For now, steel will step down from Chaos’ CS:GO lineup to become a full-time VALORANT content creator within Chaos. DeKay and HLTV have reported that he’ll be replaced by Edgar “MarKe” Maldonado, who has entered free agency last week. Steel had been playing Counter-Strike since 2010, when he started his pro career in Counter-Strike: Source. He played for several organizations in CS:GO such as Team Dignitas and Ghost Gaming. He has been a part of Chaos since November 2019.
Steel, perhaps, is mostly known for his stint with iBUYPOWER and the famous match-fixing scandal in 2014. He and three fellow teammates—swag (now known as brax), AZK, and DaZeD—were indefinitely banned from Valve-sponsored tournaments in 2015. While none of the players have been allowed to compete in Valve’s Majors, all four were unbanned by tournament organizers such as ESL, DreamHack, and FACEIT in 2017.
Ban aside, Steel had been developing younger players since 2017. The 30-year-old said in a recent interview to HLTV that his departure from CS:GO was “just a matter of when.” Although Chaos has been on a rise since the additions of Erick “Xeppaa” Bach and Nathan “leaf” Orf in May and June, respectively, the team can’t attend the Majors with steel.
If steel leaves CS:GO, it’s not only Chaos that will be affected, but the North American scene. The region has a lack of in-game leaders and already lost one its most successful in nitr0, who retired from Liquid’s CS:GO team to play VALORANT for 100 Thieves in August, alongside Hiko.
None of the reports said which team steel will play for. But considering that the VALORANT is new, many organizations will likely be interested in the veteran in-game leader.
Update Aug. 31 05:25pm CT: This article was updated after Chaos confirmed steel had stepped down from the CS:GO team to play VALORANT. He will be a full-time content creator under the Chaos banner.