Sonic to take break from competition

The 22-year-old will take some time away to recollect his thoughts.

Aran "⁠Sonic⁠" Groesbeek will take a break from Counter-Strike and has stepped back from competing with Extra Salt, the player has announced.

The news follows in the wake of an earlier report from HLTV.org that stated Ricky "⁠floppy⁠" Kemery is in talks to join the team, although at the time, it was not revealed who he would replace if the move came to fruition.

Sonic has been a staple member of the Extra Salt core dating back to their time under ATK, and with the exception of a short, three-month stint on Envy, has been a constant presence by the side of in-game leader Johnny "⁠JT⁠" Theodosiou since the start of 2017 when the pair played for Bravado.

Sonic will take a break from competing in Counter-Strike

"I’ve decided to take some time away from CS and the team," Sonic said his announcement on Twitter. "Things have been hard for me mentally in recent times and so I wish to step away and recollect my thoughts. I’ll update you all when I’m ready."

The South African has been Extra Salt's second-highest rated player in the last three months, averaging a 1.12 rating. However, the team as a whole have struggled to obtain the same level of results they had achieved at the start of the year, recently missing out on qualifying for PGL Major Stockholm as well as earning a direct spot in ESL Pro League Season 15.

The 22-year-old has been competing in CS:GO almost non-stop since 2014, initially tearing up domestic competition in South Africa before making the move to North America in 2018 as a part of Bravado's 'Project Destiny', a plan to raise awareness of the talent and skill of South African players.

He has played abroad ever since, with the coronavirus pandemic limiting opportunities to return home within the last year. With the tournament season nearing its end, a short break before the new year will provide him some much-needed time to reset.

Extra Salt's roster now looks as follows:

South Africa Johnny "⁠JT⁠" Theodosiou
United States Josh "⁠oSee⁠" Ohm
Canada Justin "⁠FaNg⁠" Coakley
Mexico Edgar "⁠MarKE⁠" Maldonado

South Africa Tiaan "⁠T.c⁠" Coertzen (coach)

South Africa Aran "⁠Sonic⁠" Groesbeek (inactive)

United States Josh 'oSee' Ohm
Josh 'oSee' Ohm
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
953
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.63
South Africa Aran 'Sonic' Groesbeek
Aran 'Sonic' Groesbeek
Age:
23
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
934
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.64
United States Ricky 'floppy' Kemery
Ricky 'floppy' Kemery
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
670
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.67
Mexico Edgar 'MarKE' Maldonado
Edgar 'MarKE' Maldonado
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
863
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.65
Canada Justin 'FaNg' Coakley
Justin 'FaNg' Coakley
Age:
19
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
508
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.68
South Africa Johnny 'JT' Theodosiou
Johnny 'JT' Theodosiou
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.95
Maps played:
918
KPR:
0.64
DPR:
0.67
Really sad but with floppy coming back he was probably gonna get kicked anyway
2021-10-21 02:42
19 replies
Their second and at times best player gone, what a tragedy
2021-10-21 03:06
9 replies
#50
 | 
Japan Legoshi
Hes been pretty disappointing for a while man
2021-10-21 04:25
7 replies
problably because of the mental issues?
2021-10-21 04:34
4 replies
#90
 | 
Poland KeelOO
Wdym?
2021-10-21 12:18
3 replies
#129
 | 
Argentina Saazu
Wdym wdym? This article is exactly about sonic's mental health
2021-10-21 18:59
2 replies
Not necessarily? "Things have been pretty hard for me mentally recently" could mean anything from homesickness, burnt out on CS, lack of confidence/slumping as well as mental health issues.
2021-10-22 06:49
1 reply
#148
 | 
Argentina Saazu
wtf mate, everything you just listed is part of mental health...
2021-10-23 15:01
wdym do you even watch ES games?
2021-10-21 07:49
1 reply
#137
 | 
Japan Legoshi
yes
2021-10-21 21:48
floppy
2021-10-21 14:08
#29
 | 
United States Rayduh
He wasn’t gonna get kicked
2021-10-21 03:14
dont think so... if hes not the best, the second one on the team for sure
2021-10-21 03:31
1 reply
The fuck are sou smoking osee in salt have similar situation as simple in navi - he is best in team and much ahead of thr rest
2021-10-21 13:48
#41
deko | 
Australia zaffie
they had to scout around and found floppy after sonic told them the news he was taking a break
2021-10-21 03:46
#42
 | 
South Africa CRMN1
Pretty sure he would not get kicked. He's the most reliable rifler in the team.
2021-10-21 03:47
1 reply
#70
 | 
South Africa ZNDC
Yes ZA CS BEST CS
2021-10-21 08:01
Wasn’t gonna get kicked. He decided to step down for personal reasons. Clearly he has some mental/personal shit going on. Hopefully he will bounce back.
2021-10-21 04:04
#59
 | 
North America soduk_db
Yeah I don't think he was ever getting kicked this has probably been in the works for awhile now until they found a replacement in floppy IMO. P.S. Let's Go Brandon!
2021-10-21 05:12
#77
 | 
Kazakhstan SayYouCome
He is not kicked. He went inactive. Learn to read before you fill comments with bullshit. Thanks.
2021-10-21 09:39
floppy incoming
2021-10-21 02:42
3 replies
Yup, hopefully he’ll bring ES up to T1. Also, hopefully sonic doesn’t switch to valulrant
2021-10-21 03:02
1 reply
don't believe so, these South African guys seems pretty passionate about CS and he would probably still have a paycheck so
2021-10-21 04:35
+1
2021-10-21 12:25
RIP aran, best south african player
2021-10-21 02:43
the snake returns
2021-10-21 02:43
Unlucky, hopefully he comes back strong or extra salt benefit from this
2021-10-21 02:43
gonna miss you man :(
2021-10-21 02:44
2 replies
Is he a good player? Hearing his name for the first time
2021-10-21 08:58
1 reply
yes, or at least he was since the team's been struggling lately
2021-10-21 14:40
Sad, he's a very good player, hopefully he has a good break and comes back better than ever!
2021-10-21 02:44
Quite timely considering the Floppy rumors lol
2021-10-21 02:44
4 replies
#28
 | 
United States Rayduh
He is the second best player on the team though
2021-10-21 03:14
1 reply
I dunno, skill wise, there's not much separating him, marke and fang, even considering their roles.
2021-10-21 04:12
Well, they probably went for floppy because Sonic was taking a break
2021-10-21 04:46
1 reply
Could be. I was thinking they would get rid of fang or marke if floppy came so that would make sense.
2021-10-21 04:47
#9
 | 
Brazil williamhsk1
I don't believe this is a "kick indirectly" and him trying to fantasize as a time off... He's the second best player, only worse than Osee, it wouldn't make sense for him to be kicked... And GL
2021-10-21 02:51
#10
 | 
Indonesia draizze
Actually among the 3 riffler, He is the most inconsistent in the roster but We thought he was safe since the Extra Salt org owner is South African.
2021-10-21 02:48
3 replies
#20
 | 
Russia f0rcel
Funny
2021-10-21 03:06
He is a flashy player but with a really low performance some times, hope he comes back tbh
2021-10-21 03:11
#27
 | 
United States Rayduh
So sad
2021-10-21 03:14
holy fuck he's 22? i thought he was like 28, anyways floppy is back
2021-10-21 02:50
1 reply
That's what meth does to you.
2021-10-21 15:34
#12
 | 
Finland AliSabid
rip
2021-10-21 02:55
Floppy "two faced" Toledo
2021-10-21 02:59
#14
 | 
United States kalimbo
I don't think the org wanted him to step down... it's his decision.
2021-10-21 03:00
#15
 | 
Sweden dogtown
I totally understand, and as time goes by and more games come out with better graphics.. It's really difficult to stick to cs. And I played it since beta in 99.. I guess when money is on the table it makes it a bit easier but it's still the same old game, the same old maps.. I find it hard to even play 1 map of cs these days.. I can't imagine how hard it is for a pro to grind this game out everyday for hours.
2021-10-21 03:01
7 replies
+1 really shows how much dedication f0rest has. That interview was golden.
2021-10-21 03:27
5 replies
Which one? I wanna see. Ty
2021-10-21 09:06
1 reply
2021-10-23 05:02
What interview?
2021-10-21 13:56
2 replies
2021-10-23 05:03
1 reply
Nice ty
2021-10-23 11:32
+1 Exactly.
2021-10-21 07:15
#17
 | 
Brazil InViktor
gg
2021-10-21 03:04
#18
 | 
Brazil rauni90001
God damn it, after all the grinding? Kind of hard to hear that but totally respect his move.
2021-10-21 03:05
#21
 | 
Germany Teztyment
lMFAO! If they sign floppy NA scene is literally dead as fuck.
2021-10-21 03:06
4 replies
#26
 | 
United States Rayduh
Sonic needs a break
2021-10-21 03:13
I think we know that already and floppy is not a bad player at all
2021-10-21 03:18
#32
 | 
United States kalimbo
floppy is not a bad player
2021-10-21 03:22
It was already dead
2021-10-21 20:19
if Fang/Marke underperformed, maybe +1 BnTeT
2021-10-21 03:09
5 replies
#25
 | 
United States Rayduh
I prefer motm
2021-10-21 03:13
4 replies
#30
 | 
Indonesia draizze
that old NA c9 roster was not performing well
2021-10-21 03:16
2 replies
#35
 | 
United States Rayduh
Bntet literally killed two teams He’s not gonna get signed by anyone
2021-10-21 03:28
1 reply
?? gen g disbanded due to everything going online and the org not wanting to support that, and extremum failed because grat and liazz were severely underperforming for some time
2021-10-21 18:40
+1 they won't win without man of the match
2021-10-21 03:47
#24
 | 
United States Rayduh
Floppy
2021-10-21 03:13
#33
 | 
United States gweees
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
2021-10-21 03:24
expected, time to spend that money...
2021-10-21 03:39
Valorant player Floppy??
2021-10-21 03:43
Hope Sonic gets better mentally, he's really skilled and talented. It sucks seeing him leave
2021-10-21 03:48
Sonic wouldn't have been cut or at least shouldn't. FaNg had 1 stand out tournament and has been underwhelming ever since. I hope he comes back after a couple of months refreshed and hungry. He was always clearly South Africa's best CS player of all time.
2021-10-21 03:51
Would love to see floppy come back. Shame it's for Sonic not Marke imo, still a firepower upgrade but not as much as it could've been
2021-10-21 03:56
He will come back better hopefully. Been rough for them recently because they have been off but when Extra Salt is on they can take down pretty much any team in NA. Mental breaks are good.
2021-10-21 04:03
Good playaaa, gl!
2021-10-21 04:26
#52
 | 
Brazil hugoooo
He was so impactful, I hope oSee goes to Europe and ES brings new talent f from NA +floppy
2021-10-21 04:29
1 reply
#144
 | 
Finland CorryCS
what talent lmao, NA CS is dead all young talent plays valorant
2021-10-22 10:26
#53
 | 
Germany Teztyment
I dont understand why someone would want a player like floppy on their team. Kid has no nutsack and weights about 110 pounds soaking wet not to mention there are about a thousand+ players in NA that are better than him, including myself. Yikes.
2021-10-21 04:31
2 replies
i thought you meant there were plenty of people thousands of pounds heavier than floppy
2021-10-21 04:38
1 reply
I think thats already obvious since we are talking about americans.
2021-10-21 13:59
#60
 | 
Denmark Zorrondo
Understable, dude has been grinding for years and chocked all the important games against literally every low tier BR team.
2021-10-21 05:11
#61
 | 
North America soduk_db
Now -JT +TaRik, RUSH, motm or maybe give someone like cynic a chance?
2021-10-21 05:24
9 replies
#64
 | 
United States Jeebur
yeah... no. motm struggled on ES. RUSH doesnt fit that roster. and tarik isnt close to a quality IGL.
2021-10-21 05:43
2 replies
#133
 | 
North America soduk_db
I think motm would fit just fine it's virtually a new roster with the additions of MarKE and floppy and they all have previously played with each other and if XANTARES can IGL than anyone can IMO. And then JT and Sonic once he's back can play with ATK
2021-10-21 20:02
1 reply
#139
 | 
United States Jeebur
the difference is they are a tactical team where when they represented C9, they had the best flashbang stats in the world. And motm just was awful individually it wasnt a him fitting in issue
2021-10-22 00:06
#76
 | 
United States EDBX
Tarik is grinding the valorant leaderboard 12 hours a day and making bank. Def not gonna okay for extra salt
2021-10-21 09:09
5 replies
What does "grinding valorant leaderboard" mean? I dont follow valorant so dont know anything about it.
2021-10-21 14:01
4 replies
#106
 | 
North America L1nT
Valorant's top tier of ranked is called "Radiant", and tarik has been around the top recently. He also streams alot now and presumably makes alot of money with lower stress than competing in CS:GO.
2021-10-21 15:15
3 replies
Thanks for answer. So he's making money streaming and not from valorant itself?
2021-10-21 15:45
2 replies
#130
 | 
United States EDBX
That's right, he could stream anything but he has just been focusing on Valorant.
2021-10-21 19:39
1 reply
Ok ok I thought maybe valorant could have something like FPL where people win money.
2021-10-21 19:41
#65
 | 
United States Jeebur
He'll come back swinging, maybe be the missing piece for BnB or ATK
2021-10-21 05:44
#66
 | 
Chile 1cristiaan
deserved
2021-10-21 06:16
#67
 | 
Poland sznycel901
finnaly
2021-10-21 06:22
tbh all-in-all ES is a really balanced team, I see floppy staying if they get actual results, their chemistry clicks or oSee gets picked up by a bigger team
2021-10-21 08:29
Well, the team need changes, but sonic wasn't the problem. The two problems are JT's igling and Marke. Sonic's kick won't solve anything.
2021-10-21 08:36
#78
 | 
Ukraine McSwell
Read "zonic" and had been already prepared to congratulate Astralis with 0-3 on major.
2021-10-21 09:47
i know fifth leak: Floppy
2021-10-21 09:53
get well soon
2021-10-21 09:56
#81
 | 
Andorra Lacerta
Floppy
2021-10-21 10:39
Visibly the worst player in recent times
2021-10-21 10:45
hahaha fucking noob
2021-10-21 10:51
1 reply
lmao, turks are built different
2021-10-21 10:53
Gotta go fast
2021-10-21 11:03
Lotta people seem to think this has nothing to do with Floppy. You guys are crazy. In 2020 Floppy was far and away their best rated player and Sonic was ass. To Sonic's credit he got a lot better this year. But org clearly saw an opportunity to get a better player and took it. They are just old yellering Sonic politely because he's been a good soldier for the team. This website is seriously unrealistic about shit sometimes. This is the soft kick and anyone thinking otherwise is a sentimental idiot. Which is ok stay nice mens.
2021-10-21 11:43
Nobody cares
2021-10-21 12:11
2 replies
#117
 | 
Other simon_
I do
2021-10-21 16:36
#135
 | 
Sweden DEFENSE!
I do
2021-10-21 20:15
Very good player, sadge
2021-10-21 12:18
Oh no! Anyway..
2021-10-21 14:02
Oh no I don't car
2021-10-21 14:17
#104
 | 
South Africa kiefpant
He's the one guy on that team who can literally play any role and he always seems happy to do it - a proper team player. It seems to change from round to round, not even map to map. One minute he's second AWP, then he's entry, then he's lurk, then he's supporting a Marke entry. It can't be easy to maintain the level of play he has without a properly defined role. Whatever he needs to get sorted out, hopefully he comes back stronger than ever.
2021-10-21 14:46
1 reply
#119
 | 
South Africa ZNDC
I agree
2021-10-21 16:58
But what about Mario?
2021-10-21 15:56
wtf should have been marke.. would fit better rolewise flopy
2021-10-21 16:13
GL sherminator
2021-10-21 16:25
#114
 | 
Other simon_
Whyyyyy thats too bad, tho GL Sonic.
2021-10-21 16:35
I was never a fan. All the best to him, tho.
2021-10-21 16:36
Fuck man, he was my favorite hedgehog
2021-10-21 16:39
1 reply
riperoni sannic :((((
2021-10-22 06:59
Poor sonic, NA corrupted him
2021-10-21 17:15
i hate this cam teams stop using mental health issues as an excuse because they dont want to say that they benched a player. he was just kicked.
2021-10-21 18:10
south african olof
2021-10-21 18:23
good luck to him)
2021-10-21 18:33
Get well soon JT.
2021-10-21 18:52
expected
2021-10-21 19:49
So astralis has not coach??
2021-10-21 19:57
Sad, he's a very good player, hopefully he has a good break and comes back better than ever honestly. i like him
2021-10-21 23:28
Login or register to add your comment to the discussion.