League of Legends esports icon Uzi makes competitive return in the LPL

League of Legends pro Uzi competing in the LPL. He is wearing a black team jersey and a gaming headset

Chinese League of Legends star Jian ‘Uzi’ Zi-Hao has made his long-awaited return to action more than two years after he last played a competitive game of LoL.

The decorated botlaner had retired from League of Legends esports midway through the 2020 season, having not played a match that year due to health problems. His last game before retiring was against Fnatic at Worlds 2019, which saw his team at the time, Royal NeverGiveUp, crash out of the competition. However, in December last year, Uzi came out of retirement and was signed by LPL team Bilibili Gaming as part of a massive roster overhaul.

While Bilibili has so far kept Uzi on the bench this season, opting for young botlaner Chiu ‘Doggo’ Tzu-Chuan instead, today saw Doggo replaced by substitute Uzi for its game against Invictus Gaming. This is the veteran’s first competitive match in 852 days.

Despite some heroics in game one which caused many to believe that Uzi had not lost any of his previous prowess, the form couldn’t be sustained for the entire series, with IG walking away as 2-1 winners.

While it hasn’t been a winning return to competitive LoL for Uzi, to see one of the world’s favourite players back on the main stage has certainly caused commotion – according to LPL specialist ‘Ran’, Uzi was the top trending term on Chinese social media site Weibo today.

It’s not currently clear whether Uzi will remain on the lineup for the foreseeable or if Doggo will return to his role as starting botlaner. Bilibili’s next match is in two days against Anyone’s Legend, so time will tell.