Female Esports Royalty zAAz Officially Retires After 17-Year Career
After 17 years of success at the heights of FPS esports, Zainab "zAAz" Turkie has officially retired from esports, ending a career that spanned across Counter:Strike 1.5, 1.6, Global-Offensive, and VALORANT.
The 30-year-old Swedish/Lebanese FPS legend has been a pioneer of women's esports since kickstarting a CS career as a fresh-faced teenager, competing on teams such as Fnatic, Team Secret, and XSET, before moving over to G2 Gozen in VALORANT.
Multiple championships later and zAAz has hung up the sticks as she now looks to begin a new chapter in teaching.
zAAz Retires from competing
"It's time to say goodbye to competitive gaming," zAAz took to Twitter to say in an emotional farewell. "This was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made but it's time for me to move on and set new goals to reach."
"I was 11 years old when I started playing. I knew already at that age what I wanted and that was to become the best out there. And it has not been an easy road but that doesn't matter. What matters is what I made it to and that I've reached my goal and it was worth everything I sacrificed, every tear and sweat," she continued.
As a legend of the FPS scene, zAAz won four DreamHacks, three consecutive titles at Intel Challenge Katowice, and three VCT Game Changers championships, among many other gold medals.
As for her next chapter, zAAz has vowed to return to Malmo, Sweden, to educate young people/gamers about CS:GO, VALORANT, and the wider esports scene.
G2 Gozen signs Mary As a Replacement
Filling the boots of zAAz is her very own "little me" in Maryam "Mary" Maher. The young talent from Bahrain will slip right into the G2 Gozen lineup, and has received huge compliments from zAAz.
"I love her and I can't wait to see her grow as a player. Definitely a young talent to watch out for. Right mindset, right attitude, being mentally strong and patience is all u need to achieve your goal. I believe in you," said the now-retired heroin.
As a final note, zAAz also paid tribute to Julia "juliano" Kiran, who is regarded as one of the best female players ever, alongside zAAz.