HObbit, a CS2 player, hi-fives a teammate at the PGL Copenhagen Major.
Photo via PGL

‘Full rebuilding’: 2 more depart C9 CS2 squad as CEO Jack dismisses disband calls

The C9 superteam fizzles out.

Cloud9 chief executive Jack Etienne has dispelled rumors of a Counter-Strike 2 disbandment after the departure of another two players overnight, with Abay “HObbit” Khassenov and Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy moved to the squad’s inactive list a week after Denis “electroNic” Sharipov’s shock signing with Virtus.pro.

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The organization farewelled HObbit and Perfecto on April 22, thanking the pair in a short post on X (formerly Twitter) and wishing them success in their future endeavors. Also departing the squad is assistant coach Ivan “F_1N” Kochugov, who oversaw the core’s move through former org Gambit Esports as well as management of C9’s academy.

The C9 team huddle before their PGL Copenhagen Major CS2 quarterfinal against Vitality.
Just two players remain on C9’s active roster. Photo via PGL

This leaves C9’s roster in tatters, with just captain Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhaylov and Sergey “Ax1Le” Ryktorov left standing—and thus, many believed C9 would put an end to their Eastern European project altogether. CEO Etienne immediately denied these rumors, however: “We are in a full rebuilding process in collaboration with Ax1Le and Boombl4. We won’t be disbanding,” Etienne said on X (formerly Twitter) after the departure of HObbit and Perfecto.

Despite landing on C9’s bench, the two are not expected to don the black and blue again, with the org stating HObbit and Perfecto are available for transfer, putting an end to the supposed “superteam.” Despite flashes of brilliance, C9 was unable to add a first-place trophy to the cabinet. The squad finished top eight at the PGL Copenhagen Major and made multiple tier-one playoffs, but never saw a grand final.

No official word has been made yet as to who will suit up for C9 in coming weeks. The roster moves resulted in the org withdrawing from this week’s ESL Pro League Season 19. Copenhagen Major underdogs SAW receiving a last-minute invite.

C9 is expected to next play at BetBoom Dacha Belgrade on May 14.


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Author
Nicholas Taifalos
Weekend editor for Dot Esports. Nick, better known as Taffy, began his esports career in commentary, switching to journalism with a focus on Oceanic esports, particularly Counter-Strike and Dota. Email: nicholas@dotesports.com