On his personal stream, Kim “PraY” Jong-in announced he will be retiring from League of Legends professional play. The news comes after PraY took a split off from the competitive scene to take some rest. He shared with his stream audience that he has no confidence that he can do well anymore. In addition, he told his viewers it will subsequently mean he won’t have a chance to play on that stage again. His retirement comes as a shock, as many were considering a possible return of the former LCK champion to the professional stage in summer.
PraY, playing for a number of Korean teams, certainly left a mark on the competitive League of Legends scene. The player first started his professional career back in 2012 with NaJin Black Sword. Playing under the name Troll Kim, PraY managed to lead NaJin to the Season 2 World Championship. They qualified after beating Azubu Blaze in the Season 2 Korea Regional Finals. Furthermore, they made it all the way to the quarterfinals, ultimately losing to the eventual world champions, Tapie Assassins.
He later moved on to the Tigers organization, where he first played with Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyun. The duo went on to become one of the most respected Korean bottom lanes, as they played together for the next four years. The Tigers were the undisputed best team in their inaugural split but fell to SKT T1 in the finals. However, they were able to win an LCK championship in only their second split together, defeating KT Rolster in the finals. At Worlds, PraY and his team made it to the finals, where they again faced their kryptonite in SKT. It resulted in them losing 3-1, but this wasn’t the last time the two teams met at Worlds. In one of the best competitive series to date, the Tigers again matched with SKT in the Worlds semifinals the next year. After a hard fought five game series, SKT yet again came out victorious.
The former star ADC and his support partner GorillA spent the next few years with the Longzhu/Kingzone organization. They were able to win two splits with the team and went to an MSI and a World Championship. In their last split together, the team failed to qualify for Worlds after getting swept by Gen.G in the regional finals. Shortly after, the duo announced their departure from Kingzone. GorillA went on to join Misfits Gaming in Europe, while PraY decided to take a break from competitive play. While many thought this was the last time we would see PraY and GorillA playing together, nobody suspected it would be PraY’s last split as a professional player.
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Vince Koyle is an esports writer, tech nerd and future CompSci student. He often likes to compare traditional sports to esports, showing his love for both kinds. Also tends to sometimes try too hard with explaining what esports is and how it isn’t any different than traditional sports. He mainly covers the League of Legends scene, with an emphasis on European and Asian leagues.