Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjærbye has announced that he will take a step back from competitive Counter-Strike in a tweet from his official Twitter account.
Kjaerbye cited health problems as the reason why he was taking the break, including abdominal pain and difficulty breathing. Kjaerbye had recently missed the final matches of ESL One’s Road to Rio, forcing North’s coach, Jimmy “Jumpy” Berndtsson, to play in his stead. The responses to Kjærbye’s tweet were filled with a who’s who of Counter-Strike, all sending good vibes to the rifler.
Hey guys. Over the last couple of months I have experienced abdominal pains, breathing problems and chest cramps, in such manner, that I have had problems playing the game I love on highest level.
I have come to a point, where I need to listen to my body,
— Markus Kjærbye (@KjaerbyeCS) May 15, 2020
Kjærbye told fans that he wasn’t sure how long it would be until he returned to North, but his absence doesn’t bode well his team. Valve’s rules surrounding substitute players are strict and punishing, deducting points from a team each time they make a roster change during the Regional Major tournaments. The new system, put into place after the rescheduling of the ESL One Rio Major, deducts the points teams need to qualify for the Major every time a team makes a roster change. Unfortunately for North, that includes changes those due to injury or illness.
North had already lost points when Jumpy stood in for Kjærbye at the first Regional Major tournament, ESL’s Road to Rio. North is also facing an additional fine of 20% of its points after its choice to replace the rifler with Kristoffer “Kristou” Aamand. North’s Graham Pitt, head of esports operations, said that the team used metrics and analysis from the team when choosing to recruit Kristou.
With Kristou now confirmed for North for at least as long as the upcoming DreamHack Masters tournament, North should settle into their new lineup before the next Regional Major tournament.