matter is she’s right about all of it. It is fantastic and lovely and wicked, because it is a celebration. EmZ has just eclipsed 500 subscribers on Twitch and her fans have decided to ring it in by breaking an egg on her head. In a few days, she’ll get to 750. It is an outcome she once thought impossible. It is an outcome she made inevitable.

EmZ was born in London and has spent the majority of her life there. Her first exposure to gaming is a tale many of us share, something of a rite of passage for gamers of the late 90s and early 00s: Halo. The signature franchise of Microsoft’s Xbox console, Halo served as the gateway game for EmZ, not only an introduction to first-person shooters, but an introduction to the potential games had. A gripping storyline. Smooth and oh-so-satisfying gunplay. An invitation to have friends over and a chance at bragging rights. EmZ had just one issue: it was her uncle’s console.

It wasn’t that her uncle, David, made it difficult, quite the opposite actually. He encouraged gaming as a hobby, as it was for him. It was simply that she didn’t have enough access. She would leave her uncle’s house but her mind would return to boarding Covenant ships, commandeering Warthogs, and, most of all, sniping Jackals and Grunts on the Truth and Reconciliation level. A new world had been unlocked for EmZ, or rather hundreds of them, and when the Xbox 360 came around in 2005, she knew she had to be a part of it for good.

It was a burgeoning passion that her mother recognized right away. And so arrived the Xbox 360 to EmZ’s life. It became quickly apparent that she was naturally talented, racking up kill counts and victories across multiple titles. But something was still missing. She would regularly head over to YouTube to watch montages of trickshots on Modern Warfare 2, the convergence of style, flair, and talent piquing her interest. It wasn’t enough to just be an observer, though.

“I thought ‘I want to do that,’” says EmZ. “So I bought my first capture card, an easycap, and I started recording in black and white,” she continues, with a laugh.

The year was 2010, and this would be EmZ’s first YouTube channel. Although she no longer has that particular channel, it was this moment that began her journey into the public sphere, a journey that has played a part in crafting her personality, confidence, and skill. There were many hurdles to come, however, from within and without.

EmZ is bisexual. Like most of us, it’s hard for her to pinpoint any particular moment in time where she was able to affirm her identity.

“During, I would say, secondary school,” she says, thinking back. She’s quick to arrive at that answer, but her retelling captures the challenges that come with encountering a revelation such as this one.

“I had this crush on a female in school, and I was too scared and very confused as to why I was feeling different ways with her. I would get really red, I would get very nervous, and it was just really embarrassing.” And, of course, the challenges didn’t end there.

“I was scared. Scared of what people would think of me. Or if they would laugh at me or bully me.” It is a story we have all heard, feelings we can all understand, and, lamentably, a hardship the LGBTQIA+ community still faces today.

And yet, EmZ navigates these potentially difficult memories with grace and confidence. The feelings she speaks of seem nonexistent now, her voice level, her attitude lighthearted. It is impossible to tell that she grappled with these concerns for several years before finally coming out. It’s a testament to her resilience and a testament to the encouragement her mother, Tracey, offered her.

“It was kind of a joke,” she says with a laugh, as she begins to retell the way she came out to her mother. “She realized I was getting close to this other female, who I worked with, and she would always make jokes with me.”

EmZ doesn’t recall what age she was when it happened. The edges of that memory have become hazy, the byproduct of a support system so utterly thorough that a life-defining event can occur with the same fanfare as a retelling of what you had for lunch.

“Then, one day, I started to catch feelings for my coworker,” EmZ continues. “And I just came out to my mom and asked, ‘If I was with a female, how would you feel about that?’” It’s hard for EmZ to picture her mother having a different response in hindsight, but in the moment it was still a bit surprising.

“She said she wouldn’t care. And I said ‘Oh, okay then.’” In a way, her mother misspoke. To read the words on paper is to assume an apathy that couldn’t be further from the truth. Tracey’s love and support ran at such a depth that it could not be shaken. Tracey was a single mother, and every action she had ever undertaken shared a common goal: EmZ’s happiness. And what EmZ had just shared with her was a core component of her lifelong happiness. That was all Tracey needed to know.

As with so many other aspects of EmZ’s life, Tracey was proud. So proud, in fact, that she herself did the rest of the coming out on behalf of EmZ.

“After telling my mom she then told my whole family, so I didn’t have to do anything really. She did the whole job for me and my whole family accepted me for who I am.” The retelling is again punctuated with a laugh, a fitting marker of the happiness that surrounds it. “Which is awesome,” EmZ adds. But EmZ also acknowledges her good fortune.

“And that’s literally all that happened. I’m very lucky,” she says with a pause. “I know loads of people have a terrible reaction to it. I know people that have had to endure that type of reaction, and I know it’s hard.”

So much of who EmZ is today is due to a support system that believed in her and built her up at every turn. A support system that is practically the definition of pride. And it is a support system that she would open up to others when she eventually shared the news with her community and viewers.

On May 21st, 2018, EmZ uploaded a Q&A video to her YouTube channel in which she announced her bisexuality to her community.

“I like boys as well as girls,” she says in the video. “I guess you can call me greedy,” she adds with a cheeky smile, her effortless charm an extension of the confidence her family helped her build up. She quickly shifts gears.

“If there’s any of you that are going through the same thing but you can’t actually tell anyone...try to get ahold of me and I’ll try to get ahold of you back,” she says, wrapping up this segment of the video with the hope of sharing the same support she herself had received. Of course, it wasn’t all positive.

“The reaction was good and bad. I did get some horrible comments.” The comments haven’t gone away, either. Whether it’s on her Instagram when she posts a picture of her and her significant other, or on her YouTube channel when her significant other comes up or makes an appearance, there are people who say negative things. But thankfully they pale in comparison to the voices of support at EmZ’s back.

“I tell myself I really shouldn’t focus on the negative behavior, I should just focus on the positive, and I get so much support, and I’m just grateful for that.” She acknowledges that it’s a skill that had to be learned, stating that negative comments used to extract a heavy mental toll back when she first broke the news. “I had to learn how to cope.”

Part of her coping mechanism came from being so open with her community. Her authenticity encouraged the same from her viewers and allowed her to wear her heart on her sleeve, whether in tweets or in full videos. It was something she relied heavily upon during the greatest tragedy of her life.

EmZ is hovering around 70,000 subscribers on YouTube. What started with black and white videos and a laptop placed on a windowsill, so as to not overheat during editing, has blossomed into a very real presence. Her fans have never been more eager and her skills have never been sharper. But the mood is solemn. EmZ pushes to publish a video daily, but that task feels more and more unattainable by the day. Tracey’s cancer has returned, and it is heartbreakingly clear that it is more aggressive than before.

“It was hard to carry on doing what I love when the person I love is infected by something so horrible,” she says. No one could have blamed her for stepping away to manage this situation as best she could, but there was one more checkpoint on the horizon that now felt more important than ever to her.

“I wanted to hit 100K as fast as I could so I could share the experience with my mom.” And so EmZ got to work. Video after video was produced, and the numbers kept astounding her. She was cracking 20,000 views almost every time. It felt imminent that she would break the 100K mark.

One morning, EmZ was getting dressed for work, the sky slowly getting brighter as the 6am sun encroached. She knew it was close, she knew logic dictated that it would happen, but until that number arrived, there was always a fear that she would come up short. This morning erased that. An odometer for the digital age, her channel reported her success: 100,000 subscribers. She called her mom into her room.

“Over the moon,” EmZ says about Tracey’s reaction. “Extremely happy.”

In a couple of months the diagnosis would become terminal. Tracey was entered into hospice care and the videos slowed as EmZ prepared for the worst. She took to Twitch more during these days, the live community giving her a respite, solace during the toughest days of her life. She was frank with them, open in ways some of us can only dream of, and the community repaid her in kind. And then October 10th brought the pain she was preparing to face. Tracey passed away in her sleep.

Over the following weeks, EmZ powered through the fog of losing someone. On October 23rd, she felt composed enough to share the news with her YouTube community. A teary-eyed EmZ walked them through what had happened, pulling no punches as to the impact it had on her. She was honest, giving no timetable for her return and pledging a full commitment to herself as she navigated through this tragedy. Her community embraced her, the comments full of sympathy, empathy, support, and understanding.

“My mom honestly thanked every single one of you guys because she always loved how much you guys supported me, so thank you for giving me the opportunity to make her proud.” Just as the 100K had been, the support of her community was never truly in doubt.

Some members of EmZ’s family are still unclear on how all of this works. They know the numbers are good, and they can tell by EmZ’s reaction that things are going tremendously well, but the industry of gaming is still understandably hard to grasp. It doesn’t diminish the support they offer, however.

“When I joined Cloud9 my nan was really happy, she was cuddling me a lot saying ‘you deserve this.’” Her uncle, David, who first unlocked this journey by sharing the wonders of Halo with her, does understand, however. He knows fully well how impressive her trajectory has been and how hard she’s worked to get here.

“When I hit 700 subs the other day he came into my stream to congratulate me, saying ‘well done, you deserve this, your mom would be happy.’”

The work isn’t done for EmZ, of course. She has her eyes set on the 1K mark for Twitch subscribers and the 200K mark for YouTube. The numbers still catch her off guard, in her retellings, in her streams, and it’s clear she never thought this could happen. But to get a glimpse of her life thus far, it feels equally clear that it was destined. An identity she could not ignore and a support system that would not waver.

“At the end of the day, you’re not here to please others. You just want to be who you are while making people laugh and giving them a place to be themselves. It’s the best thing that you can do.” Simple enough advice, but advice that sometimes feels impossible. Or perhaps inevitable.

Cloud9 and Microsoft Announce Multi-Year Partnership

By John Nomis | | Read more

Cloud9 and Microsoft are entering a groundbreaking partnership to co-innovate new technologies in esports. Throughout the multi-year partnership, Cloud9 and Microsoft will dedicate resources to develop new tools and technologies that will enable Cloud9 players and staff to uncover game-changing insights across a variety of titles in which Cloud9 competes.

“Using a range of Microsoft’s commercial and consumer products and services, we will work with Cloud9 to build tools that will help them train more efficiently and determine their best strategies to win.” said Mike Downey, Director of Sports Technology at Microsoft. “Pairing the technological expertise of Microsoft with some of the world’s best gamers and coaches, we have an opportunity to develop some really innovative technology.”

With this agreement, Microsoft becomes an Official Technology Partner and the Official Performance Analytics Partner of all Cloud9 branded teams, including the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) team and the Counter Strike: Global Offensive team.

“As our organization looks at reaching new heights this year and next, we are incredibly excited to use the power of Microsoft technology to help get us there,” said Jack Etienne, Cloud9 CEO and Owner. “At Cloud9, we are all about giving players the tools they need to succeed, and with Microsoft leading the way for us, we’re going to have the competitive edge.”

With Microsoft’s latest technology pairing up with Cloud9, fans across the world can look forward to seeing new stats, more engaging and interactive content, and deeper analysis to better understand their favorite players.

“Teaming the leading technology company with the number one esports organization further elevates our competitive edge for the long term.” said Jordan Udko, Cloud9 Executive Vice President of Commercial Partnerships. “The partnership represents the natural evolution of an existing commitment of being a players first organization. Providing our players with best in class support is core to who we are.”

From interesting stats for fans to deep insights for teams, Cloud9 and Microsoft are thrilled to combine cutting-edge technology with esports prowess to usher in the next era of the industry. Learn more at Microsoft.com/InCulture/Cloud9.



About Cloud9

Founded in 2013, Cloud9 has grown to become one of the most recognizable esports organizations in the world. With championships industry-wide, unmatched viewership hours, and extensive benefits packages for players and staff, Cloud9 prides itself on being the best in all categories. At this time, Cloud9 fields professional teams in League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, Rocket League, Fortnite, Apex Legends, Rainbow Six Siege, Hearthstone, Super Smash Bros Melee, World of Warcraft, Rules of Survival, and PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS. To find more information about Cloud9, visit http://www.cloud9.gg.

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