Braxton “Swag” Pierce has announced his retirement from professional CS:GO to pursue Riot’s Project A upon its release. As a result, he has stepped down from Swole Patrol’s roster.
“I have decided to take a step back from competitive Counter-Strike,” Swag said on Twitter. “Although I may still stream CS:GO in the future, my main goal is to await the release of Project A and put my ambitions of being the best in the world to fruition. It’s been a fun eight years, and 22,000 hours from 1.6 to CS:GO, but I don’t regret any of it.”
Swag has been banned from Valve majors since his participation in the iBuyPower cheating scandal that rocked competitive CS:GO in 2015. Since his ban, after time served, a number of tournament organizers unbanned Swag and his teammates from play, including ESL and Dreamhack at the advice of the Esports Integrity Coalition.
However, Valve remained steadfast in their decision to keep Swag and his former iBuyPower teammates banned from Majors. This is despite massive community support to “Free Swag,” which ultimately proved fruitless.
Riot’s Project A, rumored to be titled Valorant, is a tactical 5v5 shooter that will feature some abilities designed to enhance gunplay. It’s been called “the best game since CS:GO” by famed caster HenryG, who was invited to Riot to test the game alongside many pros. These same pros had positive impressions of the game, which no doubt have inspired Swag to give Riot’s new FPS a shot.
Swag will likely not be the last player attracted to Project A. The game is expected to have some talent drain on other major FPS esports, including Overwatch, CS:GO, Rainbow Six, and others.