Freakazoid, Zellsis, other CSGO pros leave for Valorant esports

Olivia R. May 11, 2020

Ryan "freakazoid" Abadir is the latest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pro to leave the scene to pursue a career in Riot Games' new first-person shooter, Valorant. 

"Sometimes life says out with the old and gotta go with the new. I'm quitting CS and going to be playing Valorant," freakazoid tweeted earlier today. 

The 27-year-old CSGO veteran was in the pro Counter-Strike scene for 10 years. He played for Cloud9 in 2015 with Mike "shroud" Grzesiek and Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert. They had a successful run solidifying freakazoid as a favorite player. He later played for Echo Fox, Ghost Gaming, and eUnited. While his teams didn't fair as well as the all-star Cloud9 roster once did, he remained a prominent figure in the scene. 

But now he is looking to dominate the Valorant esports scene, which Riot has yet to reveal any official tournaments or clear plans for. 

"I can't wait to be a part of the team that competes at worlds, or whatever it's called, and fuck shit up against teams world-wide," freakazoid tweeted. 

CSGO pros have sights set on Valorant

freakazoid isn't the only CSGO player to announce Valorant plans. In fact, he isn't even the most recent. Soon after freakazoid's retirement tweet, Jordan "Zellsis" Montemurro also shared similar news. 

"I will be playing Valorant from now on. This decision took some time for me to make, but I hope it holds nothing but the best for the future," Zellsis stated in a TwitLonger

Zellsis' reason for leaving Counter-Strike was his fruitless search for a team. This was slowed down even more by recent events as well as the CSGO scenes' sometimes diminishing returns at the lower tiers of professoinal play. He noted that there's not a lot of "support" for lower tier organizations. 

"I want to thank all my fans that have supported me, from the start, to now. I’ve been playing CS for a while and hope that you guys will continue to support me in my next steps into Valorant," Zellsis concluded. 

Leonardo "Laski" Arroyo also posted a TwitLonger with a similar sentiment to the other CSGO players. Despite playing Counter-Strike since he was 10 years old, Laski stated that Valorant has "reignited my desire to compete." 

"I've been playing Valorant nonstop since the release of the beta," he said. "I'll always love [CSGO], but it's time for something new," Laksi commented. 

Laski told his followers that nothing will be changing with his stream and that he'll continue to grind on Twitch until he finds a Valorant team. 

Earlier this month, Jacob "kaboose" MacDonald also announced a switch to Valorant. He officially retired from the competitive CSGO scene on May 6, despite CS being "in his blood" since the age of four. 

"I was competing since the age of 12," kaboose said in a TwitLonger. "Shout outs to everyone I've met over the years online or at the 27 LAN events I attended over my career, and to all the organizations who made competing possible for me. I hope to see you guys in the servers in Valorant!" 

Valorant has been compared to CSGO since its release, thanks to its similar focus on mechanics, familiar map styles, and gameplay. Despite the addition of abilities, well known CSGO streams and pros have been dominating the Valorant scene during its closed beta, most likely getting ready for when Riot announces an official esport plan and format.