Earlier today, Rush B Media reported that Maikil "Golden" Selim may miss IEM Katowice, and that Cloud9 are looking for a replacement for the Swede. Dust2.us have been informed that the frontrunner for the position is none other than Gage "Infinite" Green, who was recently released from Spacestation after being inactive for nearly a month. He had previously been linked with a move to Test Takers before this opportunity arose.
Golden has missed portions of BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen and ESL Pro League Season 8, as well as the entirety of the ECS Season 6 Finals and BLAST Pro Series: Lisbon due to an as of yet unidentified health issue.
It is expected that Infinite will sign a three month trial contract with the team, which would encompass iBUYPOWER Masters 2019, ELEAGUE's event in January, and IEM Katowice 2019. Given that the player is not an in-game leader, it is expected one of the other members of the team will pick up those duties.
With Infinite aboard, Cloud9's roster would look as follows:
- Timothy "autimatic" Ta
- Will "RUSH" Wierzba
- Robin "flusha" Rönnquist
- Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey
- Gage "Infinite" Green
- Soham "valens" Chowdhury (Coach)
- Maikil "Golden" Selim (Inactive)
The move would see the team not maintaining a core of three active players from their previous major appearance, with them having parted ways with Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham and Martin "STYKO" Styk.
Though the IEM Katowice Rulebook makes no mention of what is necessary to retain Returning Challenger status, it does have the following passage on Emergency Transfers:
In case of a serious and short notice emergency (e.g. unforeseeable cancellation of all flights or a severe illness or injury of a player) that leaves a team without a full lineup to play with, the tournament direction can decide to allow an emergency transfer in disregard of most of the rules in 2.12 .Rule 184.108.40.206 remains in place even for emergency transfers.This rule can only come into play if the team roster had a substitute (coach) but the emergency is not solved by using just that one substitute.
If the rules for legends slots apply to returning Challengers, then another possibility exists, where Cloud9 could register both Golden and Infinite on their roster, with the latter in the coach slot. This would preserve the spot in the tournament, and then the two would switch positions, using the one-time permanent coach swap-in.
This would be the first time the rule was invoked to retain a slot, but was a possibility for ELEAGUE Atlanta when Astralis benched karrigan.
With the IEM Katowice roster lock fast approaching on the first of the new year, an announcement would be expected soon.
Cloud9 did not respond to a request for comment.