James “Firebat” Kostesich will be joining North American-based Cloud9, into a roster that features the most number of star talents in the game.
He will be joining the Cloud9 Hearthstone team alongside Aleksandr “Kolento” Malsh, Cong “StrifeCro” Shu, Jan “Ekop” Palys, and Andrew “TidesofTime” Biessener. It was Kostesich’s friendship with those players and being part of a star studded lineup that prompted his decision to sign on to the team.
He had also been considering the option of remaining independent, but having a team to take care of sponsorship and other administrative issues would clearly make life in pro circuits easier.
For the last month, Kostesich was on free agent before joining his new team, departing from Jason “Amaz” Chan’s Archon which he helped found in November 2014.
Kostesich claimed that the team had not paid him owed money and revealed mistreatment against him in the team house, which Archon disputed. Both team and players had cleared the air since then.
Every team in Hearthstone – including some eSports team which had yet to enter the game – wanted his signature as soon as he was on the market. And although Kostesich represented Tempo Storm in the Red Bull Team Brawl event, both sides did not reach a contractual agreement.
There was little argument against this craze, as Kostesich was owner of six major Hearthstone titles and top prize money earner in both 2014 and 2015 with almost $220,000 career winnings.