Former Astralis and North CS:GO player Markus ‘Kjaerbye’ Kjærbye has signed with UK-based organization Endpoint.
The announcement comes two months after the Danish player revealed in an exclusive interview with Dexerto that he was coming back to competitive CS:GO after retiring from the game in June 2021.
Kjaerbye joins Endpoint as a replacement for Mohammad ‘BOROS’ Malhas, who was moved to the bench in May. He has been practicing with the team for several weeks, even playing for them as a stand-in in an open qualifier for ESL Challenger Valencia.
This is the second international challenge for Kjaerbye, who remains the youngest-ever player to win a CS:GO Major. Between August 2020 and January 2021, he played for FaZe before the North American organization acquired Russel ‘Twistzz’ Van Dulken from Team Liquid.
“I’m delighted to say I have found the ideal place to pick up my rifle again with Endpoint”, Kjaerbye said in a statement.
“The people behind Endpoint, and the culture they have created, have again and again shown they have the structures to allow players to maximize their potential, which is exactly what I’m looking for.”
On Endpoint, Kjaerbye will be coached by fellow Dane Allan ‘Rejin’ Petersen, who returned to activity on May 25 after serving his near 20-month ban for using the spectator bug during his time in charge of Tricked.
A new version of himself
Kjaerbye told Dexerto in April that he was in a much better place after struggling with mental health issues in the years that followed the highly-scrutinized transfer from Astralis to North in 2018.
He had reached the top of the game with Astralis, winning ELEAGUE Major Atlanta in 2017, but he struggled to find the same level of success with North. Even more stinging for him was that Astralis went on to become the best team in the history of Counter-Strike with Emil ‘Magisk’ Reif in his place.
After hanging up his mouse and keyboard, Kjaerbye worked at his father’s café and at a psychology firm. But as the weeks went on, he could feel the hunger to compete return to him.
Before the end of the year, after his application to complete Denmark’s four-month military training was turned down, Kjaerbye decided it was time to ‘unretire’, though he waited until April to announce his comeback as he wanted to make sure it was not a spur-of-the-moment action.
Kjaerbye believes he has found the right balance for him after adjusting his daily routines, which now include meditation, physical training and proper nutrition. His new approach goes against the sort of grind mentality that is prevalent in esports, but he has in Endpoint a believer.
“There is no denying the caliber of talent and experience he will bring to the lineup,” Endpoint CEO Adam Jessop said in a statement. “After having a number of conversations with him, I fully believe that he is as passionate and focused as ever, ready to continue his CS career again, and that we can help him along that journey.
“His renewed focus on physical and mental wellbeing resonates with our own objectives and was a key factor in the decision for both parties.”
Kjaerbye will make his official debut for Endpoint at ESL Pro League Season 16 Conference in Jönköping, Sweden. The tournament, scheduled for June 16-20, will have six spots in the main stage of Pro League up for grabs.
Endpoint CS:GO roster
- Max ‘MiGHTYMAX’ Heath
- Kia ‘Surreal’ Man
- Joey ‘CRUC1AL’ Steusel
- Guy ‘Nertz’ Iluz
- Markus ‘Kjaerbye’ Kjærbye
- Allan ‘Rejin’ Petersen (coach)
- Mohammad ‘BOROS’ Malhas (benched)