Captain America may finally be hanging up the mouse and keyboard.
Team Liquid in-game leader Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella has announced his departure from Team Liquid and CS:GO following this week’s home tournament at IEM Dallas.
In a statement posted on May 26, nitr0 cited the constant travel schedule as a primary reason behind his decision to step back from competitive CS:GOespecially tough given his growing family at home. “While I highly enjoy competing and would love to continue playing competitively, the amount of travel has become too much,” he said.
Nitr0 added he would be planning to stream in the foreseeable future, but did not rule out a possible return to competitive play with future sequel Counter-Strike 2.
The 27-year-old has been a staple of North American Counter-Strike and a mainstay at Liquid for the better part of a decade. Joining the storied organization in 2015, nitr0 was a key element of the squad’s rise to the pinnacle of Counter-Strike which included 11 Major appearances and a dozen trophies.
A valued member of Liquid’s golden age in 2019, which included five straight tier-one tournament wins and the coveted Intel Grand Slam, nitr0 would step away from Counter-Strike in 2020, joining 100 Thieves’ VALORANT squad alongside former Liquid veteran Spencer “Hiko” Martin.
His time in VALORANT would be short, with the in-game leader returning to helm Team Liquid CS:GO in 2022. However, nitr0 would draw criticism from the community following a spate of poor performances and results in 2023. While expectations at the BLAST Paris Major were low, Liquid would manage a top-eight finish but exit unceremoniously against Apeks.
With news Latvian rifler Mareks “YEKINDAR” Gaļinskis was beginning to handle in-game calling duties at the Paris Major, speculation had begun over nitr0’s future in the roster. While it is not confirmed if YEKINDAR will take upon the captaincy role permanently going forward, Liquid’s hunt for a new fifth is well and truly on.
Nitr0’s final tournament will take place on home soil at IEM Dallas on May 30, with Team Liquid opening their account against arch-rivals Astralis.