Professional North American CS:GO players Keith "NAF" Markovic and Tarik "tarik" Celik recently posted Valorant GIFs via their official Twitter account. The entire CS:GO community was shocked and rumours instantly started flying around, as the 2 senior players from the crumbling NA Counter-Strike region posted a Reyna and Phoenix Valorant GIF, respectively. These posts were made at a sensitive time when former Evil Geniuses player Ethan "Ethan" Arnold had announced his retirement from CS:GO, instantly switching to Valorant and joining the 100 Thieves roster. Though it seems to have been just harmless banter from both the players, there was definitely a moment of panic.
CS:GO pros Tarik and NAF share Valorant GIF
It all started on 11 March with Tarik sharing a GIF of a Valorant duelist agent Phoenix, followed by NAF also sharing a GIF of another duelist agent Reyna yesterday on 14 March. While both the players made these posts simply for banter, it did result in a few discussions, especially the one shared by tarik as it came just a few weeks after Ethan’s departure.
Since Ethan left Evil Geniuses rumours had been going around that the organization itself might soon be leaving competitive CS:GO. As per the community members, the rumours were allegedly started by Australian talent Chad "SPUNJ" Burchill and was then discussed by esports journalist Richard Lewis and Duncan "Thorin" Shields on their podcast ‘By The Numbers’.
The matter got so serious that EG’s CEO - Nicole LaPointe Jameson had to step forward to clarify the organization is not leaving CS:GO. Instead, they are planning to launch a new remote training facility in Europe so that their CS:GO team could perform even better.
Amid all this, tarik shared that Valorant GIF and this raised a lot of eyebrows at the time, only made worse by the fact that a lot of Valorant players hyped this all up even more. Joining this chain reaction was Liquid rifler NAF who followed suit in a similar way, by sharing another Valorant GIF.
But by this time the dust had more or less settled down and users knew that the players were just poking fun. Still, the dynamics surrounding competitive CS:GO is quite volatile at the moment when it comes to North American players and teams. One can never be too sure of who might be leaving the title next, to switch over to Valorant.
Both the players along with their teams will be seen in action at the currently ongoing ESL Pro League Season 13 from 25 to 29 March, as part of the last group alongside teams like Astralis, Endpoint, Virtus.pro, and Fnatic.