Kjaerbye retires from Counter-Strike

The Danish rifler is stepping away from the professional scene due to a lack of hunger and determination.

Photo via StarLadder

Danish CS:GO Major winner and MVP Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjærbye has retired from Counter-Strike at an elite level, he announced today.

“The time has come for me to say goodbye to gaming as a professional Counter-Strike player,” Kjaerbye said. “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 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.”

The rifler’s decision to retire from professional play comes at the age of 23. He was a part of the Astralis roster that won the first CS:GO Major for the organization at ELEAGUE Atlanta in January 2017, where he was elected the MVP. Despite being on the best Danish CS:GO team, Kjaerbye opted to move to North in 2018, Astralis’ biggest rival at the time. But the team never fulfilled its potential and only won one tier-one event, the DreamHack Masters Stockholm in September 2018.

He made headlines in May 2020 when he was temporarily moved to North’s bench due to experiencing abdominal pains, breathing problems, and chest cramps. Kjaerbye didn’t play for North again and joined FaZe Clan in August 2020. But the team struggled and only had middling results, with the rifler failing to show his past form.

Kjaerbye was moved to FaZe’s bench in January 2021 and had been most recently playing with two of his former North teammates, Philip “⁠aizy⁠” Aistrup and Nicklas “⁠gade⁠” Gade, on a non-sponsored team called HYENAS since March. The team, though, hasn’t accomplished any notable results so far, which may have motivated him to step away from the professional scene.

Even though his last years weren’t the best, Kjaerbye retires as one of the best Danish CS:GO players. Given that he said he’s retiring from professional Counter-Strike, it’s possible that he’ll remain involved with the scene as a content creator moving forward—and the door would certainly be open if he wants to try his hand at VALORANT.

“It has been a fantastic rollercoaster ride, which has given me way more than I have ever imagined when I started playing video games,” Kjaerbye said. “To this day a big part of this adventure still feels surreal. As 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.”