Kjaerbye Announced Retirement from CS:GO

Kjaerbye Announced Retirement from CS:GO

Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye has announced his retirement from professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on Wednesday, June 30.

Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjærbye has announced his retirement from professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on Wednesday, June 30. The 23-year-old Dane cited a lack of motivation to compete at the highest level.

A Promising Career Comes To An End

Kjaerbye decided to call it quits on his CS:GO esports career on Wednesday, leaving behind the HYENAS project, which he joined in March 2021.

Kjaerbye was long regarded as one of the most promising players in the scene. He began his career in July 2014 with a Danish stack NO SIR! and later represented myRevenge e.V. DK, Isak-eSport, before landing in Copenhagen Wolves.

In January 2015, Kjaerbye joined Dignitas, where he won his first A-Tier tournament in 99Damage Masters #2. He later added a top-four finish at the DreamHack Open Leipzig 2016 and has helped Dignitas reach the finals of the Global eSports Cup – Season 1.

Kjaerbye remained with Dignitas up until May 2016, when he got picked up by Astralis, where his career took off. As a member of the Danish CS:GO powerhouse, Kjaerbye continued to build his name as one of the most talented players in the scene.

He helped Astralis win gold at Esports Championship Series Season 2 – Europe, Esports Championship Series Season 2 – Finals, and silver from ELEAGUE Season 2. His peak career achievement followed in January 2017, when Kjaerbye won ELEAGUE Major: Atlanta 2017 Major Championship.

In the grand finals of ELEAGUE Major: Atlanta 2017, Kjaerbye proved to the world why he is one of the best in the scene. He led Astralis to a reverse-sweep win over Virtus.pro with a 1.66 rating in the final map of the finals.

For his efforts, Kjaerbye received ELEAGUE Major: Atlanta 2017 MVP award. He became the youngest Major MVP at only 18-years of age.

Adding to his accolades, Kjaerbye also made the list of the top-20 players of the year twice. He ranked 16th and 15th in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Kjaerbye’s Struggles

Kjaerbye remained with Astralis throughout 2017, helping the Danish squad to another gold medal at Intel Extreme Masters XI – World Championship, just two months after winning his first Major. However, in the months that followed, success was hard to come by for Kjaerbye and his crew.

Astralis most notable achievement of the year happened in July when they reached the semi-finals of PGL Major Kraków 2017. There, they got eliminated by Gambit Esports, who would go on to win the Major championship.

The team struggles to add another silverware to their cabinet for the remainder of 2017. They reached two grand finals at ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2017 and the BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2017 but never overcame the final obstacle.

Kjaerbye shockingly decided to leave Astralis at the start of 2018 and joined North. The team was vying to become the “next Danish CS:GO powerhouse,” but outside of early success, North never achieved much.
Hungry for success, Kjaerbye eventually left North in May 2020 and traveled overseas to join FaZe Clan.

Once again, however, he was met with disappointment.

The Dane’s only notable accomplishment at FaZe Clan came in October 2020, when the team won Intel Extreme Masters XV – New York Online: Europe. Outside of that, FaZe Clan failed to finish higher than the top-eight across ten tournaments attended.

Struggling to find his old form, Kjaerbye got benched by FaZe at the start of 2021 and has remained sidelined since. In his last effort to reignite his CS:GO career, Kjaerbye joined a Danish CS:GO project HYENAS, where he reunited with former North teammates in Philip “aizy” Aistrup and Nicklas “gade” Gade.

HYENAS, however, haven’t achieved much, struggling to deliver even in second-tier tournaments.

Loss of Motivation

After years of disappointment, Kjaerbye eventually decided to call it quits on his CS:GO esports career. Dane stated he no longer has the hunger and determination to compete at the highest level.

“This game has been a huge part of my life for the past ten 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,” said Kjaerbye.

Although Kjaerbye has exited the professional CS:GO scene, he has not excluded the possibility to remain close to the game. At the same time, he has noted that he could pursue other opportunities, unliked to CS.

A transition to Valorant – like many CS:GO pro players have over the year – seems likely; however, Kjaerbye has yet to commend on his future in the world of esports.