Cloud9 acquires Evil Geniuses 2024 BLAST Premier Member Team slot

Image of Cloud9 counter strike team standing on stage with BLAST Premier trophy in foreground
Image credit: BLAST Premier, Cloud9

North American esports organisation Cloud9 will become a BLAST Premier Member Team for the 2024 season.

The organisation has acquired the member team slot that was previously owned by North American esports organisation Evil Geniuses.

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Cloud9 becomes the 12th BLAST Premier Member team joining the likes of Astralis, Team Vitality, FaZe Clan, and Team Liquid. According to a release, Cloud9 acquired the spot following a ‘competitive bidding process’. Financial information regarding the price of the slot has not been disclosed.

Founded in 2013, Cloud9 has achieved a wealth of success in Counter-Strike esports. The organisation won the ELEAGUE Boston Major in 2018 and recently competed in the 2023 BLAST Premier World Final, taking home $25,000 (~£19,712) in prize money after placing in the top six.

A bidding process was triggered following Evil Geniuses’ decision to sell its BLAST Premier member slot. In addition to leaving the Counter-Strike esports tournament circuit, the organisation left the LCS along with Golden Guardians following Riot Games’ decision to downsize the league from ten to eight.

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Aside from its Counter-Strike efforts, Cloud9 continues to expand its partnership portfolio. In October 2023, it partnered with KIA America, the American brand of Korean automotive marque KIA.

Cloud9’s BLAST partner team status looks likely to be short-term considering that Counter-Strike developer Valve will be putting an end to the semi-franchised partner team model in 2025.

Jack Etienne, Co-founder and CEO of Cloud9, spoke on the news: “I am thrilled to announce Cloud9’s participation in BLAST Premier.

“Joining this prestigious league reflects our commitment to excellence and competitiveness on a global stage. We look forward to showcasing the skill and determination of our talented players as we continue our CS2 journey with BLAST Premier.”

Jonno Nicholson
Jonno is a Freelance News Writer for Esports Insider and has been part of the ESI team since 2019! His interests include the rapid rise of sim racing and its impact on the wider industry.