Counter-Strike legend TaZ announces retirement after 20-year career
Polish Counter-Strike icon Wiktor ‘TaZ’ Wojtas has announced his retirement from competition with immediate effect.
The 36-year-old announced his decision in a brief Twitter post with the caption: “I retire. See you around”. He did not mention his future plans or whether he intends to remain involved in esports.
The announcement comes just two days after HONORIS ceased all operations due to financial issues. The organization had been created by TaZ and his longtime friend and teammate Filip ‘NEO’ Kubski in 2020 with the goal of nurturing young Polish talent.
Oftentimes, TaZ and NEO ended up covering the team’s expenses out of their own pocket. “The players and associates always received their salaries on time and could count on the organization’s support,” HONORIS said in the statement announcing the organization’s closure.
TaZ was one of the oldest and most experienced players still active in the Counter-Strike scene, with a career that went back to as early as 2001. He and NEO were part of what was dubbed the ‘Golden Five’, the Polish team that dominated the Counter-Strike 1.6 circuit between 2006 and 2008.
During his time playing under organizations like Team Pentagram, Meet Your Makers and Frag eXecutors – and sometimes while competing under no organization at all – TaZ won some of the biggest 1.6 tournaments in the world, including World Cyber Games 2006, 2009 and 2011, ESWC 2008, WEG e-Stars 2010 and 2011, and Intel Extreme Masters I and VI.
TaZ remained at the top following the transition to CS:GO, though it would take him some time to lift trophies again. Between 2014 and 2017, his Virtus.pro team won several titles, including the EMS One Katowice 2014 Major, ELEAGUE Season 1 and DreamHack Masters Las Vegas 2017. They also came close to winning a second Major title at ELEAGUE Major Atlanta 2017, but lost in the final to Astralis.
In 2018, after a run of mixed results, TaZ was benched by Virtus.pro. He went on to play for Team Kinguin, devils.one and Aristocracy before creating HONORIS, whose team peaked at No. 43 in the world rankings.
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CS:GO community pays tribute to TaZ
On Twitter, many community figures paid tribute to TaZ and thanked him for his contributions to the game over the last two decades.
“Sad news in the world of Counter-Strike,” said Vitality coach Danny ‘zonic’ Sørensen, who faced TaZ’s teams many times during his playing career. “[An] impressive and long career, my friend. Poland and the world are proud of you!”
French CS:GO legend Kenny ‘kennyS’ Schrub said: “Happy retirement. You had an amazing career, legend! Prague will forever be one of my best memory as a player.”
BIG captain Johannes ‘tabseN’ Wodarz said: “Legend. Thanks for all the memories.”