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The Sad Reason This Call Of Duty Pro Is Retiring At 25

In a statement released via Twitter on Jan. 19, 2021, Thomas Paparatto announced his retirement from professional gaming. Paparatto, known in the streaming world as ZooMaa, gained a following playing Call of Duty competitively for the NY Subliners, and then later as a part of FaZe Clan. He attributes his retirement to a thumb and wrist injury that he does not foresee healing from.

In his heartfelt letter to fans, Paparatto describes his healing process thus far as "one of the hardest things I ever had to do both physically & mentally, which led to a lot of stress and anxiety." Paparatto then reveals that his injury has returned, "making it really hard for me to compete at the highest level against some of the best players in the world."

Paparatto doesn't rule out a future in esports, and he notes that, "I love CoD and esports in general so much and will continue to show my love and support to the scene." Paparatto added, "I'm not sure what the future holds and will explore all options as I love this game too much to walk away completely. I look at it as one door closing and another one opening." Though Paparatto has not specified how he may continue participating in the esports scene, his love for both his fans and the community in general is heartwarming.

The letter goes on to thank fans and competitors for bringing out Paparatto's competitive spirit and encouraging him to play at the top of his game. Fans began sending Paparatto their support via Twitter, which made the streamer emotional. "Can't help but get emotional seeing all the support. Wish I could respond to everyone but just know I see all of you and appreciate all the kind words. Love all of you for real," Paparatto tweeted shortly after his retirement announcement.

Paparatto is best known these days as a member of FaZe Clan, a collective of streamers and pro gamers that live, play, and work together. FaZe Clan has had its share of scandals and shady moments over the past few years, but that didn't stop Paparatto from reflecting fondly on his former House in his retirement announcement.

While Paparatto's injury is unfortunate, it's not uncommon. Mark Griffiths, the director of the International Gaming Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University in England, explained to NBC News, "In all sports you'll find people who put in the hours, unfortunately some will be injured ... and this also applies to Esports." Players have been injured while playing games, even when they're not streaming for upwards of ten hours a day online. Repetitive motion injuries, like Paparatto's thumb and wrist weakness, can occur from long hours of playing and streaming.