Why Cloud9 Should Think Twice Before Signing Boombl4 (Rumors)

Boombl4 transfer rumors

Tonight, there have been rumors circulating, suggesting that Boombl4 has signed a contract with Cloud9. Our project aims to enhance transparency in the Esports ecosystem for new investments and opportunities. In this article, we'll discuss whether it's a wise decision for an American organization to sign Russian players and why it might not be.

In April 2022, Cloud9 acquired the Gambit roster for $1 million. This transaction occurred just two months before Russia initiated a full-scale war in Ukraine. Given the time required for such deals, it implies that negotiations between Gambit and Cloud9 took place while the Russian army was in proximity to Kyiv. This would have posed significant risks for the American organization.

We acknowledge that, from a business perspective, acquiring Gambit-tier players for $1 million was a valuable move that saved Gambit's organization and its players.

Now, it appears they have signed Boombl4, the former NAVI IGL who was removed from the team in May 2022 due to reputational risks. In May 2022, shortly after the Cloud9 deal, Boombl4's girlfriend Liqueen, who had previously worked in the escort industry (where Boombl4 met her, as confirmed by both parties), posted a picture on Instagram expressing pride in being Russian. This image featured Russian tanks in the background during a rehearsal of a Russian military parade in Moscow.

fotoram.io-5-64-600x450

Boombl4 and Liqueen became a hot topic in the Eastern-European Esports community and general news in May, leading to NAVI's decision to part ways with the player on May 24, 2022. Shortly after, Boombl4 announced his divorce on June 8. It was revealed that he had spent 28 million rubles ($0.5 million) on her needs. Boombl4 remained without a team until February 2023 when he was signed by 1WIN, operated by the Russian gambling company 1WIN.

It now appears that Cloud9 paid 1WIN approximately $250-300K (our estimation) for this transfer, or potentially less than $100K if his contract is set to expire soon.

boombl4

So, What's the Issue with Cloud9?

As mentioned earlier, signing Russian players who are against the war and have left the country is not a problem. It could even showcase the positive impact of the Western environment on players' behavior, thoughts, and mindset. While these players didn't initiate the war themselves, we believe they should demonstrate to the world that Russian people can integrate and become responsible members of new countries who respect the law and opportunities provided to them. However, in April 2023 (a year after the Cloud9 deal), sh1ro jokingly claimed in an interview that he didn't know a single word of English. To be fair, a recent video from Cloud9 suggests that he has since learned some English words.

sh1ro's interview

The issue, in our opinion, is that the US organization doesn't encourage these players to embrace new opportunities beyond their massive salaries, which they will likely spend in Russia. Russian former FaZe analyst Innersh1ne moved to Aurora, and soon he will be signed by another Russian gambling company BetBoom. This further illustrates the trend of Russian players and personnel moving within the industry and raises questions about the financial flow and support for these individuals, potentially contributing to the ongoing conflict. This spending in Russia, especially with a 20% VAT, indirectly supports the war in Ukraine.

These players have no obligations outside of Counter-Strike, don't promote anti-war campaigns, and may easily return to Russia once they've accumulated wealth from US organizations.

Another concern is that Cloud9's actions may set a precedent for other organizations to sign Russian players without considering their reputations. If Cloud9 can do it, why can't others? We know of at least two cases of signing such players.

In this way, Cloud9 appears to endorse a Russian player with a questionable reputation while Russia continues its aggression in an independent country under EU/NA sanctions. It seems that supporting Russian players, Russian academies, and the money they spend on Russian escorts after their contracts expire is not a problem for the US organization.

Summary

In our view, any organization should carefully consider signing a Russian player, especially one with a dubious reputation. Since no one appears to be raising objections, we hope this article serves as a reminder to think twice. By investing in Russian players, organizations indirectly support individuals who may return to Russia once their contracts are up, potentially furthering the ongoing conflict. Cloud9 must decide whether they want to support escorts or Esports.

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