Steel went out with a bang.
Joshua “steel” Nissan is hands down one of the most well-known players to ever step foot onto the scene of Counter-Strike. Known for his erratic call outs and an insane amount of confidence, steel has helped form North American esports. While he didn’t have the most successful career, everyone knows about his past performances, especially when he spent eight months with iBUYPOWER during their match-fixing scandal. He had an opportunity to play with the best, but threw away his chances. Looking back on this incident, steel obviously would’ve changed the past if he could. Most importantly, he learned a lot about the situation and built a massive fan base that gathered every week to cheer him on in FaceIt events.
THE START OF STEEL
In 2010, steel made his first appearance with CyberRevolution and Team Dynamic in Counter-Strike: Source. He participated in a bunch of tournaments hosted on ESEA, placing top three in multiple invites. In 2011, a team based in North America known as Fully Torqued had their eyes on steel. With a lineup of future events including CEVO Season 13 and ESEA Season 11, Fully Torqued acquired steel. Wanting to prove he was the best rookie in the game, steel didn’t place lower than fourth alongside his new team. Twenty thousand dollars later and with a well-rounded reputation, teams began sending out offers to the NA fragger.
A German organisation known as mTw became the newest home for steel. They had four hundred grand in earnings and needed help restoring their winning streak. Besides a couple of underwhelming qualifiers, mTw went on to place in the upper bracket across four events. In 2013, steel became a free agent due to his upsetting placements in late 2012. A total of five teams gave steel second chances to prove his place in CS:GO. One of those teams even included Fully Torqued, who later rebranded to the name Torqued. Dignitas played with steel for only thirteen days after placing last at the Mad Catz Invitational in Birmingham. The same thing happened with Torqued at the ESEA European Open. At Multiplay Insomnia 49, steel placed second with Reason Gaming, but things didn’t catch on. The following teams continued to struggle and realised steel couldn’t fix their teams.
MATCH FIXING SCANDAL
Now 2014 is when steel started to get busy with top tier rosters. A North American group known as iBUYPOWER had recently finished their run at DreamHack Winter in 2013, where they lost all of their matches and were outplayed by America's favourite org Complexity Gaming. Four months into their latest season of CS:GO, iBUYPOWER signed steel. The team had a legendary AWPer known as Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham and a young prodigy named Braxton “swag” Pierce. After signing steel as the team’s last player, iBUYPOWER won seven out of nine events. The team seemed unstoppable until August 20 of that year. The match-fixing scandal led to multiple players, including steel, receiving lifetime bans. Those bans were later lifted, but it was too late - steel struggled for years with his event restrictions.
In 2019, Chaos Esports Club gave steel his final chance to participate in tournaments. The org was known as one of the worst teams from 2018 to 2019. Out of fifty qualifiers and tournaments, Chaos had earned twenty grand from seven events. Not a great record and certainly not the start they were looking for in their debut year. On November 11 of 2019, Chaos acquired a brand new roster including steel as a team captain. Their first event was at the World Electronic Sports Games tournament in Montreal. Chaos played against LiViD Gaming and absolutely destroyed them. The final score from the two matches came out to 32-7 for Chaos.
At Flashpoint Season 1 Chaos placed eighth after beating MiBR and Gen.G in their first group stage. While placing eighth wasn’t the best result, Chaos still beat out top-level teams in an S-Tier event. In the ESEA Season 34 Premier Division, Chaos went undefeated against Mythic in the finals. That event alone earned the team twenty thousand dollars and a lot of respect. After dominating the B-Tier scene, Chaos felt they were ready to compete at a higher level. At the DreamHack Summer Open, Chaos placed fourth which was much better than their run at Flashpoint Season 1. Following their streak of success, steel led his team to an even better S-Tier finish at ESL One Cologne. Chaos went 2-1 and while beating FURIA and 100 Thieves in the process.
Even though steel had a long and much talked about a career in CS:GO, he felt that it was time for a change. He joined 100 Thieves as a VALORANT player after winning the Pittsburgh Knights Boomer Bowl. After ten years of Counter-Strike, steel was ready for his next challenge in esports. This time it's a whole different game with a brand new perspective.
Images via Liquipedia | Chaos Esports Club