Caroline Rutledge

Caroline Rutledge

Caroline is an esports journalist focusing on CS:GO. Starting out as a casual CS:GO fan, her interest quickly turned into a passion as she spent years studying the game. She has put that knowledge to use as a journalist, now writing about professional CS:GO for multiple websites including TheGamer.

CS:GO: Swag Steps Away from Competitive Counter-Strike

CS:GO Player Swag
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Swag will focus on Project A instead.


Braxton “swag” Pierce announced his decision to quit competitive CS:GO on Twitter today. He stated that he will instead focus on conquering Project A, the unreleased FPS currently being developed by Riot Games. The 23-year-old’s CS:GO career was cut short in 2015 as he and three other members of the iBUYPOWER lineup were banned indefinitely from competitive play.

Braxton “Swag” Pierce made his name as one of North America’s brightest stars in the early Global Offensive era. Beginning his professional career on Complexity, the teenage prodigy made the play-offs of both the DreamHack Winter 2013 and EMS One Katowice 2014 Majors. After Swag’s signing with iBUYPOWER, the team won ESEA Season 16, placed second behind Fnatic in FACEIT League Season 2, and made a top-eight finish at ESWC 2014.

The iBUYPOWER Scandal

In January of 2015, Swag and six other people were banned from competitive CS:GO after iBUYPOWER fixed a CEVO Season 5 match against NetcodeGuides. The team has since been unbanned by a number of prominent tournament organizers, including ESL and DreamHack. But they remain permanently barred from competing in Valve-sponsored events. The ban prevents Swag from participating in all CS:GO Majors, the biggest tournaments in the competitive Counter-Strike scene. Despite continued pressure from fans and community figures alike, Valve has not removed the ban.

Since the bans, Swag has played for Torqued, GX, Swole Patrol, and Lazarus Esports. He has slao stood in for Cloud9 and MIBR. In 2019, he competed in seasons nine and ten of ESL Pro League, finishing 13-16th in both. Swag now looks to Riot Games’ Project A for his competitive future.

Project A is an unreleased class-based first-person shooter. Counter-Strike commentator Henry “HenryG” Greer said it was “the best game [he’s] played since CS:GO.” The game does not have a set release date, but is expected to be available sometime in 2020.

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