zAAz is hanging up the AWP as she hands the torch to a new generation
Zainab “zAAz” Turkie officially announced her retirement on May 19. The former Rifler for G2 Esports women’s division revealed her decision by Twitlonger and official announcement on the G2 Esports Twitter.
The announcement marks the end of 20 years of playing for the female CS:GO legend. Having competed across multiple iterations of Counter-Strike for two decades, zAAz lifted trophies in CS 1.5, 1.6 and CS:GO, before moving to Valorant.
zAAz’ legacy of success
ZAAz leaves behind a huge resume of victories and incredible performances. As part of female rosters for almost every major name in esports, zAAz competed under the banner of Fnatic, Team Secret, XSET, and finally G2 Esports.
Her most impressive accolades include three consecutive victories at Intel Challenge Katowice, in 2015, 2016, and 2017. In perhaps her most successful run, with Team Secret in 2017, zAAz and her roster also claimed victory at the Copenhagen Games 2017.
In her Twitlonger, zAAz stated “I’m proud of myself and I deserve to call myself a legend.” She continued, explaining “I’ve achieved so much in my career and learned so much from Esport. Met so many new friends from all over the world, seen so many countries, gained so much experience thanks to Esport. And I’m so happy to be an inspiration for other young people. It truly warms my heart.”
In her statement, she thanked her best friend and teammate, Julia “juliano” Kiran. She also wished luck to her replacement in G2 Valorant, Maryam “Mary” Maher. ZAAz called Mary “a little me,” and it’s hard not to see the comparison between the two.
With zAAz’s retirement, a huge part of women’s CS:GO has moved on from playing. Describing her future plans, zAAz stated that she wanted to work in Malmo, Sweden. Her plan is to educate young people about esports, as well as finding and developing new talents.