Cloud9 makes aggressive expansion into ‘Hearthstone’

Five of the world’s best Hearthstone players have come together under the Cloud9 umbrella

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Five of the world’s best Hearthstone players have come together under the Cloud9 umbrella.

The California-based esports organization acquired the majority of the team formerly known as Doge House.

Three of Cloud9’s new Hearthstone players, Marcin “Gnimsh” Filipowicz, Jan “Ekop” Palys, and Cong “Strife Cro” Shu, have each placed in the top eight at DreamHack Hearthstone tournaments this year.

Much of the team comes from a strong background in competitive gaming. Filipowicz and Palys were known for their play in the World of Warcraft card game, while American and popular streamer Rumay “Hafu” Wang is a former competitor in World of Warcraft’s player-versus-player modes. The team will also be joined by Ukrainian player Aleksandr “Kolento” Malsh.

Cloud9 owner Jack Etienne explained the process behind the acquisition on the team’s website.

Hearthstone has been growing exponentially and it wasn’t easy finding the right group of players to pick up,” Etienne said. “After talking with Filipowicz and his team, it was clear that he and his Hearthstone team would be a perfect fit for Cloud9.”

Filipowicz expressed excitement with his team joining the organization and spoke to how the move would allow he and his teammates to devote themselves more fully to the game.

“Being on a professional team was always one of my dreams. When we created Doge House, we always knew it was just a matter of time until we joined a serious organization,” Filipowicz said.

Cloud9’s recent forays into new games have paid off when Joseph “Mango” Marquez took first-place at MLG Anaheim’s Super Smash Bros. tournament. The team will be hoping for similar early returns from the new Hearthstone crew.

The biggest target for Hearthstone players remains the Hearthstone World Championship being held in November as part of BlizzCon in Anaheim, Calif. The tournament will feature a $250,000 prize pool and qualification is ongoing.