Something about this math doesn't quite add up.
After Cloud9 released its previous Halo Infinite roster at the end of 2022, a team that had just taken a close second-place finish at the Halo World Championship, it was believed that the previously partnered organization was taking its leave from the scene before year two.
But today, with qualifiers for the opening Charlotte Major next week, C9 debunked those beliefs and made a surprise announcement that it will be fielding a team for Halo Infinite after all in the 2023 season. The only issue is that, as of right now, that team only consists of three players.
With its previous roster of Bound, Eco, Pznguin, and Stellur now operating under the banner of Spacestation Gaming, C9 has picked up the remaining fragments of the old Oxygen Esports and Gamers First rosters. Kyle “Nemassist” Kubina and James “TritoN” Bolling made an impressive run at the World Championship, obtaining a top-six finish with the Oxygen squad in a stunning underdog run. Nathan “Squallaye” Kostal spent the entire 2022 season with G1, one marked with massive highs like a top-two finish at the NA Super in August and the devastating low of a top-12 exit at Worlds.
The squad of three had been competing with Str8 SicK, a former G2 Esports player, during the Spacestation Spartan Showdown in January. The lack of Str8 SicK in this announcement, however, suggests that since then, the roster has been on the hunt for a new fourth. It’s an unsurprising move to make after their run in the Spartan Showdown came to an end with a top-12 placement.
Related: OpTic H3CZ says Cloud9 backing out led to Halo Invitational getting postponed
No matter what fourth player C9 chooses to complete the team, it will have some large shoes to fill after the impressive legacy that the 2022 team left behind. Securing consistent grand finals appearances and taking home two LAN tournament wins throughout the year, C9 cemented itself as one of the most dominant organizations in the scene alongside OpTic Gaming. It’s hard to imagine that the new players will be able to reach the same heights with competition set to be better than ever this year.
Fans will be able to see the new C9 Halo roster in action next week when the Charlotte Major qualifiers go live from Feb. 13 to 14.