Prominent CS:GO veteran, Damian ‘daps’ Steele, has officially resigned from his role with Gen.G Esports, prompting massive speculation that the reputable pro could be transitioning to Valorant.
Steele has been an active player in the Counter-Strike scene since 2012 and has been an in-game leader across every team he’s played for, most notably including rosters like Team Liquid, OpTic Gaming, and NRG Esports.
After a three year stint with NRG, Steele transitioned from time with Cloud9 to around a year playing with Gen.G Esports, who found success led by the Canadian veteran, but ultimately failed to crack the competitive game’s upper echelon. Following some middling performances, in which Gen.G went lost four of their last five matches, daps has decided to step down from the active roster.
As of today, @daps has stepped down from Gen.G's CSGO roster.
From leading us to our first LAN victory in Anaheim to clutch wins online, you've helped shape the Gen.G CSGO journey. Thank you for all your hard work and drive every step of the way ? pic.twitter.com/p5zFyukVUi
— Gen.G Esports (@GenG) September 11, 2020
While the team thanked daps for his leadership and role in helping them achieve their “first LAN victory in Anaheim,” the veteran took to Twitter to explain his thinking and subsequent intentions more elaborately.
Generally, he explained that the move should be mutually beneficial as he has grown burnt out by the rigors of competitive Counter-Strike and that a departure from competition had been on his mind for months.
Moving on from Gen.Ghttps://t.co/O7dG3eJ2y7
Will still finish out EPL with the team until they find a 5th or standin
— daps (@daps) September 11, 2020
Among his reasons, he mentioned that there were “some in- and out-of-game changes” that he would have liked to be implemented over the past six months, and that factors like relentless scheduling in the online era of CS:GO were hard on his mental state. (Unsurprisingly, these are issues cited by other members of the CS community, like Moses and HenryG.)
What should be of biggest interest to fans is daps’ intentions now that he is leaving Gen.G. In his post, he explains his thoughts on the future: “I still love CS and would ideally like to IGL a team I feel is the right fit for me, but if moving on as a player or leaving CS is the route I have to take, then I will cross that bridge when I know more.”
My people will be talking to your people.
— TSM Subroza (@Subroza) September 11, 2020
Although daps asserts that he would like to continue in CS and that he will continue playing for Gen.G until they find a replacement, Valorant fans and pros alike have focused on his remark that “leaving CS” is a possibility.
Like Nicholas ‘nitr0’ Cannella, numerous CS veterans have made the transition to Valorant and found success. In replies to daps’ tweet, Team SoloMid’s Yassine ‘Subroza’ Taoufik suggested that he would like his team to reach out about daps’ availability.
Should the veteran Counter-Strike IGL decide to switch over, there ought to be plenty of opportunity. Rosters like T1 and 100 Thieves both have immediate vacancies and, as proved by recent flurries in player movement, spots could quickly open up on teams like TSM as well.