Former 100 Thieves and EXTREMUM player Sean ‘Gratisfaction’ Kaiwai has told Dexerto that he is once again flirting with the idea of moving over to Valorant.
The New Zealander is currently mulling over his options after he and the rest of his EXTREMUM team were benched in the aftermath of a failed qualifying campaign for PGL Major Stockholm.
Gratisfaction has made no secret of his attraction to the idea of one day switching to Valorant. In October 2020, shortly after 100 Thieves withdrew from the Counter-Strike scene, he revealed that he was open to offers in CS:GO and Valorant.
He ended up staying in CS:GO after Russian organization EXTREMUM came in and brought the team back together. But after a disappointing season, Gratisfaction finds himself right back to where he was a year ago. He is at a crossroads with some decisions to make.
I'm on the bench and LFT if anyone's lookin for a good man!
Open to offers in CS or Valorant
Currently in Europe but I'll relocate wherever I'm needed 🤓
— Gratisfaction (@Gratisfaction) November 12, 2021
“If I get the right offer to stay in CS, then I’ll probably stay,” he told Dexerto. “But I think I’d be keener to make the swap. I’d love to continue in CS, but I feel that it’s too hard to get into a team at this point.”
Learning the ropes
These days, Gratisfaction spends his time grinding Valorant and learning the finer points of the game. There’s a little bit of a learning curve but he’s enjoying the feeling of doing something new after playing CS:GO every day for several years.
“It was a rough start, I’ll tell you that much,” he said. “I hadn’t played the game in like eight months or something longer than that. And the meta had changed a lot, you know?
“It took a week or so to get used to all the gimmicky stuff, but I’m enjoying it. It’s fun.”
Gratisfaction is still in Serbia, which, with its relaxed travel restrictions, has been a safe haven for esports players during the global health crisis.
If he does make the switch to Valorant, he will pack his bags once again. A return to New Zealand is not out of the equation, but his preference is to once again compete in North America, where “there’s a bigger pool of players who are more eager to prove themselves.”
“If a good enough offer comes up in Australia and I believe in it, then I would obviously go home and try it out there,” he said. “But I think overseas is where it’s at.
“The borders are starting to open up again in Australia and New Zealand, so I think it will be easier for those teams to compete in international tournaments, but I think even the best Australian team right now is living in America.
“You’re always going to have good competition if you go overseas. That’s why it’s just best to live overseas if you’re trying to make it.”
Main career goal
The EXTREMUM setback won’t take away from the incredible heights that Gratisfaction rose to during the two years that he spent in North America with Renegades and 100 Thieves.
He made the playoffs of the IEM Katowice and StarLadder Berlin Majors, and reached the grand finals of IEM Beijing and ESL Pro League Season 12: North America. It was such a surreal experience that he sometimes wasn’t sure how to process it all.
As he ponders about his next move, there’s a milestone he is eager to cross off his list. He is yet to lift a major trophy in his career so far, something that he hopes will change in 2022, wherever his career takes him next.
“I really just want to win something,” he said. “That’s my main goal for now.
“I really want to get back into a team and win a big event. I want a trophy. I don’t want to finish playing professionally until I get a trophy.”