CS:GO

Swag announces CSGO retirement to pursue future in Riot’s Project A

by Andrew Amos
DreamHack

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The prodigal son of North American Counter-Strike, Braxton ‘swag’ Pierce, has announced his retirement from CS:GO on February 27, instead setting his sights on conquering Riot Games' upcoming Project A release.

After over five years in Valve prison with a permanent suspension, Swag is finally releasing himself to try and go pro ⁠— in another game.

The CS:GO prodigy is allegedly swapping allegiances to Riot’s upcoming FPS title Project A, with the player retiring from the Valve title on February 27.

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“I have decided to take a step back from competitive CS,” he said. “Although I may still stream CS in the future, my main goal is to await the release of Project A and put my ambitions of being the best in the world to fruition.”

“Thank you everyone for your support and I hope you guys will continue to support my journey,” he added. “It’s been a fun eight years, and 22,000 hours from 1.6 to Global Offensive (yikes, but I don’t regret any of it).”

Swag’s professional CS:GO career was cut short by the iBuyPower matchfixing scandal of 2015, where the then-18-year-old was banned for life by Valve. This ban was lifted by ESL and DreamHack in 2018, but swag was never made eligible to play in Valve-sponsored Majors.

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His ban has been the subject of a lot of controversy, with many players petitioning for it to be lifted. However, now that he’s moving on, many of those same supporters are wishing him all the best in Project A.

“[Good luck] legend, big loss for all of us,” said MIBR star Gabriel ‘Fallen’ Toledo. “You deserved better but we will be following you no matter what.”

“Riot will be very lucky to have you and azk competing in their game and maybe down the road, you’ll work for them as a game developer when you fully retire,” added CS:GO observer David ‘prius’ Kuntz.

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Project A ⁠— or Valorant, as leaks suggest ⁠— has no set release date, but more information regarding the game has been made available to players in the last week.

Those leaks revealed what some of the characters will look like, while a trademark was filed by Riot for the name Valorant, which could be a hint at the game’s title.