Astralis coach Danny “zonic” Sørensen has admitted that he would have liked to keep Patrick “es3tag” Hansen in the team but that Cloud9‘s offer proved too good for the player to resist. The 24-year-old will complete the move only after DreamHack Open Fall — his final tournament for Astralis —, switching sides just four months into his contract with the current No.1-ranked team.
“I wanted to keep Patrick on board, but as in any other sport, there are areas of the game besides the sports side of things that are out of my hands,” zonic said on Twitter. “Patrick deserves to play every game he wants and I understand his decision completely so I encourage all Astralis fans to support him for this final run! I sincerely hope I get to work with this man again.”
zonic also heaped praise on es3tag, who was able to lock down a place in the starting lineup despite spending over three months on the sidelines following his benching by Heroic. He has averaged a 1.12 rating for Astralis, helping the team to reclaim the No.1 spot in the rankings after last week’s ESL Pro League Season 12 victory.
“Being out for several months and then coming back in the fashion he did is nothing but amazing,” the Danish coach said. “es3tag is one of those guys who deserve everything coming to him and Cloud9 will sign one of the most dedicated and hard-working players we have.”
es3tag is the third high-profile signing made by Cloud9, who previously splashed the cash to buy Alex “ALEX” McMeekin and Özgür “woxic” Eker from Vitality and mousesports, respectively. The team will make their first appearance later this month in Betway Nine to Five 5, a tournament which they will use as preparation for Flashpoint 2, which will have $1 million at stake.