I've been playing and running CTFs for awhile now. This year was my 4th as a CSAW judge, 7th as a DEFCON competitor, and I had previously helped run Ghost in the Shellcode for 4 years. Although I've been to DEFCON finals 4 times (2011-2014), I haven't had much luck over the last 2 years. Men in Black Hats failed to qualify in 2015 and disbanded. My new team, Mammon Machine, missed qualifying this year and seems to be on a similar course. So, when Legitimate Business Syndicate, the organizers of the DEFCON CTF, approached me with an offer to join them...I took it.
Yes, you're reading that correctly. As of today, I am now a DEFCON organizer. I'd always wanted to try and run the DEFCON CTF, but I always figured it'd be in the far-flung future after a few more cracks at a black badge as a competitor. Joining LegitBS doesn't necessarily mean I won't ever compete again (assuming we don't continue to run the game until the end of time). But, work and life are making it difficult to devote entire weekends to events. The US-based CTF scene is also pretty dead, which makes finding and retaining worthwhile teammates difficult.
So, while I don't think I'll ever stop playing CTFs, I do very much feel this may be my permanent exit from CTF competition. Truth be told, I've been having a lot more fun with my recent foray into video game hacking and some of the things I'm involved with at work, anyway. My skillset is far better suited for long-running projects than quickly solving small problems. I've appreciated CTFs as a way to improve my ability to more optimally solve small problems, but it's nice to play toward my strengths again.
Anyway, regardless of what this change means long-term, over the next year I definitely won't be playing many CTFs. Instead, I'll be putting my time and effort into making the best challenges I can possibly make for the world's premiere full-spectrum CTF. Given how high LegitBS has raised the bar over the past few years, I'm confident I'll need to spend some serious time on it.