After a pretty successful 2018, North American-based team Cloud9 has raised $50 million in Series B funding. The funding was led by Valor Equity Partners, whose owner will be joining the Cloud9 board.
— Timothy Ta (@autimaticTV) October 15, 2018
Joining Valor Equity Partners will be TrueBridge Capital Partners, Reimagined Ventures and Glassdoor founder Robert Hohman. This investment would also be placing Cloud9 in the Forbes Next Billion-Dollar Startups for 2018. Last year, the North American organization would acquire a round of investment equaling out to $25 million. This is a huge step up and represents a push for Cloud9 to improve their company in multiple ways.
For example, according to Forbes, Cloud9 is following the footsteps of fellow North American orgs, TSM, and Team Liquid. They are planning to build a 20,000-to-30,000 square foot training facility for their various teams. This will also act as a home base for the team as well, with all of their staff situated there. Additionally, this will serve as a hub for esports growth within the youth communities. Dan Fiden would state that he hopes these facilities become “the esports analogue to a little league diamond.” Granted, Cloud9 has been one of the most successful esports organizations in the world. Improving the quality of their facilities would be a reasonable venue for their newfound fortunes.
Improvements to Teams?
Another place that Cloud9 could use some of their newfound investments would be in their individual esports teams. Their main attraction, the Cloud9 League of Legends team, is doing quite well right now. The team is currently in the top-eight portion of the League of Legends World Championship, a feat that not many Western teams have been able to accomplish. However, their other teams could use a boost.
For example, their competitive Counter-Strike team has been struggling throughout 2018. After the team would win North America’s first Major championship, the team would lose two key members in Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip and Tarik “tarik” Celik. From then on, Cloud9’s CSGO roster would be in limbo, with the team acquiring pieces but not finding much success. With a bit more funds, Cloud9 can now afford to possibly acquire some better talent, either from the blossoming North American scene or from Europe.
Their Overwatch League team, the London Spitfire, has been one of the more successful stories for the team. The team would end being one of the best in the league, capping off a great season by winning the inaugural Overwatch League championship. Still, there could be places to improve the already stacked team. Also, the Spitfire will have plenty of new competition to head off against after the addition of eight more teams to the league this offseason. If they are to keep up with the competition, they will need to add more firepower to their lineup. Maybe even adding substitutes to help ease the load from their star players could be good for mental and physical rest.
All in all, Jack Etienne’s little “mom-and-pop” business has become an international icon in the esports business. Their success has given them rewards like no other, but there couldn’t be another team more deserving. We hope that 2019 is a successful year for Cloud9!
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