His focus is on the Major. The PGL Antwerp Major kicks off on the 9th of May 2022.
CS: GO players and fans look forward to the player stickers for the Major every year. The Major is the pinnacle of CS: GO esports and the signatures are a way for the community to support their favorite players and orgs. However, in the leadup to the PGL Antwerp Major, there’s been a rather unnecessary controversy surrounding the signature of one player, Sh1ro. The player’s signature includes a scribble which looks like the letter ‘Z’ if you stretch your imagination.
Even as the community was divided between the style of his signature, the player had to make a statement about the controversy surrounding his signature.
“Don’t look for hidden meaning where there is none,” sh1ro said, according to a rough translation. “My business is to play CS, not to do covert diversions," said Sh1ro in the tweet.
Sh1ro was a part of Gambit whose roster was recently acquired by NA based Cloud9. The acquisition, which was reportedly for a million dollars brought Cloud9 back into CS: GO.
The controversy arose after French journalist neL pointed out the design in Sh1ro’s sticker, even going to the extent of suggesting an interpretation of the sign as a Z. The letter 'Z' is the Russian war symbol and is widely in use on Russian military vehicles in Ukraine.
“The design change in the sh1ro sticker, including something that can potentially be interpreted as a Z (symbol of support for the Ukraine invasion) is very clumsy. To say the least.” said neL in a now-deleted tweet.
The tweet has since been deleted after mixed response from the community, with many coming out in support of Sh1ro. Sh1ro’s signature is also in line with Valve’s official guideline for player signatures. Valve’s guidelines also include a similar-looking Z in the signature.
It was also revealed later that Sh1ro’s signature was made by Gambit’s designer and was submitted before the Russia-Ukraine war started.
Cloud9: A favorite going into the Major
With their org troubles now behind them, Cloud9’s roster is one of the favorites to win PGL Antwerp Major. The team has consistently placed in the top five rankings and is currently #3 in the HLTV rankings.