One of the most accomplished players in Call of Duty history, three-time world champion Damon 'Karma' Barlow, has today announced his retirement from competitive play, effective immediately.
In the midst of the inaugural Call of Duty League season, Seattle Surge announced on June 3 that veteran competitor Karma would be stepping down. Barlow competed for close to a decade with a wide array of teams, and is now retiring as the second-highest console esports earner of all time.
Many consider the 26-year-old to be the greatest Call of Duty player of all time. The veteran star stands out from the competitive pack with three Championship rings to his name, more than any other competitor in the history of the game.
Damon "Karma" Barlow has chosen to retire from competitive play. Congratulations to without question the greatest of all time. 🐐🐐🐐 pic.twitter.com/iAekHPmwsd
— Seattle Surge (@SeattleSurge) June 4, 2020
"To all the fans that have followed me throughout my entire career from my three championship seasons through to today with those in the city of Seattle, I'd like to say thank you for your support as I enter the next chapter in my life," he said.
"I think this was something I needed to do a while ago," he followed up in a separate series of tweets. "Didn't enjoy running around with an MP55 and just had 0 desire to get on and play the game. It was my choice and I'm happy with it."
I think this was something I needed to a do a while ago. Game wasn't really catered to me. Didn't enjoy running around with an mp5 and just had 0 desire to get on and play the game. I was pretty bad tbh and I think they could do better without me. Kind of like how WW2 ended BUT
— Damon B (@DKarma) June 4, 2020
Karma has been a staple in some of the most formidable dynasties in competitive CoD history. From his dominant reign with CompLexity to the unforgettable OpTic Gaming run, the veteran has been atop the scene longer than anyone.
Modern Warfare will be the final game in his storied career, however, as Karma added that he “will not be back.” Regardless of how 2020’s release shapes up, nor how the competitive scene evolves with the new league structure, he appears to be stepping away from the esport as a whole.
“I think I can play new CoDs for about a month before I get over playing the game,” he said. While he may continue streaming casually on Twitch, his run with the Seattle Surge could be the final chapter in his competitive career. He later teased he'll "be back" with a GIF of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Perhaps a coaching role is around the corner for the veteran player?
Seattle Surge has battled through a season of internal struggles, roster shakeups, and subpar performances. With five regular-season events left in 2020, the team will have to find a new fifth to play things out.
Karma has laid out one of the most extraordinary console esports careers of all time - one that will not soon be trumped.