He’s ready to play CS2 competitively for the first time.

Nicholas "nitr0" Cannella, also known as "Captain America," is coming back to Counter-Strike for the second time in his career as a professional player.

Nitr0 said in a comment to Dust2.us on June 24 that he's ready to return to Counter-Strike esports and play CS2 professionally after spending the first semester of 2024 representing M80 in tier-two VALORANT.

"VALORANT was not what I expected it to be and I didn't see a future for myself," nitr0 told Dust2.us. "CS is home and with the lack of IGLs in NA, this is where I belong. I still have a lot to offer to NA CS and I can't wait to give CS2 everything I have."

Nitr0's early history in Counter-Strike and first attempt in VALORANT

Though nitr0 has played both CS:GO and VALORANT professionally for North American teams, he's undoubtedly most known for his impact on Valve's shooter. Captain America started competing in CS:GO in 2014 and made a name for himself after joining Liquid in 2014.

The now 28-year-old was initially a great entry fragger, but as time passed, he proved himself as truly one of the most versatile CS:GO players of all time as he took the roles of AWPer, IGL, and support in Liquid during his first stint, which ended in August 2020.

During that time, nitr0 most notably led Liquid to win four big events in a row in 2019: IEM Sydney in May, DreamHack Masters Dallas and ESL Pro League Season 9 in June, plus ESL One Cologne. These tournaments netted the Intel Grand Slam Season 2 trophy to Liquid on top of the $1,000,000 prize pool.

Once Liquid and nitr0 parted ways in August 2020, the veteran switched to VALORANT and went on to play for 100 Thieves alongside his old Liquid teammate Spencer "Hiko" Martin until December 2021. Nitr0 didn't accomplish much in Riot Games' FPS other than winning VCT Noth America Stage 2 Challengers 1 in April 2021.

The return to Liquid in Counter-Strike and the disappointment

As soon as he was done with VALORANT for the first time, nitr0 rejoined Team Liquid to take on the IGL role once again.

However, things didn't pan out as both Liquid and nitr0 hoped as he stayed away from the game for too long. The only truly meaningful result nitr0 achieved with Liquid in his second stint with the organization was leading them to a runners-up finish at the BLAST Premier World Final in December 2022.

Liquid benched nitr0 in June 2023 as management signed more European players and nitr0 stayed away from esports until joining M80's VALORANT roster in January 2024 and not helping them to win trophies.

What does returning to Counter-Strike means to nitr0?

Nitr0's return to Counter-Strike esports this time around will likely be even more difficult despite all the recent FACEIT grind he's putting on as of recently. Captain America never played CS2 competitive and will have a lot of catching up to, especially against the world's best.

Nitr0 is putting in the work (Image via FACEIT)
Nitr0 is putting in the work (Image via FACEIT)

Although it's unclear who nitr0 will play Counter-Strike for at this stage of his career, there are options for him to explore in North America and even possibly join forces with NRG's current VALORANT head coach Chet "Chet" Singh, who's also considering CS2 offers, according to a report by HLTV on June 21.

That's all for now. Stay tuned to esports.gg for more CS2 news.