Cloud9 complete buster signing
The Kazakh replaces Timofey "interz" Yakushin on the active roster ahead of the 2023 season.
buster's signing also brings an end to Cloud9's monthlong search for interz's replacement. The Russian-majority team had previously initiated talks with several different names, including the likes of Igor "Forester" Bezotecheskiy and Sanjar "SANJI" Kuliev, before ultimately settling on their new Kazakh recruit.
buster inks a deal with Cloud9 after spending half a year on Outsiders' bench, his removal from the roster coming shortly after the team's 12-14th place campaign through the PGL Antwerp Major. The 23-year-old spent close to five years as a part of Dzhami "Jame" Ali's system, winning three events alongside the Russian in-game leader, with BLAST Pro Series Moscow 2019 being the highlight.
The Kazakhstani rifler will be pleased to link up with his new teammates, previously confessing in an interview with HLTV.org back in October that Cloud9 were one of just three teams — alongside Natus Vincere and Spirit — that he would consider signing with.
interz, meanwhile, is subsequently moved to the inactive roster after spending close to four years as a part of the Vladislav "nafany" Gorshkov-led lineup, his tenure dating back to when the core of the squad played under the Gambit Youngsters banner. The Russian rifler notably played a part in his team's previous dominance during the online era, when the ensemble picked up first-place finishes at IEM Katowice 2021 and the BLAST Premier Spring Final 2021 to peak at No. 1 on the world ranking for a total of 14 weeks from April-July of that year.
Alas, interz has struggled in the server since the quintet's signing by Cloud9 and the return to a LAN environment. He moves to the inactive roster boasting a team-low 0.98 rating across 78 maps with the California-based organisation, with ESL Pro League Season 16 being his only green-level performance (1.08).
buster is set to make his debut in Cloud9 colours at the IEM Katowice Play-In. The team received an invite to the inaugural stage of the flagship event thanks to their placing on the ESL world ranking and will fight for one of eight berths for the main tournament when play kicks off on January 31.
Cloud9 now have the following lineup: