Former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive star Nicholas "nitr0" Cannella is in the process of transferring to become a pro player in VALORANT, sources told ESPN on Monday.
Multiple pro teams in North America have reached out to nitr0, looking to make him a full-time starter on their VALORANT roster, sources said.
The 24-year-old American was the in-game leader of the Team Liquid squad that accomplished the IEM Grand Slam in 2019, winning four S-tier tournaments organized by Dreamhack or ESL during a window of 10 consecutive events and receiving the $1 million grand prize. Under nitr0's leadership, Team Liquid sat as HLTV's No. 1 team in the world rankings during their historic run in 2019, winning six S-tier events overall in 2019.
Although not the first Counter-Strike player to transition to VALORANT, he is the biggest name to switch games relative to his most recent top performance in the game. Other notable names from the CS scene such as Spencer "Hiko" Martin (100 Thieves), Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham (T1) and Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom (Team Liquid) also have made the jump to Riot Games' first-person shooter that released officially in early June.
VALORANT's fledgling esports scene has seen success in recent weeks, with last weekend's FaZe Clan Invitational final topping over 180,000 viewers on Twitch as rivals TSM and Sentinels played a best-of-five for the championship. On Twitch, the shooter was the fifth-most-watched game in the month of July with an average of over 70,000 viewers.