Shazz CSGO

“She played hard”: CSGO community mourns passing of pro ShazZ

By Olivia Richman


May 28, 2023

Reading time: 3 min

The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive community’s hearts collectively broke over the weekend when it was revealed that Sharon “ShazZ” Waison passed away.

The cause of ShazZ’s untimely death has not been made public, but the South African CSGO pro had been dealing with complicated medical issues for years. She most recently was dealing with COVID while getting dialysis. On her Twitter bio, ShazZ has written that she was fighting kidney failure.

In 2017, ShazZ was on the donor waiting list for a kidney transplant after lupus, a chronic illness, attacked her vital organs. She started dialysis near the end of that year.

“I’m lucky in that I’m healthy enough to go overseas. My doctor has given me the go ahead. It isn’t going to come without a bit of management from my side. I’ll need to do dialysis for five hours on the day I leave for China and then do five hours of dialysis on the day I return to South Africa. It won’t conflict with the event or our time at WESG,” she told Red Bull at the time.

Now, the CSGO community is mourning her loss. But they are also remembering the talented player’s strength and determination. Top FPS observer Heather “sapphiRe” Garozzo and ShazZ’s former teammate called her a “fighter.” Sam “Tech Girl” Wright said ShazZ “played hard” but “fought harder,” remaining a loyal friend and smashing stereotypes despite her health issues.

Who is CSGO pro ShazZ?

The talented FPS player started her pro CSGO career in 2015 as a member of Team Karma. With ShazZ on the squad, the 2015 Copenhagen Games became one of the few times that South Africa claimed gold at an international CSGO event.

ShazZ was instantly on everyone’s radar thanks to her immense skill level and fearless determination. She played on mixed teams, oftentimes the only woman in the entire tournament, becoming a top player in the South African scene and competing with the most well-known teams.

CSGO is continuously thought of as a tough scene for women, but ShazZ was one of the pioneers of inclusivity. She paved the way for other talented women with her scary accuracy as well as her courage. She never backed down, whether it was competing in a room full of men or dealing with life-threatening health complications.

ShazZ eventually retired, but her important role in competitive CSGO was never forgotten.

“I have achieved things from gaming I never thought I could do. I’ve managed to tick off things from my bucket list and, while this might sound cheesy, I even found love through gaming,” ShazZ said. “Gaming has saved my life and that is something I will never forget.”


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