Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham’s Counter Strike: Global Offensive career started during ESEA Season Twelve with Hold Mouse One, which became Curse.NA, which then became iBUYPOWER. After the iBUYPOWER match fixing scandal, Skadoodle was the only one left from the iBUYPOWER team that was not banned by Valve. He was then picked up by Cloud9, where he was able to enjoy a rather fruitful career, and currently is the longest serving member of the roster.

With iBUYPOWER, Skadoodle had a lot of domestic success, but struggled to replicate the consistency of their domestic success on the international stage, with the more noticeable lack of success coming from majors, but at the same time, were able to compete with European teams successfully in other competitions such as ESEA Invite Finals and the FACEIT LANs, where iBUYPOWER were able to constantly finish in first, second or third place.

Throughout 2013, 2014 and 2015, Skadoodle enjoyed a high level of consistent form in the context of both offline and online matches. The North American’s form in 2015, which was his debut year with Cloud9, was rewarded with a spot in HLTV’s “Top 20 Players of 2015” list, where he sat at number twenty.

Skadoodle was an integral part of Cloud9’s successes in 2015. The primary AWPer was a pivotal part of Cloud9’s runs in tournaments such as the ESL ESEA Pro League Finals Season One, ESWC 2015, FACEIT 2015 Stage 2 Finals and the CEVO Pro Finals. These four tournaments became known as the summer of Cloud9, due to their unexpected run of form during that time.

However, the trend of disappointing majors in Skadoodle’s personal career continued. During his time in iBUYPOWER, Skadoodle played at Dreamhack Winter 2013, EMS One: Katowice 2014, ESL One: Cologne 2014 and Dreamhack Winter 2014, in all of which iBUYPOWER failed to qualify from the group stages. This trend was continued with Cloud9, with the team failing to qualify from the group stage at ESL One: Cologne 2015 and Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca 2015. This marked a total of six majors where Skadoodle’s teams were unable to qualify for the playoff stages of the Valve sponsored tournaments.

In late 2015, Sean Gares left Cloud9, and Stewie2k was brought in as his replacement. This meant that Skadoodle and Cloud9 were playing without a dedicated in game leader. As a result, during this transitional and adjustment period for Cloud9, the team and individual players hit a rough patch in terms of form whilst trying to find out what worked for them. The team competed at MLG Columbus 2016, but were unable to qualify from the group stages.

fREAKAZOID left the roster and Cloud9 brought in Slemmy in an attempt to remedy their in game leader dilemma. However, that solution was short lived, as autimatic was brought in to replace Slemmy, and Stewie2k took the reigns. Skadoodle’s form, like the form of the rest of his team, wavered during this transitional period and was not quite the same compared to 2015. However, a trend that did repeat itself was Cloud9’s summer run. With autimatic, the team achieved a second place finish at Northern Arena Toronto 2016, a top four finish at the StarLadder Finals and second at Dreamhack Bucharest. Cloud9 fell to a top twelve finish at ELEAGUE Season Two. Skadoodle and Cloud9 shocked the world as the North Americans won the ESL Pro League Season Four title in Sao Paolo, beating home crowd favourites SK Gaming on home soil. Whilst autimatic was crowned the MVP of the Pro League Finals for Cloud9, Skadoodle showed that he was still able to put up the numbers he had put up in 2015 and prior, as he was a key part of Cloud9’s run. During Cloud9’s summer run in 2016, Skadoodle’s form had hit the high level that Cloud9 fans were used to seeing in 2015.

Skadoodle continued to be solid for Cloud9 towards the end of 2016, performing well at the iBUYPOWER Masters, IEM Oakland, the Americas Minor, ECS Season Two Finals and the ELEAGUE Main Qualifier for the major.

2017 came and it was a rocky start for Cloud9. The team failed to impress at tournaments such as Dreamhack Vegas, IEM Katowice, Dreamhack Austin and the ESL Pro League Finals in Dallas. Cloud9 had won the Americas Minor, only to bomb out of Dreamhack Summer, only to place in the top four of the ECS Season 3 Finals and secure qualification for the PGL Major in Krakow. The team went on to place 2nd at ESL One Cologne 2017 before the major kicked off. Despite Cloud9’s slow start to the year, Skadoodle’s form seemed to be the contrary to his team’s form occasionally. The AWPer performed well at Dreamhack Vegas and at the Americas Minor. He then performed consistently at the ECS Season 3 Finals, the PGL Major Main Qualifier, ESL One Cologne 2017 and the PGL Major itself.

There is no doubt that Skadoodle’s numbers had dropped off since 2015. The player was no longer able to constantly put up these high level, high number performances he was able to under DaZeD and seangares, but he was still able to step up and perform decently when needed.

Cloud9 changed two after the major, with shroud’s retirement and n0thing being removed from the roster, the North Americans elected to bring in the OpTic duo of RUSH and tarik. It did take time for Skadoodle to adjust accordingly, considering it was a change that was sudden. His performances suffered at Dreamhack Malmo and Dreamhack Montreal, despite the team’s top four finish in Montreal. His form recovered for the ELEAGUE Premier, where Cloud9 were able to secure a top four finish, but fell off during ESL One: New York.

Skadoodle was a key member of Cloud9’s first place finish at Dreamhack Denver, and was a solid performer at the iBUYPOWER Masters and IEM Oakland, where they placed first and secured a top four finish.

Cloud9 played at the ECS Season Four finals in Cancun to close out 2017.

In 2018, Cloud9 were in the main qualifier of the ELEAGUE Boston Major. They secured a 3-0 record in the Swiss format of the main qualifier, ensuring their progress into the main major. Skadoodle was a key player during this part of the major, but the real heavy hitting would come later on.

In the group stage of the major, Cloud9 were pushed to the the brink of elimination. After losses to G2 and Space Soldiers, Cloud9 had their work cut out for them. Go big or go home. PGL Krakow marked Skadoodle’s eighth major that his team was unable to qualify from the group stage, and it looked to be a ninth. Cloud9 dug deep, and were able to eliminate the out of form Virtus.pro, beat Vega Squadron and Astralis to secure a spot in the quarterfinals of the major. Skadoodle went big in all of the games after the G2 loss, finishing his Space Soldiers game at an even 18-18, finishing his game against VP with a personal score of 16-9, smacking Astralis around with a score of 19-9 and finishing the Vega Squadron match 13-12.

This ensured Cloud9’s qualification from the group stage, and was Skadoodle’s first ever major playoff berth, breaking the eight major streak of group stage eliminations.

In the quarterfinals, Cloud9 comprehensively beat G2, outplaying them in every aspect. Skadoodle finished the best of three with 31 kills and 24 deaths, with 20 of his kills coming from the AWP.

In the semifinals, Cloud9 would face SK Gaming. In the first map, Mirage, Skadoodle was a huge player, finishing the map with 21 kills, 8 deaths and 107.7 ADR. Skadoodle struggled on the second map, Cobblestone, as SK claimed it to tie up the series 1-1. The third and final map, Inferno, saw Cloud9 win 16-9 and Skadoodle finish with 14 kills. Overall, Skadoodle was a solid presence with the AWP, finishing the series with 43 kills and 41 deaths, with a HLTV rating of 1.02.

Cloud9 qualified for the finals and set up a match with tournament favourites FaZe. Heading into this match, FaZe had the upper hand in the head to head record, winning the last eight of their meetings, with one going into overtime. Cloud9 had yet to record a win against FaZe ever since the superteam was formed. Skadoodle was a key factor in Cloud9’s performance on Mirage, alongside autimatic and RUSH. The AWPer finished Mirage with a 1.42 rating, 27 kills, 16 deaths and 92.4 ADR. The map looked to be Cloud9’s but, FaZe were able to secure the comeback and with that, the map. FaZe and Cloud9 then headed to Overpass, a map that was one of FaZe’s best maps. Unfortunately for FaZe, all of the members of Cloud9 looked solid, with tarik, Skadoodle, autimatic and RUSH putting up 21 kills a piece. Their CT side was enough to keep FaZe’s T side at bay, and despite FaZe’s defences, Cloud9 were able to eventually close it out and finish the match 16-10 to take it to map three, Inferno. Inferno was a rollercoaster ride in terms of stress and emotions for the fans, analysts and commentators, but more importantly for the players. FaZe had won their CT side 8-7, only for Cloud9 to win their CT side 8-7 to bring it into overtime. Throughout this map, Skadoodle was integral in Cloud9’s rounds won. The AWPer was able to pick off key players on the offence, and was able to commit to some fantastic holds in shutting down FaZe’s offence on several occasions, buying his teammates enough time to rotate and clear out the remaining FaZe Clan members. Cloud9 were able to secure the map in double OT.

Skadoodle finished the map with 31 kills, 23 deaths, 71.1 ADR and a HLTV rating of 1.18. In terms of AWP duels, Skadoodle prevailed over GuardiaN. In the total 29 duels they had, Skadoodle won 18, whilst GuardiaN won 11. Overall, Skadoodle finished the best of three series with 79 kills, 55 deaths, 80.9 ADR and a rating of 1.29.

Skadoodle is a player with solid movement, which is critical for an AWPer. AWP players need to be able to get a pick and get out of there just as quickly before they are traded. His ability to flick to players and land the shot, as well as land the easy shots makes him the best North American AWPer that region has had in this iteration of the game. His ability to rifle competently, his deadliness with a pistol on top of his ability to AWP well makes him a lethal player even without the big green gun. Skadoodle, more often than not, is in a good position to easily get one, fall off, come back and get another before being taken out. Overall, he is a solid player both fundamentally and mechanically, as well as having a good mind for the game and the ability to play passively and aggressively, which makes him a solid AWPer on both T and CT sides.

By beating FaZe in the finals of the ELEAGUE Boston Major, Skadoodle and Cloud9 made history in three ways.

Firstly, on a personal level for Skadoodle, this was his first major playoff since the start of his career, which makes the major victory even more impressive, considering this was his first time and he was able to go all the way with his team. Secondly, Cloud9 were finally able to break their drought against FaZe. Thirdly, Cloud9 became the first fully American team to win the a major in any context, and they were able to do it on home soil.

This was huge for all of them, but especially for Skadoodle, considering, throughout all of the majors he has attended throughout his career, he was never able to get into the playoffs.

In many ways, it’s a fantasy story that came true, and is a win that was hard fought until the very end. Cloud9 had to overcome tough foes such as Astralis, G2, SK Gaming and FaZe Clan, all of which have major winning players in their line ups, and players that have been close to winning the most prestigious accolade in Counter Strike.

It is a fantastic achievement for Cloud9, their players, North American Counter Strike and esports, and an incredible individual achievement for Skadoodle, considering the amount of heartbreak he has had at majors in particular.

 

 

About The Author

Jonah
Esports Manager

My first video game was Tonka Construction for the PC. I played that in 2000, at 3 years of age, and have been hooked by video games ever since. I like to dabble in as many games as I possibly can, but nothing can come close to a captivating story, an intense multiplayer experience or a well made RTS game. In 2015, I found what can only be described as passion and love for esports. Now I convey that passion, love and knowledge through articles about esports titles, most notably Counter Strike.