Thumb injury forces top gamer to retire at 25

Published
image copyrightAndbox

Call of Duty gamer Thomas 'ZooMaa' Paparatto says he's stepping back from professional gaming due to injury.

The 25-year-old will stop competing for the "foreseeable future" because playing through the pain in his hand "just isn't possible anymore".

"It breaks my heart to step away from a game I put my heart and soul into every single day for eight years," Thomas says in a Twitter statement,

He plays for the New York Subliners and struggled with injury, needing surgery.

"Going through that process of getting healthy again was one of the hardest things I ever had to do both physically and mentally, which led to a lot of stress and anxiety."

It's "the hardest thing" he's ever had to write, but the wrist and thumb problem has made it tough for him to compete against the "best players in the world".

"I don't enjoy competing when I can't be the ZooMaa everyone knows and loves and feel like it's not fair to myself or to my team to go through all that again, potentially causing more damage to my hand."

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Thomas added he was "grateful to have had a long playing career".

"I have met so many amazing people through esports and have made so many friendships I'll continue to cherish for the rest of my life."

There was an outpouring of support from fans and fellow gamers after his announcement.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

And he thanked his fans for the "love and support" they showed every day.

"It was the only thing keeping me going through it all."

As for the future, Thomas is looking at all options as he loves "this game too much to walk away completely".

"I look at it as one door closing and another one opening," he adds.

Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 weekdays - or listen back here.

More on this story