Edgar "Sparg0" Valdez, FaZe Clan’s Smash Ultimate star, announced last night on Twitter that he will be taking a hiatus from competing in events, effective immediately. The Mexican prodigy cited mental health issues as the reason for needing a break, stating that he would most likely miss multiple events including Double Down, Smash Con, GrOML and Rise ‘N Grind.
According to the Twitlonger posted by Sparg0, his issues began as far back as Genesis 8, which was held in April of this year, or "slightly before that," in his own words. What makes that date interesting is that Genesis was the event where Sparg0 revealed he had been signed by FaZe Clan in an announcement video that played prior to his match in top 8.
Since then, he has only attended three events - Low Tide City, Geek Fest in Mexico, and the weekend’s GIMVITATIONAL, which prompted the decision to step back from competition. By comparison, in 2021, ssmbwiki says Sparg0 attended at least 40 events across the span of 12 months, with the Cloud main having been to 21 by this point in the calendar.
"I felt like I had to do it..."
Whether or not the pressure of being a sponsored player has changed how he feels about Smash is impossible to know for spectators of course, but doing what you love as a job can have a negative effect on your passion. In his Twitlonger, Sparg0 even alludes to this feeling, saying he felt like he didn’t really have a choice about playing in the recent GIMVITATIONAL, where he finished 7th.
"I was very hesitant on even attending this tournament [Gimvitational] because I knew I wasn’t in the right state to compete but thought I could just play as usual and it would be fine. I also felt like I 'had to do it' and somewhat felt forced to go and compete," Sparg0 said.
In the post, Sparg0 alluded to the fact he had already taken a month-long break from Smash prior to the recent event, thinking that could give him the time and space he needs to retool his thought process, but to no avail. In the run-up to his matches with both Kolawole "Kola" Aideyan and Felipe “Ferps” Moura he also had “terrible anxiety attacks," which is going to be worrying for a kid that was winning majors just a few short months ago.
He also spoke of feeling tired and lacking motivation, which are both associated with depression, although it is important to note that Sparg0 did not specifically use that word, only referring to “mental health." He said he would be taking an indefinite break from competition, as well as social media, but may well attend Smash Factor, a Mexican event normally held in July.