After a disappointing outing at last week’s Call of Duty Championships, one of eSports more recognizable players Matthew Haag aka NaDeSHoT has decided to step down as captain of OpTic Gaming and take a temporary break from competitive video gaming.

“Basically, I am going to be taking a break from competitive Call of Duty. A leave of absence, if you will,” announced Haag in a video (embedded below) shared on Twitter.

“I felt my passion to win wasn’t high enough to compete at this level,” he explained. “I felt like I was playing to not lose. I wasn’t playing to win, so I wouldn’t hear the repercussions of it on my Twitter and YouTube channel for the next week.”

Haag’s decision follows OpTic’s finished seventh out of eight in last week’s competition, netting them a small portion of the $1 million prize. As part owner of Optic Gaming, his stepping down is also a sort of managerial decision. “If we were to pursue another player who has more drive to win, and maybe even more talent, they [OpTic] would have a better chance to win.”

“I’m very confident that I will be revisiting my competitive roots and continue to compete in the next Call of Duty title and maybe towards the end of Advanced Warfare,” said Haag, stressing that he isn’t leaving competitive gaming permanently and will participate occasionally in events. “I just need some time to step back and pursue other things that I’m passionate about.” Passions that include creating YouTube videos for titles like H1Z1 and Minecraft.

“My passion just wasn’t high enough to continue to compete at this level,” he added, explaining that despite his team winning three of their last five tournaments he felt he was holding his team back.

Optic didn’t need to look far for Haag’s replacement. Damon “Karma” Barlow will transition from OpTic Gaming’s sister team, OpTic Nation. Karma entered the major league gaming scene back in 2011 and has earned nine championships since.

Haag became OpTic Gaming’s captain in 2014 and has been a professional gamer for six years and was name eSports player during December 2014’s Video Game Awards. According to a New York Time’s profile of him last year, Haag’s estimated earnings works out to be $1 million per year from endorsements and winnings.

“If you guys asked me two months ago if I was going to be making a video like this, I would have told you you were absolutely crazy. But things change, people change, situations change.”

Sources 12, and 3

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Nikki P
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I'm Nikki and I like video games.