After three unhappy years, MikeHaze pulls the plug on his Smash Bros. career

Michael “MikeHaze” Pulido/Instagram

The truly lucky among us not only have jobs in these most uncertain of times, but jobs that don’t feel like work. Or, to put things another way, blessed are those who can’t wait to spring out of bed in the morning and get busy collecting a paycheque. Knowing full well that every dollar they’re earning is icing on an already fantastic cake. For years that was the case for Smash Bros. pro Michael “MikeHaze” Pulido. But evidently everything was not as rosy as it seemed behind the scenes.

Today MikeHaze has announced that he’s stepping away from Super Smash Bros. where he’s competed in Brawl and Melee since 2007. More skilled than most, he’s been ranked in the Top 50 players.

Getting paid to play video games might seem like a dream, but that hasn’t been the case for MikeHaze for years.

In a TwitLonger post he states that it’s important to let the world know why he’s chosen to retire.

Heart hasn’t been in it

“To be honest with you all i haven’t really had my heart in smash in close to 3 years,” he writes. “I’m not sure what exactly changed, if anything, but at some point in 2018 I just really started to not “feel” smash at all. My anxiety and panic disorder did get worse around this time, but really I think I was just starting to lose the love and passion I had for the game. I slowly stopped streaming and stopped practicing, and for two years i was pretty much only playing smash at tournaments.”

Where MikeHaze once looked forward to seeing friends at Smash competitions, the idea of doing battle left him increasingly unhappy.

“i generally have felt extremely empty when it’s come to competition over the past few years,” MikeHaze writes “I’ve tried to force it, and there are times when i am genuinely enjoying it, but the upkeep and time commitment required to be the best just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. I did great – I put effort in and was successful – but i just really feel it’s time for me to move on. Competing over the past few years has just left me feeling empty. I feel unaccomplished and unmotivated to put in the effort, and as a result smash just feels like this constant storm cloud looming over me. Instead of being something fun and enjoyable it just feels like constant dread and anxiety.”

Moving forward, watch for Michael “MikeHaze” Pulido to focus on poker and music, with the gamer acknowledging that both will be challenging, which is a big part of their appeal. Perhaps because, to those on the outside, neither really looks like work.

Mike Usinger once took the better part of two years to finish Grand Theft Auto. Over the course of his career he has written about everything from eSports to music to movies to travel.

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