Australian CS:GO in-game leader AZR has returned to competitive play by signing with Sprout.
The European organization has signed Aaron “AZR” Ward, who had been on a hiatus from pro play since October 2021, it was announced today. The 30-year-old is replacing Ismail “refrezh” Ali, who was benched at the end of February by mutual agreement.
“Excited to be back in action with the Sprout boys. I have a lot to prove and have a lot of hard work ahead after being out of competition for a while but looking forward to it,” AZR wrote on Twitter following the announcement.
When it comes to the Australian CS:GO scene, there are hardly more experienced players than AZR. The 30-year-old played under the Renegades and 100 Thieves banners for the majority of his career. His peak came at the end of 2019 when he led the Renegades/100T roster to the semifinals of the StarLadder Berlin Major 2019 and the final of IEM Beijing 2019.
During the online era, AZR played for 100T and EXTREMUM, though the online competition didn’t serve them well. The lineup had many issues in achieving admirable results and was benched by the organization in October 2021. AZR had been on a break since then.
Related: 3 CS:GO coaches have Major bans rescinded after coach bug scandal
The Australian will have a number of opportunities to prove his worth with Sprout. The team is participating in ESL Challenger League Season 44 Europe. Their biggest test will be the European RMR A for BLAST.tv Paris CS:GO Major, which begins on April 6.