Sonic retires from CS:GO
The 23-year-old hangs up his mouse after helping put South African Counter-Strike on the map.
After stepping back from CS:GO over six months ago, Aran "Sonic" Groesbeek has formally announced his retirement from professional play, bringing an end to an eight-year long career that included stints on Bravado, Cloud9, and Extra Salt.
Sonic rose to acclaim in South Africa in 2014 and 2015, tearing up the local scene as a 16-year-old AWPing talent as a part of Energy. His performance put him on the radar of Bravado, who had made a handful of international appearances over the previous year, and he was quickly picked up as the team looked to continue climbing the ranks.
After finding success domestically but faltering in larger tournaments, Project Destiny was born, an initiative to move the Bravado lineup to North America that came to fruition at the start of 2018.
Sonic continued to be a standout player for the lineup as they began to develop their abilities in North America and steadily improved their results in international events, most notably making a run to the grand final of DreamHack Open Winter 2018 after topping their group over OpTic and G2.
In 2019, the team moved to ATK and added Josh "oSee" Ohm and Ricky "floppy" Kemery, impressing at ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals which led to being signed by Cloud9. Results began to fall off as the online era got underway however, and after the team were dismissed by the organization at the end of the year, Extra Salt came knocking, with that version of the lineup impressing domestically throughout 2020.
Results again dipped at the end of the year though, and after grinding the game for over eight years, Sonic announced that he would be taking a break from competition as floppy returned from VALORANT to join the lineup.
Sonic at the time stated that "things have been hard for me mentally in recent times and so I wish to step away and recollect my thoughts." After six months away, he has now confirmed he will not return to competition and will instead focus on pursuing his other passion of business in America, bringing an end to his professional CS:GO career.