Three time world champion Karma retires from Call of Duty esports

The surprise announcement sees Karma leave Seattle Surge midway through the 2020 CDL season

Damon ‘Karma’ Barlow, the only Call of Duty player to have ever won three world championships, has announced midway through the 2020 Call of Duty League season that he is retiring.

The surprise announcement from the 26-year-old, who is widely regarded as the greatest player of all time, is effective immediately, meaning he will no longer be representing the struggling Seattle Surge in the CDL.

In a statement from Karma released by Seattle Surge, he thanked both his family and fans for their support and also wished the team he was leaving the best for the remainder of the season. However, later tweets from Karma show a more honest explanation for his decision to retire, in which he admits this was something he “needed to do a while ago” and says that he prays for this years CDL competitors for being “stuck in this nightmare.” This is in reference to the competitiveness of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which many pro players have slammed for being the least competitive CoD ever made.

He also says: “[I] didn’t enjoy running around with an MP5 and just had 0 desire to get on and play the game. I was pretty bad tbh and I think they [Seattle Surge] could do better without me,” before stating that he won’t return to competing.

However, just minutes later, he posted another tweet in which he says he “will be back,” which suggests that Karma may have some form of coach or analyst role lined up.

Karma, who won back-to-back championships in 2013 and 2014 with Fariko Impact and CompLexity Gaming, respectively, also won in 2017 on arguably the greatest CoD roster of all time at OpTic Gaming.

For the inaugural season of the franchised Call of Duty League, Karma signed for Seattle Surge, but the team has struggled and sits second from bottom in the CDL standings with just 40 points.