No professional Hearthstone player in the game's history has won more prize money than Thijs Molendijk.
With over $500,000 in career earnings, according to esportsearnings.com, the Nederlands native announced on Saturday morning that he would no longer be competing in the game's professional circuit titled Hearthstone Grandmasters.
After struggling in the most recent season of Grandmasters, Thijs was relegated after Europe's elite battled it out for weeks on end. Finishing 12th out of 16 individuals, the popular competitor, content creator, and staple of the scene for nearly eight years announced he would not seek to requalify down the road.
In a TwitLonger shared on his Twitter account, this decision was one Thijs felt comfortable with and had been contemplating:
"The decision to leave [Grandmasters] was already in my mind last season where I already wrote a simular(sp) message on paper. I wanted to give it one more try this season and see if it was a temporally(sp) feeling that would maybe just vanish away. But I've realized the feeling actually got even stronger and decided it's better for me to not continue in GM."
Perhaps the flashiest win of Thijs' career came back in 2018 as he took down XiaoT in the China vs. Europe Championship in one of the most thrilling competitive Hearthstone series in history.
After coming back from a 2-0 deficit in a best-of-five series, Thijs won the deciding match with a single point of health remaining. First place in the event was an Aston Martin DB11 car valued at over $175,000 euros. Thijs took the 'life-changing' cash prize instead.
In Thijs announcement, he said his days of competitive Hearthstone are not over, however. With numerous Blizzard-sponsored tournaments taking place each year, he would still participate in them from time to time. But as far as the professional circuit goes, he can live without it.
"I will never forget what 8 years competing at the highest level did to me and my life. Thanks to you I found something in my life I'm so passioned(sp) about, I love doing so much and I have been incredible(sp) supported by you every day as I'm(sp) writing this in tears. I will be forever gratefull(sp) for that to you, thank you from the deepest of my heart."
Tim Rizzo is the editor and a reporter for Inven Global. He joined the company back in 2017.