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Cloud9 Paper Rex LOCK//IN
Photo by Lance Skundrich via Riot Games

Cloud9 release VALORANT head coach mCe among rostermania

The man who helped stabilize Cloud9 in 2023 is out.

Not many rosters are staying the same from 2023 to 2024 in this VALORANT off-season, and one of the best regional teams Cloud9 is also making significant changes, with their head coach one of the biggest pieces leaving.

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Cloud9 has parted ways with head coach Matthew “mCe” Elmore on Sept. 10, leaving him open to other coaching opportunities for the 2024 season. This comes as a bit of a surprise, as mCe helped C9 recover from early season trades and brought in franchise rookies that got them to a fourth-place finish in the league.

When the 2023 season began, Cloud9 looked to be a superteam with big free agent signings like Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro and Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker added to their already competitive core. MCe was picked up as the head coach after his 2022 season helped lead The Guard to the number one spot in NA. Even after a drama-filled start and the surprise departures of yay and Anthony “vanity” Malaspina, mCe helped the team by picking up Jake “jakee” Anderson and Dylan “runi” Cade as their replacements.

Right when everyone counted Cloud9 out, mCe led another underrated roster to big victories regionally, helping Cloud9 regain the respect of fans who worried that their early departures tanked their season. However, as the season progressed, they failed to qualify for Masters Tokyo and Champions 2023, getting upset by lower-ranked teams like KRÜ Esports and Leviatán. The season ended on a sour note despite the early turnaround.

This left Cloud9 in a predicament since they saw both what mCe brought at the start of the year but also how it all ended. With the decision made, mCe announced that he wasn’t continuing with the org, just after both Zellsis and runi also became free agents. As for potential jobs, he’s also mentioned that an assistant or collegiate coach role would also be a possible avenue for his near future, but there are many thanks to the rostermania for Americas heading into 2024. One in particular seems like a perfect fit in theory.

A year after mCe departed The Guard to join Cloud9, the same core of players is making their way into the franchised league for 2024. They had a coach of their own, Josh “JoshRT” Lee, but he was released alongside the rest of the squad in their search for a new org to join the Americas league with. It might be a bit late, but the return of mCe with his former players that helped skyrocket him into popularity as a head coach seems almost too perfect.

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Image of Michael Czar
Michael Czar
Contributing writer for Dot Esports. Covering esports news for just over five years. Focusing on Overwatch, VALORANT, Call of Duty, Teamfight Tactics, and some general gaming content. Washington Post-published game reviewer. Follow me on Twitter at @xtraweivy.