When I spoke to James “Firebat” Kostesich last month he was still mulling over offers from new teams after his exit from Team Archon and the accompanying drama. He was also considering whether it might be wiser to go solo and build his profile as a streamer. Today he announced that he’s decided to join Cloud9, becoming part of a roster that also includes Kolento, Tidesoftime, Ek0p and StrifeCro.
Explaining why he picked Cloud9, Firebat said: “I’m really good friends with the players… I’ve known them forever.” He added: “Cloud9 is a really established organization... From what I’ve seen they’ve really got things kinda hammered out, and they’re going to allow me to hopefully just focus on playing tournaments and not worry about anything else.” Firebat seems most excited about the strength of his new teammates, particularly the chance to practice with Kolento and StrifeCro. “I don’t know about you, but that is a disgusting roster,” he said. No callout for Ek0p, though. RIP.
On paper the addition of the 2014 Hearthstone world champion leaves Cloud9’s lineup looking incredibly strong. Three of its current players were chosen by the judges for our list of the 10 best pro Hearthstone players, and only the G2 Esports team, with Lifecoach, Thijs and RDU, offers anything like the same depth. Much as cynics can debate what the point of a team is in game that only offers solo play, the chance to work on tournament lineups and theorycraft decks has clear benefits, as the competitive results of players from G2, Cloud9 and to a slightly lesser degree, Dignitas has already proved.
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