Royal Never Give up AD Carry Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao has announced his retirement from League of Legends as a result of injuries and poor health. Uzi is 23 years old.
Two days ago, RNG announced their new squad without Uzi. Speculation abounded about the future of Uzi with the possibility of him being traded. Uzi began his professional career with RNG back in 2012. He had moved to Oh My God and Qiao Gu Reapers for short periods before returning to RNG in 2016. He was with the franchise ever since.
Uzi is widely considered as one of the best ADCs in professional League of Legends but dealt with injuries throughout his career. According to Emily Rand of ESPN, “the star bot laner suffered from chronic hand and shoulder injuries throughout his career. Last year in an interview with Nike, Uzi said that doctors told him he had the arms of someone at least twice his age.”
“Uzi was not only the heart and soul of RNG, but also an icon in the esports world as a whole. From a teenager onwards he never gave up and worked as hard as he could to be the best he could in his role, he inspired many. 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.”
RNG posted on Twitter on Wednesday
RNG will have to depend on their new-look roster during the upcoming summer split without the presence of Uzi. They have regained the services of Cryin from eStar.
There have also been questions about the post-retirement lives of young professionals. While physical injuries aren’t as ubiquitous in esports as in other sports, the mental health and wellbeing of these players has been an area of concern across esports, including CS:GO and League of Legends. Recently, Olofmeister, Gla1ve and Xypyx have stepped away from the pro CS:GO scene to tend to their health.
Such cases, including that of Uzi, will throw more light into creating a healthy environment for these players during and after their careers.