Braxton “swag” Pierce will stand in for Cloud9 at next weekend’s Counter-Strike Summit, according to sources close to the team. Swag will likely step in for Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham, who is recovering after complications from a routine surgery last month.
Pierce was banned permanently from all Valve-sanctioned events in 2016 for match fixing, and he was one of seven people levied with a ban. But he can play in non-Valve sanctioned events as long as tournament organizers allow it. Newfound hope for banned players presented itself when ESL changed its rules so that VAC banned players could return to their tournaments after two years. Ulrich Schulze, the ESL’s vice president of pro gaming, also left the door open to an eventual lift of the ban with regards to ESL/ESEA events.
This will be the second time he has filled in for Cloud9 after previously doing so for Sean Gares at the RGN Pro Series Final in 2015. Cloud9 went on to beat Renegades 2-0 in best-of-three final to win the event.
The CS Summit features eight teams — SK Gaming, OpTic Gaming, Cloud9, EnVyUs, Gambit, Liquid, GODSENT and Ninjas in Pyjamas — and a $150,000 prize pool. It runs April 19-23.
Neither Cloud9 nor Beyond The Summit, which organized the CS Summit, could be reached for comment.
UPDATE (12:23 a.m. Thursday): Beyond The Summit’s David “LD” Gorman confirmed Swag’s addition to the event. “Cloud 9 approached us about letting Braxton play as a stand-in, and we decided to allow him as cs_summit is not a Valve-sponsored event.”
Cover photo by ESL, illustration by Slingshot