Sean "seang@res" Gares has stepped down from Cloud9's active lineup with immediate effect, the team has revealed.
The announcement comes just days after the team's quarter-final exit at IEM San Jose following a 1-2 defeat against TSM, who would go on to finish runners-up to Natus Vincere.
Prior to the ESL event, Cloud9 had won back-to-back domestic titles at the iBP Invitational and the RGN Pro Series Championship, with the team having attended the latter with Braxton "swag" Pierce as a stand-in for Sean "seang@res" Gares.
seang@res leaves Cloud9's team
But those results did little to erase the memories of a disappointing run of results that saw the team crash out of both ESL One Cologne and DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca in the group stage.
Over the last couple of months, seang@res had been tipped to step down from the team at the end of the year, a decision that has now been confirmed by the 27-year-old.
"My time as a player for Cloud9 has brought countless memories and experiences that I'll cherish for a lifetime," he said in a statement.
"Not only did I get an opportunity to travel the world doing something I love, but I was blessed to do it with all great people; people I'm proud to call my friends.
"Regardless of who takes my spot, I truly wish the best for the team. I'm certain that the team's persistent hard work will pay off and that Cloud9 CS:GO will be a prominent force in 2016.
"Thank you to all of my teammates, fans, and Cloud9 management for all of the love and support over the years. I will forever be grateful of this journey!"
The team will take the rest of the year to try out potential new players, with a decision due to be announced only after January 1. Until then, Cloud9 hope fans will remain "patient and steadfast alongside the squad."
"Sean Gares is one of the most charismatic figures I've ever had the pleasure of working with in e-sports," team manager Tres "stunna" Saranthus told HLTV.org.
"Sean's decision to step away from the starting lineup was his own and we support him in it 100%.
"His service record within Cloud9 and even before has been one that has left a deep impact on the game.
"To date, Sean Gares is arguably the most accomplished IGL in NA CS:GO. We are excited about the future, just as you should be too. The upcoming year is going to blow you away."
Cloud9 currently have the following four-man roster: