M80’s Captain ‘maNkz’ Takes Indefinite Break for Mental Health

M80's Captain 'maNkz' Takes Indefinite Break for Mental Health

M80’s captain, Marcus “maNkz” Kjeldsen, takes an indefinite mental health break, missing the 2024 Copenhagen Major NA RMR. Coach Rory “Dephh” Jackson steps in. The eSports community, including figures like Anders Blume, supports maNkz’s decision.

eSports are more than just games, and Marcus, also known as “maNkz” Kjeldsen, is the latest player to acknowledge the industry’s mental health stress. The M80 leader has announced a break from competitive play with no set end date. This likely means that the squad will be without its captain in the Copenhagen Major RMR.

The M80 leader announced he would be taking a leave of absence from the team’s active roster. This is a result of his ongoing mental health challenges. Recently, maNKZ has been a key part of M80’s surge through the NA arena, and he’s most known for his time with the Copenhagen Flames.

His absence was announced on X (formerly Twitter) by his team, M80. The player also took time to elaborate on his reasons for taking a step back.

Any replacement for maNKZ?

The team has been allowed a replacement by the tournament’s organizers. This is given the team’s run at IEM Katowice 2024, which is set to start soon, and the Americas RMR for the Copenhagen Major just around the corner.

Additionally, the team’s coach, Dephh, has been confirmed as a stand-in for the time being while maNkz takes his break. As a player, Dephh has spent three years on Complexity’s lineup but has been inactive for just over four years now.

M80 has developed a strong reputation among fans by brute-forcing their way to Tier 1 events. The team entered competitive CS2 in July of last year. The team also took down Liquid in the Copenhagen Major RMR Closed Qualifier. All eyes are on them to see how they cope with a higher level of competition on the server.

Other mental health cases

maNkz is the most recent CS2 player to cite mental health as a concern, but he’s far from the first. Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski attributed his break in 2021 to burnout. BIG AWPer Mateusz “mantuu” Wilczewski claimed that mental health issues, especially depression, are widespread at the pro level. Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyljev’s recent break is partially to take care of other people in his life.

The news of the M80’s captain taking an indefinite break came just days after it was confirmed that BOSS player Cynic passed away. This sent shockwaves through the NA scene. While the cause of death has not been revealed, Cynic’s father took to X and said that “obviously [Cynic] was hurting badly on the inside.” He also advocated that anyone struggling should not be afraid to seek help.

Community members show support for maNKZ

It is good to see a player choose their mental health before their team. The Counter-Strike scene is known to be mentally demanding, requiring an insane amount of grind to make it to the top level.

Hopefully, maNkz can take all the time he needs to work through his mental health struggles and return to M80 when ready and reinvigorated. He will also take a break from social media.

Some players have even hired psychologists to help keep their teams mentally healthy. Fans have also shown more understanding of these types of issues, and this signals major progress for the industry as a whole.

Additionally, M80 Founder and CEO Marco Mereu responded to maNkz’s post with a message of support for the IGL.

Danish caster Anders Blume and others also praised the Danish player for prioritizing his health.

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.