With one video on their Twitter account, Cloud9 has revealed their entire VALORANT Champions Tour 2023 season roster. On top of three returning players from 2022, new players Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker and Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro finish the five-man roster. Along with that, former The Guard head coach Matthew “mCe” Elmore and sixth man Mateja “qpert” Mijovic round out the squad.
The new heavy hitters 🥊
This is Cloud9 VALORANT 2023 pic.twitter.com/qeKq40cVBG
— Cloud9 VALORANT (@C9VAL) October 17, 2022
The new Cloud9 squad confirmed
With these moves, here is the entire Cloud9 squad for the VCT 2023 season.
- Nathan “leaf” Orf
- Erick “Xeppaa” Bach
- Anthony “vanity” Malaspina
- Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker
- Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro
- Mateja “qpert” Mijovic (substitute)
- Matthew “mCe” Elmore (head coach)
The original Cloud9 core of leaf, Xeppaa and vanity are returning for VCT 2023, with former OpTic Gaming star yay and Version1/Sentinels star Zellsis making the starting five.
The new signings’ path to Cloud9
With OpTic Gaming not making it into franchising, the first split from that cohesive squad has begun with yay moving to Cloud9. After helping lead OpTic Gaming to a Masters title this year, along with plenty of great performances over the past two years, this is a superstar-level signing for Cloud9.
As for Zellsis, his time on both Version1 and Sentinels has proven that he has the capability to beat the best in North America. VCT 2022’s Stage 1 Challengers was a playground for him, despite the lacklustre playoff performance. After moving to Sentinels later on in the year to assist with their Last Chance Qualifier run, he yet again showed off skills despite not making it to Champions. After a small time back with Version1, he’s moved onto Cloud9 and onto a relatively stacked NA talent squad.
Last but not least, the sixth man and head coach most recently were part of NA organization The Guard. Their former head coach mCe helped lead them to a VCT 2022 Stage 1 Challengers title over OpTic Gaming. Plus, heading into their Last Chance Qualifier run where they finished second, they signed qpert as an assistant coach. Now, both stick together in 2023, but with qpert flying over to NA to be the sixth man on the roster.
The future of Cloud9
With these signings, it’s clear that the team is using the massive free agency market to build a powerful squad. Cloud9 have always been regarded as a great team in NA, but they faltered a little toward the end of the 2022 season. Seeing this opportunity, they got arguably one of the best players in the world in yay to join the team.
Plus, Zellsis and mCe both have shown moments of success throughout their respective orgs. Despite his short time on The Guard, even player-turned-coach-turned-player qpert was heavily regarded as one of the reasons The Guard had such a great 2022 NA LCQ run.
Now, it’ll be a matter of making these new pieces fit. But, if they do, this Cloud9 team will be a roster to fear in VCT 2023.
Polish-Canadian game enthusiast. I've been entrenched in gaming for as long as I can remember, with my first game being Pokemon Yellow and my most played games being Borderlands 2 and Overwatch. I have a degree in Film Studies, but writing about esports just makes my job all the better.