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Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao Retires from the LPL

Uzi and RNG qualified for Worlds 2016 as China's number two seed

On Wednesday Morning, Jian Zi-Hao, more commonly known as Uzi, officially retired. Royal Never Give Up, Uzi’s previous team, made the announcement on both Twitter and Weibo. As of April 30th, Uzi was officially a free agent. Due to health issues and physical injuries, Uzi decided it was best for him to retire. Having joined the professional scene in 2012, Uzi leaves the pro scene on the same team that he first started playing. With Uzi’s retirement, all the players that took part in the first-ever LPL are now retired. Today’s article will talk about two of Uzi’s many accomplishments

Back-to-Back Worlds Finals

Uzi Retires

Image Courtesy of Leaguepedia

Not even one year after becoming a pro player, Uzi and Royal Club made it the world championship finals. The team made it to Worlds as the number one seed representing China, eliminating both OMG and Fnatic to make it to the finals. However, the team would stumble in the grand finals, falling to SK Telecom T1.

One year later at Worlds 2014, Star Horn Royal Club once again made it to the finals. With a completely new roster alongside him, Star Horn Royal Club came into worlds as the second seed from the LPL, behind EDG. Just like the year before, Uzi brought the downfall of the other Chinese teams, eliminating EDG in the Quarterfinals and OMG in the Semifinals. However, once again, Uzi would fall in the grand finals, this time against Samsung Galaxy White. With his retirement announced, a world championship is the only title that Uzi never won.

2018: A Historical Year

Uzi Retires
Image Courtesy of Riot Games

The Spring Split of 2018 marked Uzi’s first time that Uzi won an LPL championship. Despite the team consistently having good performances over the years, they always lost in the grand finals. After finally winning the LPL, Uzi went to his first MSI, where once again, RNG emerged as the champions. Uzi was finally able to overcome ghosts of the past and took down Kingzone DragonX in the grand finals. Returning to the LPL Summer Split, RNG once again had a stellar performance. After finishing the round-robin in second place, just behind Invictus Gaming, RNG took down IG in the grand finals, winning Spring, MSI and Summer in 2018. Sadly for Uzi, he would once again fail to win the world championship, falling to G2 in the quarterfinals.

The End of an Era

RNG's Uzi, Ming and Xiaohu were top ten players knocked out of Group Stage
Image from LoL Esports Flickr

Despite his successful year in 2018, 2019 had other plans in store. The team had a rough time in Spring, falling to JD Gaming in the quarterfinals. When Summer came around, the team looked much better, as they made it all the way to the grand finals, falling to FPX. When Worlds came around, RNG ended up in group C, alongside old rivals SK Telecom T1 and Fnatic. As fate would have it, Uzi once again fell to his old-time rival and fellow esports legend Faker, and RNG were unable to get out of the group stage. Uzi was missing for the entire spring split of 2020, as we later learned that it was a medical suggestion to avoid fatigue. While it was common for him to miss most of Spring, this was the first time he missed the entire split. Later, on June 3, Uzi officially announced his retirement.

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Follow JJ on Twitter: @NeonColouredJay.

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