NRG Esports’ in-game leader Damian “daps” Steele has stepped down from the active roster and is retiring from professional VALORANT. The Argentinian-Canadian player has a storied history in his previous esport, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. He made the jump to VALORANT in October of 2020, joining NRG with current TSM coach Chet “Chet” Singh.
In a tweet announcing his decision to retire, daps stated, “It’s been no secret to the people around me that I just don’t enjoy playing anymore which was the main reason to my choice. Should have news regarding my future plans soon!” he wrote.
It's been no secret to the people around me that I just don't enjoy playing anymore which was the main reason to my choice. Should have news regarding my future plans soon! Best of luck to @texerino @777eeiu @ANDROIDX23 and @s0mcs in trying out a replacement for me! https://t.co/3f3dPo3s2u
— daps (@daps) June 11, 2021
NRG has yet to announce his replacement. The organization has trailed former Dignitas player Noah “rara” Giesbrecht and they are still on the hunt for a replacement according to Upcomer’s George Geddes.
Been told former Dignitas player Noah "rara" Giesbrecht has trialed for the squad.
Do not believe the org has found a replacement as of yet, however, so they'll likely continue to trial players. https://t.co/07wZTI5rI2
— George Geddes (@GeorgeCGed) June 11, 2021
Daps retires from VALORANT
In Counter-Strike, daps mainly slotted into the IGL role for every team he played for. He was also known as a great talent scout, having built rosters like 2016s OpTic Gaming and 2019s NRG Esports from the ground up. Before his switch to VALORANT, daps was recruited to fill out Cloud9’s squad after the organization wanted to rebuild its Major winning roster. After a short stint with Cloud9, the Canadian played for Gen.G before the organization left the esport. Daps also stepped into a coaching role at various points in his Counter-Strike career.
He crossed paths and recruited future VALORANT stars like Tyson “TenZ” Ngo, Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan and Oscar “mixwell” Cañellas Colocho during his Counter-Strike career. Unlike other VALORANT players, daps went right from Counter-Strike to VALORANT without competing for an amateur or pick-up squad. NRG had a prior relationship with the Canadian and Chet as both were a part of NRG’s Counter-Strike roster before its acquisition by Evil Geniuses.
In VALORANT, daps recruited some of the top mechanical players in the region to the team. Players like Yannick “KOLER” Blanchette, Ryan “Shanks” Ngo and Bradley “ANDROID” Fodor filtered through the NRG ranks in his tenure. Daps has yet to announce his next steps after his VALORANT retirement.