Cloud9 have announced that they have cut ties with Shahzeb "ShahZaM" Khan and Kory "SEMPHIS" Friesen.
The North American team had been expected to undergo major roster changes following a series of mixed results that culminated with a 7th-8th place finish at the ESEA finals last weekend.
Shahzeb "ShahZaM" Khan, who had been brought in at the end of 2014 to replace Spencer "Hiko" Martin, had particularly come under fire from the community for some lacklustre performances in both domestic and international events.
ShahZaM out of Cloud9
The former Denial member has now been shown the exit door by Cloud9, with the player admitting to being unsatisfied with his individual performances during his five-month spell on the team.
"Honestly I’d like to thank the guys and Cloud9 itself for even giving me the opportunity in the first place," Khan said in a statement.
"I got the chance to experience many amazing things and travel places I never thought I would.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 seeing them competing as one of the best again."
ShahZaM is not the only player heading towards the exit door, however, as Cloud9 have also decided to release Kory "SEMPHIS" Friesen, who had been part of the team since the early days of CS:GO, when they were donning Area51's colors.
SEMPHIS released by Cloud9
In a statement, Cloud9 described this as "one of the more difficult moves" the organisation has had to make, but explained that the lineup was "simply not one of a functioning successful capacity."
"Going forward will be a challenge just as it is with any sort of change. At this point, I can safely say that we have hit rock bottom in terms of performance," said Cloud9 manager Tres “stunna” Saranthus.
"The common theme I read on forums is that we don’t care or that we aren’t trying and the reality is it’s easy for those on the outside to say that.
"Allow me to say and be very upfront, this isn’t a free ride nor will it ever be. I fully intend to bring Cloud9 CS:GO back to the tier it belongs within the global Counter-Strike community."
Cloud9 are the first side to act in what is expected to be a period of intense transfer activity in the top tier of North American Counter-Strike. CLG and Team Liquid have also been strongly linked with changes following sub-par results of their own in recent events.
North American fans were disappointed to see their teams finish in the bottom four places at the ESEA Finals without getting a single map off of European opposition in six matches.
Last night, the Daily Dot reported that CLG had benched Peter "ptr" Gurney following the team's 5th-6th place finish in Dallas.. Since then, speculation has been rife that he could be joining Cloud9, who are now looking for someone to take up the AWP following ShahZaM's departure.
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