Hong Min-gi, also known as MadLife, has officially announced his retirement.
MadLife was known for his exceptional support play during his time in the Korean League of Legends Champions League (LCK). Fans would recognize his ability with hook-based champions such as Blitzcrank and Thresh. People even went so far as to call great hooks in any game the ‘MadLife’.
Hong Min-gi was originally a StarCraft player; it was the first game he would play at the age of seven. However, in September 2010, he went on to play League of Legends. MadLife’s first team was MiG Frost, where he would play with Woong, CloudTemplar, RapidStar, and Locodoco. He slowly became a prominent figure in the LCK, and around the world. He was able to place second in the Season Two World Championship. MadLife would also act as a leader and mentor for the CJ Frost players during his tenure on the team. Frost would undergo multiple changes to its name and ownership, but Hong would stay until 2016.
In the 2016 Summer Split in the LCK, CJ Frost (now known as CJ Entus) would have a horrible season, finishing 3-15. The team would go on to participate in the 2017 LCK Spring Promotion, where they eventually would lose to ESC Ever. For the first time in his career, MadLife was not in the LCK.
After being forced to relegate from the LCK, Hong would leave Korea to join a team in the North American LCS. He would join former NA Challenger Series team, Gold Coin United (GCU), where he would play alongside Solo, Santorin, Fenix, and Rikara. He ended up playing for GCU for two seasons but failed promotions into the NALCS both times. After leaving the team in November 2017, he tried live streaming and trying out other options such as commentating. Now, he has finally put the keyboard and mouse up for the last time. MadLife actually considered retiring two years before, when CJ Entus became relegated from the LCK. However, he said that he “didn’t want to go out with the line, ‘retiring after team gets relegated’.”
There have been multiple possibilities for Hong Min-gi, especially in the esports world. One path he was considering is a popular route that many players have taken: full time streaming. He actually would watch the stream of CloudTemplar, and he considered becoming full-time. CloudTemplar is now a shoutcaster for the OnGameNet (OGN), a South Korean TV channel that broadcasts video game related content and esports. As for coaching, Hong is not sure about it. “I feel like I wouldn’t excel in any other areas of esports. I’m bad at taking care of myself, so how would I take care of countless other players as a coach?” He says jokingly.
Although he is leaving, MadLife’s lasting impression on the competitive League of Legends world will forever be remembered. His godlike hooks and wonderful mechanics have been an inspiration to many pro players today.
In an interview with INVEN Global, MadLife had a few words for his fans:
Thank you so much for having cheered for me when I was a player. But please remember that this isn’t the end. I’ll still be alive you know! So please look forward to what kind of path “Min-gi Hong” will walk in the future. I’ll show myself from time to time through streaming and guest commentating, so please continue to cheer for me.
I’ll see you all again, from a different position.
Born and raised in Toronto. Sometimes a writer. Sometimes a creative director. Sometimes bored. Catch me with hundreds of unplayed games in my Steam library.