Following day one of the IEM Katowice Closed Qualifier last night, Charlie “zeph” Dodd of Ground Zero announced that he will be taking an indefinite break from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive after almost four years in the competitive space here in Australasia.
In a statement posted online by zeph, he went on to say “I’ve decided to take an indefinite break from Counter-Strike. Thank you to everyone who has helped and been a friend along the way, especially everyone from Ground Zero - I love the boys. My decision is in no way impacted negatively by any of them and I wish them all the best.”
“I may eventually return, but for now, I am just going to focus on myself for a bit. Thank you again to everyone,” concluded zeph.
Zeph has been competing at a top level for the span of four years, but the bust two years have been his most notable years; especially given that he has competed on the likes of Avant Gaming, ORDER and Ground Zero throughout those years. Records show that his first top competitive team was on Funky Monkeys back in August of 2018 for a span of five months.
Following his stint at Funky Monkeys, he briefly was with SSU Esports and then competed under Lucky7 Gaming for a duration that spanned from November 2017 to May 2018 - from there, he began competing with Avant Gaming and the rest is history.
We reached out to zeph for comment on his decision to step down. He said in a statement to us “the reason I want to step down is because my motivation and passion for the game has died and I need a break to try to figure out what I want to do in life - whether I regain motivation to play again or I find something else.”
“I think my next step is just to try to figure out what path I want to take in life,” said zeph.
Zeph has mentioned both online and to us that he may return to the competitive scene, stating to us “I might return one day. It just depends on whether I gain motivation again or start missing the competitive scene; which I’m sure I will, because I do love Counter-Strike.”
As for hanging around the scene, zeph stated “I’m not actually sure about how much I’ll stay around. I’ll always check up on how things in the scene are doing on Twitter. But I don’t think I’ll be very involved in the scene for awhile.”
With zeph standing down from competitive play, Ground Zero are left searching for a fifth. With that being said, players Luke “Llamas” Merchant and Andy “Noobster” Zhang are still on trial with that Ground Zero lineup.
Ground Zero Roster:
If you wish to stay connected with Zeph, be sure to follow him on Twitter.