Cloud9 sent ripples throughout the professional CS:GO scene when they replaced Alec “Slemmy” White with Timothy “autimatic” Ta on August 17th. Obviously, the step down from Slemmy was to be expected as the team strung together a series of subpar performances compared to their initial expectations. With autimatic leading the charge, C9 proved they’ve still got it in them.
Cloud9 have made some surprising moves in 2016. Rather than recycling the old guards of North America, C9 made some high risk, but ultimately high reward, moves. The team snatched up a string of untested North American youngsters, all of whom have paid off greatly.
The C9 organisation replaced Sean “seangares” Gares with Stewie “Stewie2k” Yip and switched out Ryan “fREAKAZOiD” Abadir with Slemmy. Of these three moves, two of them were replacing In-Game Leaders with Fraggers and shifting the internal roles. Their first attempt – the addition of Stewie2k – was a predictable disaster, as Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert had trouble adjusting to new team roles and lacked the synergy to co-ordinate with his teammates.
Cloud9 were heavily scrutinised in their pickup of autimatic, but so far, the results speak in favour of the move. A recent win at the ESL Pro League LAN Finals quickly bolstered support for autimatic, who notched an MVP worthy performance in their semi final match against mousesports and also their grand final match against SK Gaming.
There are a number of comparisons to be drawn between autimatic, Freddy “KRiMZ” Johansson and Kevin “AZK” Lariviere. If you ever observed a demo of autimatic, you quickly realised the American anchors whichever team he finds himself playing on – place him at any site or uncomfortable position, and you’d expect him to come away with an even trade, similar to KRiMZ’ ability to solo hold bombsites. Additionally, a glance at the stats sheet places autimatic around a similar level of consistency as AZK.
But perhaps the credit should be shifted elsewhere. Looking at Rank-S (ESEA), it becomes immediately apparent that Stewie2k and autimatic are heavily influenced by playing with Sam “DaZeD” Marine frequently. This was noted by fellow DaZeD ex-teammate Josh “steel” Nissan during a demo review of C9 vs FaZe at ELEAGUE Season 2.
“It’s a complete conspiracy theory, C9’s playing exactly like how DaZed would play. The setups, the strats, their anti ecos on CT, their super slow defaults… I’ve played with DaZeD back in the day, and I can spot a DaZeD strat from a mile away.”
Josh “steel” Nissan
When it comes to Stewie2k IGL’ing, he looks to be recreating the knowledge acquired by competing with Slemmy and from playing Rank-S with DaZeD – this may have been the pinpoint as to why C9 picked up autimatic instead of another IGL.
At ELEAGUE, Skadoodle was underperforming – autimatic was there to balance out his shortcomings. Shroud underperformed at the ESL Pro League LAN Finals, Starladder, and Dreamhack Bucharest – autimatic picked up the slack. This is now so often the case for C9: whenever shroud, Skadoodle, or n0thing underperform – autimatic rises to the challenge time and time again.
Given his recent performances, autimatic is fast becoming the stand-out star of the Cloud9 roster. The ESL Pro League LAN Finals are perhaps the finest example of the American’s carry-potential: of all of the matches played, his only negative rating was a 0.72 rating in a 16-6 loss to SK Gaming – apart from that, out of 12 of these matches, 10 of them boasted a 1.15+ rating in autimatics.
With autimatic on the roster, Cloud9 have seemingly found the answer to all their problems. Someone underperforming? Need someone to play positions no ones like? The response is autimatic.
You could argue that someone else would have been better, but the stats don’t lie at this point. Autimatic’s quick rise to the top only proves that C9’s approach to picking new players is more fruitful to recycling used players.