The Dane says he’s giving up the mouse because he doesn’t have the desire to compete at the highest level.
Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjærbye has stated that he is quitting from competitive Counter-Strike, leaving behind the HYENAS project with which he was competing while on FaZe’s bench.
The Danish rifler is retiring from the game at the age of 23, but despite his youth, he has a long list of achievements to his name, including becoming the youngest Major MVP at ELEAGUE Major 2017, which he won with Astralis at the age of 18, and making the top 20 players of the year list twice, in 2016 and 2017.
Kjaerbye unexpectedly left Astralis in early 2018 to join North, another Danish team vying to become a powerhouse with the support of F.C. Copenhagen. However, the team never lived up to its potential, winning only one major LAN event, DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018, before Kjaerbye decided to try his luck outside of Denmark. In August of 2020, he joined FaZe, but the international squad failed to produce success at a time when one of the team’s mainstays, Nikola “NiKo” Kova, left for G2, and Kjaerbye was demoted to the bench since he couldn’t regain his best form.
Following his removal from FaZe’s starting lineup, Kjaerbye formed a new Danish team called HYENAS with two former North teammates, Philip “aizy” Aistrup and Nicklas “gade” Gade. However, the new team failed to make an immediate impact, and the former Astralis, North, and FaZe player have decided to retire from competitive gaming.
The 23-year-old has not ruled out the possibility of staying close to Counter-Strike in the future, though he could just as easily pursue other opportunities unrelated to CS, the game to which he has devoted a significant portion of his life over the past decade, and has issued the following statement regarding his decision to retire:
“As a professional Counter-Strike player, it’s time for me to say farewell to gaming.” I’m writing this with a sad heart, but I don’t have the desire or dedication required to compete at the highest level right now. For the past ten years, this game has been a major part of my life, and I believe now is the time for me to expand my horizons and pursue other chances. Work can be done both within and outside the game in the future. We’ll have to wait and see.
“The time has come for me to say goodbye to gaming as a professional Counter-Strike player. It is with a heavy heart I am writing this, but as of right now, I have no longer the hunger and determination it requires to compete on the top level. This game has been a huge part of my life for the past 10 years, and I feel this is the time for me to look for new horizons and opportunities. Future work can be both inside and outside the game. Time will tell.
“It has been a fantastic rollercoaster ride, which has given me way more than I have ever imagined when I started playing video games. To this day a big part of this adventure still feels surreal. Like with every other career it has brought many ups and downs – they have all made me stronger, and ultimately in many ways also shaped me into the person I am today.
“I want to thank the organizations that picked me up and believed in me. Thanks to every colleague and teammate, with whom I have traveled all over the world – it has been a blast! And a big hug goes out to all my fans, family, and friends, who followed me in good as well as bad times.
“Thanks for everything guys!”
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