One of the most celebrated and admired players in Chinese League of Legends, Jian ‘Uzi’ Zi-Hao, has announced his official retirement from esports at the age of 23.
Regarded as one of the best ADCs in competitive LoL history, Uzi has been the driving force behind League of Legends Pro League team Royal Never Give Up since 2016 and is one of just two players to have achieved 2,000 career kills in the LPL. He helped Royal Never Give Up to win the 2018 Mid-Season Invitational, which is Uzi’s only major trophy win of his career outside of the LPL, having finished runner-up in both the 2013 and 2014 World Championships. He was also named the LPL Playoffs MVP in both Spring and Summer Splits in 2018, with Royal Never Give Up becoming back-to-back LPL split champions that year.
Uzi is arguably China’s most popular player and the news of his retirement has already seen him become the top trending topic on Chinese social media site Weibo, according to journalist Josh Ye.
Uzi out (‘-‘)7
— 简自豪 “Uzi” (@UziRNG) June 3, 2020
Royal Never Give Up pays homage and thanks to Uzi in a lengthy Twitter post, describing him as the “heart and soul” of the team.
Due to injuries accumulated over 8 years of high intensity training, at the suggestion of medical professionals, Uzi was advised to rest during the 2020 LPL spring split. After spring a decision was made and we understood and respected his wishes, and will continue to assist him.
— Royal Never Give Up (@RNGRoyal) June 3, 2020
The organisation also claims that his retirement was as a result of “injuries accumulated over 8 years of high intensity training” and that Uzi was advised to retire by medical professionals after sitting out the 2020 Spring Split. A translated Weibo post from Uzi on Reddit also suggests that he has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Royal Never Give Up ends the post stating that it continues to work with Uzi to help improve his health and that the team “will always love you.”
Having achieved so much already in his career, it is a shame to see such a talented player forced to retire at just 23 due to health reasons. Uzi will widely be regarded as one of the LPL’s – and even the world’s – all-time greats.