Professional Call Of Duty player Thomas 'ZooMaa' Paparatto has announced that he'll be stepping away from the esports scene because of a hand injury.
As reported by BBC News, the 25-year-old New York Subliners star will no longer compete for the "foreseeable future". He says that attempting to simply play through the pain in his hand "just isn't possible anymore".
"It breaks my heart to step away from a game I put my heart and soul into every single day for eight years," Thomas explains in a heartbreaking Twitter statement , "Going through that process of getting healthy again was one of the hardest things I ever had to do both physically and mentally, which led to a lot of stress and anxiety."
Can't help but get emotional seeing all the support. Wish I could respond to everyone but just know I see all of you and appreciate all the kind words. Love all of you for real. :heart:- NYSL ZooMaa (@ZooMaa) January 19, 2021
He adds that the announcement of his departure is the "hardest thing" that he's ever had to write, but the issues with his wrist and thumb are such that it's becoming too hard to go toe-to-toe with the "best players in the world".
"I don't enjoy competing when I can't be the ZooMaa everyone knows and loves and feel like it's not fair to myself or to my team to go through all that again, potentially causing more damage to my hand. I'm grateful to have had a long playing career. I have met so many amazing people through esports and have made so many friendships I'll continue to cherish for the rest of my life."
I'll miss you brotha. Seriously, one of my best friends in the whole scene. Got a pic of us up on the wall in my room and it ain't coming down. Nothing but love for you and the fam <3333333 pic.twitter.com/Is0YLrND2y- NYSL Clayster (@Clayster) January 19, 2021
you still the flank god & one of the most enjoyable players i've watched play the game. love you brother :heart: minor setback for a major comeback. im excited for whatever you decide to do next. Godspeed fratello :fist::sparkles:- FaZe Temperrr (@Temperrr) January 19, 2021
Damn that was hard to read from Zooma man. I've been having wrist/thumb pain and weakness as well and it is one of the most frustrating things I've ever had to deal with. Not a lot of people truly understand how much it can affect you mentally and physically.- Joe (@Owakening) January 19, 2021
Paparatto's statement was met with an outpouring of support and love from fans and friends alike. New York Subliners teammate James "Clayster" Eubanks remarked that he'd miss "one of his best friends on the whole scene".
"Got a pic of us up on the wall in my room and it ain't coming down," he added. "Nothing but love for you and the fam."
As for the future? Paparatto said that he lives the game too much to "walk away completely". Whether he returns as a streamer, a commentator, or even a coach, I'd imagine the future is still wide open for the young pro.
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