The Seattle Surge announced late on Wednesday that Damon “Karma” Barlow will be retiring from professional Call of Duty competition. The veteran Canadian player played much of his career with OpTic Gaming and won three Call of Duty championships while playing for three separate organizations. The Surge referred to Karma as “without question greatest of all time” in the retirement announcement Tweet.
Damon "Karma" Barlow has chosen to retire from competitive play. Congratulations to without question the greatest of all time. 🐐🐐🐐 pic.twitter.com/iAekHPmwsd
— Seattle Surge (@SeattleSurge) June 4, 2020
“I would like to thank everyone that helped me on my journey,” Karma said in a statement. “First and foremost to my wife Holly and my daughter Bella who motivate and inspire me every day. To my teammates throughout the years including my current teammates on the Seattle Surge, to all the fans that have followed me throughout my entire career from my three championship seasons through to today with those in the city of Seattle, I’d like to say thank you for your support as I enter the next Chapter in my life. I wish all the best to the Surge organization and thank them for understanding and guidance through this tough decision.”
Karma won Call of Duty Championships in 2013, 2014, and 2017, playing for Fariko Impact, Complexity Gaming, and OpTic Gaming. Throughout his career Karma played with at least eight different professional esports organizations, including replacing Matt “Nadeshot” Haag when he left OpTic back in 2015. In 2019, Karma was announced as a founding player for the Seattle Surge organization.
With the departure of Karma, the Surge lost one of their starting players. It is possible we will see the return of Casey “Pandur” Romano to the starting roster to replace Karma. He was benched on May 12th in favor of Ian “Enable” Wyatt. Alternatively, we could see Nicholas “Proto” Maldonado given the nod.
The Seattle Surge will compete next at the Minnesota ROKKR Home Series, which was postponed to June 12-14 in response to the ongoing protests against police violence sweeping the United States.